The Importance of Project Management
Project Management may seem like a simple term used to describe the management of a project from start to finish. Technically, that is what it is however, most projects seem to be complex and will need effective planning, execution and closeout. This is where the importance of project management is highly recognized and valued. Prior to elaborating on the importance of project management, it is imperative to clearly define and understand the term. According to Wikipedia “Project management is the practice of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria at the specified time”. Basically, its main goal is to ensure that everyone in a project knows what needs to be done, when it should be completed, and ensure all resources are provided.
Project management is essential for a successful project completion and delivery with the following reasons:
- Clear project objectives: During the planning phase, project management help team members understand the focus, direction and objectives of a project. The resources and budget are allocated. Without this initial coordination, the chances of a project failing are relatively high.
- Planning and scheduling: using the project management methodology in scheduling a timeline helps to eliminate delays and overruns that could result in a project. During this phase, the start and end date are determined, tasks are allocated, and roles are responsibilities are officially assigned.
- Resource utilization: managing a project involves a lot of moving parts, making informed decisions instantly and in advance. Resource utilization ultimately helps you maximize available resources. This is highly important because it prevents employees from under-performing or over-performing thereby, increasing overall organizational productivity.
- Risk management: every project team starts off a project with the best strategy hoping for a successful outcome. However, it is important to recognize potential risks that could hinder the overall progress of a project. With effective project management, once can always prevent known risks, and prepare for the unknown.
- Quality Assurance: Ideally, we think that a successful project must have a product to be delivered, be within scope and under budget or within the range. I’ll like to deviate from that a little bit and point out that quality assurance on the end-product is equally important. This is to ensure that the project adheres to guidelines, industry practices, and user requirements. Project management is important to measure the product against the above-mentioned criterion.
Organizations are faced with new project challenges and opportunities, and without a well-rounded project management plan, organizations would find themselves accumulating many failed projects and processes. Project management provides an approach to guide organizations in achieving successful project results through detailed planning and structuring.