Defining the Value of Strong Project Management
Think about all of the things that need to take place from the time a project in the workplace begins, to the time the project is considered completed. There are big projects that require time and talent from many team members and could call for a tremendous investment in resources. And there are small projects that may not involve as many people or as much of an up-front investment, yet are still important. The common thread is that strong, solid, and strategic project management is vital for success, regardless of the size or duration of any project. This is why more and more business owners and leaders are choosing to invest in project management training and certification, for themselves, the team leaders, and those within their organizations that demonstrate leadership potential for the future.
Some of the things project managers need to account for, regardless of the size or duration of the project, include:
- Planning. This process lays the foundation for project. It is when the purpose of the project is clarified, along with goals, people who need to be involved, tasks and expectations, timelines, budgets, and intended outcomes.
- Teambuilding. This process allows for identification of a leader or set of leaders, a team or set of teams, with clearly established roles, to facilitate the project from start to finish.
- Communication. It is important to map out who needs to know what, in what level of detail, when, throughout the direction of the project. Along with that, it is important to understand what internal or external communications systems can and should be used (for example — email blasts, Intranet pages, or printed materials for internal audiences, and email blasts, web site and social media pages for external audiences).
- Documentation. Process plans, task charts, key notes, key findings, data, outcomes, and details on next steps should be documented and are often reported out to leaders and stakeholders as projects are facilitated.
Strong and solid project management is critical as business owners and managers identify challenges and opportunities, and embrace change that can lead to positive impact. Project management is relevant to all industries, regions, and methodologies, but its value has proven to be especially apparent in government, healthcare, technology, education, and business / consulting-based organizations.
Let’s consider, for example, a technology firm that wants to introduce a new service platform. The company’s leadership team will likely designate a project manager, who will become the “keeper” of every detail associated with planning, building, introducing, launching, and sustaining that new service platform. In addition to establishing tasks lists and timelines, building teams, and facilitating communication, that project manager will also assure decisions are made and approaches are determined in line with the big-picture project goals. It could be about delivering a service that clients are demanding, increasing profit, decreasing costs, or implementing agile approaches for reducing time to market in order to produce higher returns.
“Having a strong project manager at the helm gives the project the highest likeliness for success,” said Izzy Nalley, Director of Marketing, and Learning and Development Manager for APB & Associates, an established partner of Training & Development Solutions at HCC. “It’s the person who is going to ask the deep and hard questions, determine the best ways to approach the various components of the project, and ultimately assure the time and effort going into the project is going to produce a worthwhile return.”
These days, the number of professionals seeking certification through the Project Management Institute (PMI) is on the rapid rise. Certified Project Management Professionals (PMPs) are trained to lead based on the highest industry standards and best practices. They understand the importance and benefit of being a change agent, and are committed to leading – strategically with a focus on value-added business outcomes.
“Certification as a PMP gives you credibility and a competitive advantage as you are looking for job opportunities or ways to advance and grow in your career,” said Nalley. “It tells employers that you have the knowledge, experience, and skills to lead when it comes to solving problems or pursuing promising opportunities.”