Project management is a field which is increasingly growing among businesses of all sizes. With the daily responsibilities of managing an organization, entrepreneurs and company executives alike, are finding it important to use dedicated project managers to handle the management of individual projects from start to finish. When organizations command a sound understanding of effective project management techniques they can complete large projects on time, within budget and with less disruption to the balance of the business operations.
While the business as a whole is an ongoing operation, a project is a separate and temporary undertaking that is focused on creating a unique product, service or process. This type of venture usually means that it is unique to the company and there aren’t any plans in place that will guide the project to completion. Project managers possess the knowledge and experience to create a plan, organize the materials needed and manage the personnel required to bring the project to completion.
A lot of business projects involve large-scale planning that affects all the departments or areas of a business. Executing a major project could mean there is a need to deal with human resources, budgetary and supply constraints. Professional project managers are skilled in project management techniques which are capable of dealing with one-time projects. They can devise plans to manage and control interdependent activities and address resource conflict. Businesses that use project management to monitor and control the total process and schedules can more effectively complete their projects on time and on budget.
An invaluable tool for projects that deal with creating a product or even ones that require materials to complete is Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC). AIDC is the process of automatically identifying objects and collecting the data about them so that the data can be entered into a computer system. The technologies involved in AIDC include barcodes and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).
AIDC consists of gathering external data through analysis of images, sounds or videos. A transducer is used to capture the data and then converts it into a digital file. The file can then be stored for analyzation by a computer, or compared with other files in a database to verify identity or to provide authorization to enter a secured system. Materials used in a project can be tracked throughout the different phases of the project to ensure that everything is accounted for and data is recorded effectively. It can also ensure all materials needed are received from the supplier and implemented effectively.
Creating a project timeline requires coordinating activities in conjunction with ongoing business activities. A project manager will organize and detail activities which are required in each step of the project and oversee teams made up of the company personnel to carry out each step. Working within the boundaries of a project management plan, a schedule plans target dates for completion of tasks within each phase. The timeline is directly correlated to the scope of a project.
Project management is most important in businesses that consist of a wide range of projects all running simultaneously. The scope of the project refers to how much of the business the project will affect. The bigger the project, the more details and planning are required to successfully bring it to completion. Carrying out a wide-scale business venture requires careful coordination to ensure minimal impact for the ongoing sales and production.
A good project manager will help to keep projects on budget. A good project management plan will identify anticipated costs early in the development stage and create a realistic budget. With the use of resource conflict solutions, project managers can minimize the effect of funding a new project on operating capital by optimizing the allocation of workers. Coordinating tasks and clearly identifying goals or deliverables within phases reduces inefficiencies in time management that can result in the project being over budget.
Implementing project management across the organization helps create a strategic value chain that gives companies an edge on their competitors, particularly in high-risk sectors and markets. Being able to deliver projects on time and within budget often determines whether a company will get the next job or whether its new product hits the market.
Ninety percent of global senior executives ranked project management methods as either critical or somewhat important to their ability to deliver successful projects and remain competitive.
As the practice of project management evolves from individual projects to widespread large projects, the connections between organizational project management and business value become clearer. And the more involved the executive team is, the better the results.