“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” — Max de Pree
Both small and large-scale businesses are investing more in projects to achieve their goals, but their success rates are not the same. Some businesses are able to move projects forwards within the allocated budget and set time, reach stated targets and satisfy their clients, while others can get stuck with projects that fall behind deadlines, exceed budget, and accomplish little.
What Causes Project Failures?
What separates successful projects from unsuccessful ones? What makes the difference? Failed projects can be the result of different factors, like:
- Scope Creep
- Unclear goals and objectives
- Lack of resource planning
- Weak processes and inconsistent techniques
- Poor communication
- Unreliable estimates
- Poor Stakeholder management
- No Risk Management
- Lack of monitoring and controlling
While the hazards of project failure have been around for a long time, there are ways to deal with it, both by using technology and human resources. Businesses can still have successful projects in spite of having loopholes, but it usually happens at the cost of a great deal of time and energy spent by people who could have utilized their talent in more productive ways.
Why Do Some Organizations Not Have Project Managers?
With the amount of value that efficient project managers can add to an organization, what stops some companies to ignore this position. Here are a few possible reasons:
- Upfront Investment of Time and Resources
- Lack of Commitment
- Bad Past Experience
- The Fear of Losing Company Culture
Some of these reasons to resist hiring project managers are “rational”, while others are likely based out of “emotion”. The fact is having a competent project manager can help organizations in more ways than one.
Project managers can efficiently utilize their vast experience and rich knowledge to manage the complexities of project management. Project managers take the responsibility of successful project delivery, client satisfaction, increased profits, and the seamless collaboration of every task your company undertakes
They guide a team of different individuals to work together and put in their best efforts to reach organizational goals. If your business still does not have a designated project manager, it’s high time you think about the cost of not having one, rather than worrying about the cost of hiring one.
Why You Should Utilize Project Managers
From my personal experience, I have compiled a list of ten strong reasons why this critical resource should be an integral part of every project. Read on to know more about it.
Provide Vision and Direction
Project managers identify the vision and goals of the project and give it the right purpose and direction. They also provide a single point of communication for teams and clients.
They are responsible for all communication between the project team, clients, and stakeholders to eliminate confusion, misunderstandings, and improve collaboration and accurate feedback. They know how to mitigate risk, tackle hurdles, and solve various problems that are typically encountered in business projects.
Better Time Management
Time management is precious in today’s competitive world. No business can afford to waste time because it directly affects productivity.
A project manager is responsible for setting the start and due dates for assigned tasks, creating milestones, setting deadlines, and keeping track of project progress as it moves through every stage.
While the team needs to be accountable for hitting milestones, the project manager keeps track of dates and details in a project schedule by using a feature-rich project management software like ProofHub.
The project scope comprises the project deliverables and what work has to be done to deliver the completed service or product. Your project should have a stipulated feature-set. Continuous changes to the initial project can happen, at the cost of the delivery date or the budget.
A project manager discusses the pros and cons of every change in the initial project in a way that handles the business needs in a comprehensive way. To contain “scope creep”, he will put markers in place before anyone can take away or add from the scope.
Efficient Scheduling of Work
A missed deadline is the nightmare of every project manager. A smart project manager will adopt a proven workflow methodology for timely project completion. He will create and assign tasks to team members, prioritize them, add labels, set time estimates, track time spent, create recurring tasks, and attach files at one place using one task management software.
A successful project manager will always ensure a clear distribution of responsibilities to avoid confusion and unwanted delays. He will allocate resources efficiently to avoid a waste of time.
No matter how well you plan for your project, there will always be some risks. These can be scheduling risks, budget risks, quality risks, and communication risks. You need a seasoned professional to identify those risks early, assess the impact they may have, and come up with risk mitigation strategies. This is exactly what a project manager does.
Even if a project manager cannot prevent risk-occurrence, he should be able to manage them in a way that they have minimum impact on the project workflow.
Documentation is a vital part of any project, to a greater or lesser extent depending on the project. It is the responsibility of a project manager to spend time documenting meeting minutes, action items, project plans, etc. You do not want your documentation to be handled by your developers or writers; that would not be making the best use of their talents.
A professional project manager can bring onboard a file management software to keep all files organized at one centralized location to collaborate on them effectively and hence can save the day for the team.
Project managers and teams have a clear vision during the initial stages of the project and have high hopes of producing desired results. However, as project advances, there are likely to be some bumps along the way.
When things don’t pan out as expected, it is the project manager who closely monitors and analyzes team performance, detects loopholes, and efficiently takes corrective measures.
Ensuring Customer Satisfaction
Eventually, it’s all about keeping customers happy with the quality of the product or services your business provides. One of the main responsibilities of a project manager is to minimize uncertainties, reduce the possibilities of setbacks, and keep clients in the loop as much as possible.
Good project managers provide accurate feedback to clients and maintain consistent communication to keep them updated on the task progress at every phase.
Close The Project
After the project has been completed successfully, within set time and budget, the project manager prepares comprehensive reports documenting and reviewing the project phases with team members and stakeholders. The project is evaluated, success is celebrated, and the lessons learned are set to be implemented in the next project.
Project Manager is Your Insurance Policy
You’ve just funded a million dollar project that will take 10-14 months to complete. The results will significantly improve sales, profits, and overall company growth.
However, managing everything on your own can make you anxious while handling your project. During such times, it’s better to give the project’s charge to a skilled, experienced project manager to ensure the project goals are achieved i.e. a project manager with skill and experience.
There are likely to be problems, and the resource can handle them efficiently with skills and expertise. Adding a professional project manager gives you the assurance that your project will be organized and managed appropriately.
Project managers are an integral part of almost every kind of organization—from small agencies to multinational IT companies. The next time you think about cutting corners by not investing in sourcing a competent project manager, think again.
What might seem like a cost-saving move now, can turn out to be a costly mistake for your organization in the near future. When you look at the long list of benefits that project managers bring with them, you will realize that having such a valuable resource for your project can only do good for your organization.
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