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Project management is the business of executing a specific project in an efficient and cost-saving manner by utilizing tools to keep a project on track while completing all goals and objectives. Without project management, deadlines may not be met, and important aspects could be forgotten or overlooked. It has become one of the most implemented and important aspects of project planning for companies large and small.
This skill is used in a variety of business types, from corporate and engineering to construction. Any project that has deadlines and cost requirements needs the services and tools of project management. The project management team has a leader who oversees all operations and several employees to execute his or her needs and requirements. For example, if a company wants a new building constructed within 18 months, it would create a project management plan to develop the building, including all required specifications and cost considerations within that timeframe.
According to the Project Management Institute, 98 percent of senior executives understood that project management is a vital strategy for all projects, both large and small.
It increases efficiency by creating a roadmap for development, from start to finish. This roadmap includes all goals and objectives and discusses how to avoid common problems before they happen. It details exactly how long each aspect should take, the cost and how much manpower it needs. It keeps contractors from drawing out deadlines and unfairly increasing costs.
It also allows for a company to have flexibility in the project. Although a roadmap is created, if any unforeseen circumstances arise or new developments happen, this plan can easily be revised. The project management team is always on hand to expand or revise the plan for better efficiency and cost savings. Management of the project does not end with the plan—it continues until the project is completed.
The management plan also allows management to understand if the goal is possible, given time and cost restraints. According to the Project Management Institute, 76 percent of midlevel executives attribute positive outcomes to good project management.
Successful project management means faster and more effective work done on time. This allows for more projects to be completed within a fiscal quarter or other timeframe.
Project management is as much an art as it is a science. Forecasting costs and problems requires an expert hand. Without this, there could be major time and finance issues. Proper project managers need to be certified and have a proven track record before being considered.
Lack of Expertise
A project management team needs to have a comprehensive knowledge of the field of the project. The team leader must be able to forecast every possible issue, provide workable timeframes and manpower needs, and be ready to change everything at a moment's notice. Without expertise in the relevant field, the costs run higher, and deadlines pass because of an improper management plan.
Too Much Process
Project management relies on standardized plans and processes that have been proven over time. Project managers too rooted in a process may lose sight of the big picture, and their inflexibility could lead to major problems. A process requires time and precision, but projects can quickly be changed by unforeseen circumstances. A project manager mired in a process may not react fast enough to evolving situations.
Failure to Track Changes
Once the plan is completed, project managers need to be in constant contact with the field employees and management personnel. Costs of building materials and other goods change every day as well as rates for contracted employees. A lack of follow-up can easily lead to cost overruns when estimated costs prove to be too low.
The cost of project management depends on the overall scope of a project. A large-scale project costing millions, or even billions, of dollars and taking several years to complete can cost $100,000 or more. Factors such as government regulations can lead to increased costs because of the intricacy of the project management plan.
On the other hand, smaller and less complex projects that may only last a few months cost significantly less. The return on investment can be considerable. A proper project management plan keeps construction and development on track and helps avoid common pitfalls. Without project management, an unforeseen circumstance could cost a considerable amount to fix and put a project months behind schedule.
Project management has become an important part of any major undertaking, and it has saved companies money through efficient planning and execution. The key to proper project management is to find a team that has expertise in the field and has a proven track record of success. It may cost a little extra in the end, but project management specialists tend to pay for themselves in the long run.
Does your business need a more effective way to manage projects? Do you sometimes find that you miss project deadlines because of unforeseen circumstances? If so, then you might want to consider the advantages that project management solutions could offer you.
Project management software could help you answer important questions before you begin working on an important project. For instance, many of the programs can help you determine whether you have all of the resources and materials that you need, whether you can complete a project without exceeding your budget, and whether you can realistically meet deadlines. Some software can even help you identify inefficiencies within your company. Finding these inefficiencies could allow you to generate larger revenue streams by completing work faster and spending less money.
You will likely find that there are numerous pieces of software that might offer the business solutions that you need to manage your projects well. Business.com can help you learn more about the features that will have the greatest impact on your projects. The links that have been listed at left will take you to websites that offer more information about software designed to help you manage projects. Visit them to research the features that can improve your business's performance.
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