Many a times, various SME’s are scared of the term “project management’ but, if used, it helps such growing businesses to earn better and improved revenue and competitive advantage in the market. The rate of companies who choose to integrate project management techniques for the implementation of their projects achieving success may be lower but is far more better when compared to the companies which choose not to go ahead with it. Therefore, more and more companies, in the global market are going forward with choosing project management techniques for their projects. It is important that every project management activity gets the top level or executive support to be successful. Therefore, the planning and selection of project management techniques should be left with the top management. The three main activities involved in project management implementation are:
• Right project mix that can use all resources of the company to attain competitive edge in the market as well as bring measurable value to customers.
• Determine the scope, which should not be vague and ambiguous but instead, should be specific and clear. It should also contain contents that fit cross functionally rather than, focusing on only one type of department or work to have a significant impact on attainment of organizational goals.
• Finally, execute project management implementation as soon as possible in the prescribed order by project manager’s monitoring the implementation process continuously and taking immediate action upon finding any deviations.
In addition, project management does the following to improve the overall performance of the companies:
• Improves allocation of financial resources: With better understanding of the project objectives, project estimation, formal budgeting, and monitoring actual financial resources expended against anticipated, helps in better financial management activities in any organization.
• Identification and stopping of “bad projects” effectively: The use of project management techniques helps any organization to analyze the cost and benefits of any project that a company may want to go forward with. They may identify such projects that could cost more than providing benefits upon or during implementation immediately or the one’s that gets delayed during implementation unnecessarily. This saves companies a lot of time, money and resources.
• Focuses on fact-based decision making: The project management techniques analyze success of any task based on the metric assigned to measure the performance of each of such tasks. These metrics lets the management know how efficiently and effectively a team is working so that various performance improvement activities could be taken, if they have been found to be lagging behind.
• Communication of expectations with stakeholders and team members: Project management aims at enabling effective communication between stakeholders and the team members so that many conflicts could be avoided that may arise just because of surprises or lack of communication.
Even though, we can go on and on with the uses of project management in increasing overall performance of any company, but many of them are still not practicing it yet. It does not mean that project management is not widely accepted or is an ineffective tool. Those companies may not be using project management yet because of the following reasons:
• It requires huge upfront investment of money
• These companies may lack the right people for the job
• These companies may not be committed to the work that they do
• Their project managers may be fearing loss of power from team members and/or management
Project management techniques play a prominent role in successful implementation through planning and control of time, cost and quality. The ability to differentiate between the project and project management would help achieve project success. Although, both could not be stated as having the same nature, however, they are certainly, related and found dependent. Therefore, the objectives of project management should not be confused with that of projects. For this purpose, it is important to understand the objectives of each:
Project: A project may have specific objectives or outcomes that will include series of activities and tasks. These series of activities and outcomes will use resources to obtain the desired objectives or outcomes. They will also be required to be attained within the stipulated time.
Project Management: On the other hand, project management plans and controls the project’s objectives for a successful implementation. Project management defines the requirement and extent of work, plans the execution of work, allocates resources as and when needed, controls or monitors progress of achievement of objectives and takes corrective measures to alleviate deviations from the desired level of outcome.