Gather around friends; today’s fun and enlightening topic is Project Management! Save the eye rolls and groans or arguments about it being a waste of budget. Let’s face it, we don’t live in the same business landscape that we had 10 or even 5 years ago, nor are we adhering to traditional business practices in this post-pandemic era. Between the fast-paced industry competition, navigating remote employees, and keeping up with new tech, failing to plan is planning to fail- plain and simple.
At the end of the day, proper project management plays a major role in driving the overall success of almost any initiative for these 4 key reasons:
- Clear Goals and Objectives: Blind leading the blind
Starting any type of initiative without clearly defining the goals and objectives is like getting in a car and trying to drive cross-country without ensuring you have gas, a GPS, and snacks. You won’t know where you’re going, probably won’t get very far, and you’ll be burnt out by the end. Make an effort to communicate with stakeholders, define the project scope, identify the deliverables, and set a realistic timeline before you dive in. This keeps the team aligned, motivated and helps everyone to prioritize tasks and make informed decisions.
- Resource Allocation: It’s all about the Benjamins!
There’s an old saying that time equals money, but if that’s the case, then time + people = more money. Imagine having a project with a set budget and finding out halfway through that two people were doing duplicate work or one person skewed from the path completely; at that point, what really is a budget, if not something to light on fire for the sake of watching it burn? Bringing in proper project management practices helps ensure resources are being properly allocated and accounted for, and in some cases can help reduce spending with a little optimization and strategy planning. Nothing like completing a project under budget!
- Risk Mitigation and Project Monitoring: The PM Doppler radar
Like all good things in life worth having, most projects will always come with their risks. However, adding in a dash of project management best practices will help identify and mitigate those risks proactively instead of waiting until point pain (see the aforementioned lighting of budget on fire). Having proper project monitoring in place will keep your project and team on task with milestones and on time with deliverables; and will inform those all-important KPIs (key performance indicators) to help make data-driven decisions if and when you get into a crunch.
- Quality Assurance: More than just a final taste test
We really can’t stress how crucial this step is not only towards the end of a project but also for every single major milestone in the project’s journey. Much like a chef checking the quality of a dish from the beginning to the final plate, a project of any endeavor should be treated with the same care. Taking the time to set a stringent review and testing process for a project will help the team be more efficient in addressing issues or changes as they arise versus being left swimming in production debt with a final delivery date looming over your heads. This is what makes or breaks the lasting impressions of a project and your team’s integrity with project stakeholders and recipients. The best part of finishing a project is handing off the final deliverable tied in a neat bow and knowing it’s something everyone can be proud of.
Project management doesn’t have to be a painful or overwhelming task, but it should absolutely not be overlooked if the endgame is to have a successful project, happy stakeholders, and a team that sticks around for the next big thing. So be your own friend and plan for success. If you’re not quite sure where to start, check out these best practices and tools loved by our Redonk Project Managers.