Whether it’s one-off campaigns, the launch of new products or services or changing the way you do an existing function, any business will have to deliver projects.
Success is important in any of those scenarios and to achieve that you need effective project management. Here’s our guide to how this can help your business to thrive…
Whatever your project is, it needs to be clearly defined. You need to understand precisely what it is you hope to achieve, when you need to have done it by and set out the way you can measure the success of the project.
A good project manager is worth their weight in gold. This role has probably been given a bad press by the television show The Apprentice, with the project managers being the people who more often than not carry the can for their team’s failings.
Yet, in real life, these people are the lynchpins or your strategy – sitting at the heart of the project and, ultimately, ensuring the goal is achieved. You need to find someone who understands what you want, has the right skillset to achieve that, has a good track record, is well-organised and analytical.
You are trusting this person with a key role, but that doesn’t absolve you of any further responsibility – it’s your job to liaise properly with this person and ensure they get the support to deliver what they need to do.
A project manager will need to identify what skills a business possesses and which it lacks when it comes to delivering on a particular task. So, whatever you need – be it abrasive recovery systems, legal advice or even translation of foreign transactions – the project management process should identify these at the earliest possible opportunity and go about securing the most cost effective options for these.
Speaking of being cost effective, one of the key functions of the project management process should be to keep a close eye on the money involved and ensure the budget is being stuck to. Your business will suffer if you allow costs to spiral; the project itself might end up being incomplete if the coffers run dry. Your project manager should keep a regular check on every piece of expenditure and monitor this like a hawk.
Monitoring the money is crucial, but the project management process is about analysing every element of the scheme. That means regularly reflecting on what is going well and what isn’t and measuring progress against that set out in the plan. By never letting matters drift so they get behind, you’ll be on track for an efficient delivery of your project.
This analysis is not about forcing your project to be micro-managed within an inch of its life – far from it. While it’s important to have a plan, it’s also important that, if things don’t work, you’re able to be flexible and adapt to circumstances that arrive during the delivery phase.