What is Project Management and How Does it Affect Business?

Project management in its simplest form is the act of planning, organizing, motivating, and utilizing resources to reach a specific goal. A project is almost always a temporary procedure – whether it is short-term or long-term – with defined and expected results, a time line, and is generally meant to meet specific objectives and outcomes. Since projects are time-sensitive and have to meet certain guidelines, they are usually best handled by being properly laid out and outlined, with the right people working on it, and utilizing the correct resources, all within the allocated budget and still meeting a high standard quality. By understanding what exactly it is that project management involves, and discovering how companies can benefit from it, maybe those companies without project management strategies can learn to adopt them in time.

Business project management allows companies to constantly achieve better results through projects and other temporary ventures. Keeping the project focused and set on a linear course will reduce the chance that it will fail. By setting deadlines for different stages of results throughout the entire project, it is almost guaranteed that there will be a desirable minimum level of quality that meets requirements and expectations; there is still room to grow beyond hitting the minimum. All costs, deadlines, and resources will be able to stick to budget when they’re properly planned ahead of time. Using project management can also work as a great communication tool by providing all members of the project a single outlet to address anything of importance.

Project managers keep the entire team focused, safe, and working efficiently. They are the ones that handle the clients or customers (most of the time) in any manner whether it’s telling them good news, or breaking the bad news. The managers will also be incredibly influential and knowledgeable on exactly what it is the client wants and expects from the project. Managers keep the team and the project itself organized by constantly staying on-top of each resource, including project data and team member progress. Project managers have been called the glue that holds the team together while moving everyone forward by constantly thinking of new ways to innovate ideas for the tasks at hand.

Business project management begins at the idea stage where a single vision creates an entire outline from beginning to end. At the vision, you define the objectives of the project and brainstorm options to address specific needs and requirements. Once the project is approved it enters the planning stage where the project manager creates a time line which will set up the scope of the entire project. Smaller deliverables are identified while planning a budget for labor, project teams, and material costs. After the project is outlined and a timetable is created, it will be put into action. Managers will keep track of progress and team members to ensure that each target is met and that the overall project will be completed on time. Once every target has been hit, the final product is able to be sent over (any smaller deliverables are sent as the project is in progress), both to the client and to all of those involved internally. Contracts are wrapped-up and a few final meetings may take place to go over the project to review it and take notes for future reference.

No business, large or small, wants to waste money and time, not meet deadlines, have excess resources that will get wasted, and result in a bad final outcome to top it all off. The best scenario for a project would be using just as many resources as you have available, the right number of qualified people for the task in the team, and to hit every deadline on the day they’re due, if not sooner. Planning out the project before getting started and having someone keep track of everything will ensure that there are no (or few) bumps in the road, no extra money is spent that isn’t needed, and that each team member is not only working efficiently, but collaboratively with the others. If you and your company haven’t already implemented a plan for using project management, then now is a good time to focus on organization to be more efficient than ever.

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