The importance of good project management
IT in manufacturing
By Pedro Da Silva, Director of Business Development, Iritron.
Every organization works on projects designed to improve its productivity. Project management is necessary to facilitate the delivery of the multiple required results. Essentially, project management begins when a task is defined and follows it throughout its execution, including monitoring and feedback on progress. This becomes even more essential when multiple teams need to be managed.
In today’s environment, directors, managers, team leaders, business developers and others are often “elected” as project managers, regardless of having received relevant training or accreditation. In many cases, these people lack the skills to handle the details of a project and miss out on the benefits of good project management, such as on-time completion and predictable results.
Established processes allow companies to define exactly what is needed to successfully complete the project. This may vary from task to task, but may include scope of work, stakeholder expectations, deliverables and schedules, contractors, business and legal compliance, and complaints management.
The identified tasks must then all be managed successfully. If one or more of these critical components are neglected, it can lead to a snowball effect with potential consequences for stakeholders.
It is therefore essential to have a defined structure to manage projects, as well as to understand the techniques that allow projects to be completed on time and on budget. There are five immediate benefits associated with good project management:
1. Improve productivity and reduce costs and workload
Efficiency is the goal of project management. This is done by creating procedures, templates and processes that establish the basic aspects of controlling project variables. All procedures should be regularly reviewed and improved based on lessons learned and adopted for each specific discipline / area. It takes time and experience as well as meticulous documentation, but an added benefit is that the same procedures can mitigate risk and improve efficiency. This efficiency improvement can be achieved by implementing some of the following methodologies: creating a project plan that contains key completion milestones along a clearly defined critical path; define the formal communication channel between staff, subcontractors and stakeholders; and decide on an appropriate methodology (Agile, SCRUM, etc.) for project monitoring.
2. Project management facilitates collaboration
If the deliverables / tasks are clearly communicated and defined in an organized and structured way, all team members will know exactly what to do at all times, thus making things easier and more efficient to manage. Roles should be clearly defined to avoid unnecessary duplication of resources. Periodic checks of the teams should also be carried out to ensure that everyone is on the right track or to assist them in the event of a problem.
3. Project management improves customer satisfaction
The goal of a project manager is to ensure that all elements of the project run smoothly and on time. Customer expectations can be met by implementing the following elements: listening to customer expectations and advising on alternatives or new possibilities; structure clear deliverables for their approval; always have the necessary documentation on hand; and identify the risks and a mitigation strategy for each.
4. Project management improves performance
It is crucial to monitor the results and performance of the project in an organized manner. Monitoring enables lessons learned from previous projects to be implemented, thereby improving current performance. Without a structured process, it will be difficult to determine why certain aspects of the project failed or did not meet expectations. Described and predefined processes will allow project managers to identify variables that could compromise a project’s deliverables. Use a centralized communication platform for project management, tracking, reporting, and change implementation.
5. Project management makes it easier to solve problems
As the project evolves, there are obstacles and problems that must be managed.
A structured way of organizing work can help identify and resolve these issues effectively before the implications have a chance to escalate. Implementing risk management processes, clear communication platforms, and regular project updates helps mitigate the impact that real and potential issues can have on a project.