My clients often ask me "why is project management important?" because to them, hiring a project manager just seems like an unnecessary expense which they think they can do themselves. It is a valid question, one which I definitely struggled with myself when I was first getting started.
However, what they need to realise is that it's much better to put someone in place who can be held accountable, than to try and do everything on your own. Often these people do not have a clear understanding of what project management is and therefore are not looking at the bigger picture.
Today our team attended a truly insightful project management course from Imsimbi Training. Some people do not believe in investing in education but through all my years in business, I have seen that good project managers are made, not born.
Great project management means much more than just keeping projects on schedule, delivered on time, within budget, and scope. It also unites clients and teams, creates a vision for success and gets everyone on the same page so that there are no unnecessary arguments over the way to do things. These points are usually over looked but they are the single defining factor that makes a project manager worth it.
Take a look at Imsimbi’s Facebook page if you want more information on their training courses.
In this article we will discuss the 5 key points that separate good project managers from great ones:
1. Proper time management, planning beforehand and creating a schedule that works for the team
Planning out the entire project before hand is essential because it makes sure that your team has proper expectations about the requirements which must be met as well as how much work it's going to take. It also allows them to visualize the time frame so that they can mentally prepare for the task ahead of them.
Without a skilled project manager it can be common to set over-ambitious deadlines or incorrectly estimate the budget that your team will need, to accomplish the task. This leads to problems later on, when suddenly the due date is approaching and your team is still far from completing their work, or your project has run out of money and now your team doesn't have the resources to continue.
You need someone who can analyse all available resources and set a deadline with realistic expectations, then develop a schedule which gives room to deal with unanticipated problems. Planning also involves establishing achievable milestones that your team can work toward and it allows the client to keep track of progress being made. That's why Imsimbi has one of the best project management courses. It is quite common for some tasks to take longer than initially expected, taking setbacks into account is one of the things that distinguish the inexperienced from the most professional project managers.
2. Strategic structuring of the project
Great project management ensures that the task is delivered on time and done exactly to the clients specifications. It is about delivering real value which will help the client to further his goals. It's important to understand that every client sets strategic goals that they are looking to accomplish with this project, the project manager needs to make sure he understands exactly what the client wants so that there is no unnecessary errors and he can direct the team accordingly.
When you are working with a large team, it's very easy for a project to get misguided, that's why the manager needs to be certain that the goals of the project align with the strategic framework of the business. This is essential because if the project veers of the correct path, or fails to adapt to the needs of the business, it may end up being an expensive and/or unnecessary use of the team’s time and energy.