Everybody is talking about Project Management, about methodologies like Waterfall, Agile, Crystal Methods, Scrum, Extreme Programming, ITIL®, and Lean Development. Companies are arranging corporate training programs on Project Management methodologies and certifications for their executives.
Why Project Management?
The old business model involved fewer employees, rigid structure and a few common goals like manufacturing a product and increasing the company’s profit. The organizational hierarchy was itself simpler.
Now however, many businesses have worldwide operations, they diversify, there is need to accomplish many complex tasks and finish them on time. An organization might have broad goals, but the activities needed to achieve those goals are in themselves specific smaller goals. Projects are actually the planning and operations needed to achieve smaller, tangible goals with a limited number of stakeholders.
There is an increasing need for trained project management personnel. This is because, to accomplish what is needed involves careful planning, monitoring, anticipating, and troubleshooting before the project is completed.
Organizations break down their overall business goals into smaller units. These units are then further broken down until they go from the abstract to the specifics. For instance, from the idea, improve the design of a product, to actually coming up with the specific design changes and then breaking that down so that each change can be accomplished efficiently. The company might initiate a project for the whole design change or separate projects for each feature if the process is complicated.
Project Failure Rates
❖ It has been determined that only around 35% of projects are executed on time, within budget and with the goals successfully achieved.
❖ In a survey of 10,640 projects by 200 companies across 30 countries, Price water house Coopers found that just around 2.5% of the companies achieved a 100% successful completion.
❖ A Harvard Business Review study revealed that the average cost overruns on project costs ranged from 27% to 200%.
All these were due to bad or ineffective project planning and management.
The Role of Project Managers
Projects have tangible goals, team members who accomplish tasks, team managers and a specific set of stakeholders who are going to be involved in the process or will be affected by the change.
Those who are going to be affected by the change are expecting benefits not more problems. The team members also have expectations. They hope that their specific skills will be well used and that their role will be clearly defined. The role of the Project Manager is to see that the goals are achieved while keeping in mind the expectations of the team members and other stakeholders.
❖ The Project Manager has to understand clearly the specific goals of the project and break down the whole process into smaller tasks
❖ They have to select a team that will be capable of accomplishing the tasks, assign those tasks to the appropriate individuals, and clearly define their roles in the project.
❖ They also need to be able to communicate clearly, listen to the other person’s concerns and clear up any issues.
❖ Project Managers also need to have good experience in the field they are working on to be able anticipate problems and risks and come up with plans to prevent them.
❖ They need to understand their team well and be able to get the best out of them.
❖ PMs also need to choose the Project Management framework or methodology they are going to use for the execution and management of the project.
❖ They need to create plans, define specific steps and communicate these to the team members and to others like the department managers who initiated the project, and to the end users who will be using the product that will be created at the end of the process.
❖ The Project Managers themselves need to take on many roles including leader, manager, and coordinator, liaison between the different sets of people involved, and good communicators and facilitators.
❖ They have to manage all the resources including people, time and funds, and the specific tools used in the projects.
❖ They have to have good people skills and be able to keep their cool when critical situations arise. For, however well-planned a project might be, some unexpected situation or events might interfere and throw it off track.
❖ They need to have measures in place to deal with these kinds of situations.
With all the roles the PM has to take on and the complexity and diversity of the skills, knowledge and experience expected of them, Project Managers are key players in an organization’s overall progress towards achieving its goals. This is why many businesses, whether small or large, are investing in corporate training programs for their Project Managers.
Multisoft Systems offers a set of varied but vital corporate training courses on Project Management. They are also partners with many Project Management certifying organizations and technology vendors. Their corporate training solutions for many certification exams are focused and help the professionals prepare themselves well for the exams. These corporate training programs ultimately benefit the organizations as their professionals emerge with updated knowledge in the field and with recognized and valued credentials that attest to their skills and abilities to handle complex projects.