The Benefits of Using a Project Management Approach

The Benefits of Using a Project Management Approach

The Benefits of Using a Project Management Approach
The Benefits of Using a Project Management Approach

The benefits of using a project management approach obviously follow on from addressing the needs of the project. The project manager is responsible for developing a plan through which the project can be tracked and controlled to ensure the project meets preset objectives. To do this effectively the project manager requires accurate and timely information. This information should be supplied by the planning and control system, which outlines the scope of work and measures performance against the original plan.

Although the planning and control systems will incur additional management costs, it should be appreciated that lack of information could be even more expensive if it leads to poor management decisions, mistakes, rework and overrun. 

Listed below are some of the main benefits associated with a fully integrated project planning and control system:

1-Client: The project manager is the project's single point of responsibility and the company's representative to the client (and other stakeholders). During meetings with the client, the planning and control system will provide information about every aspect of the project. Clients prefer to deal with one person - the project manager - who is accountable. This gives them confidence that problems will be addressed and the project will be completed on time. 

2-Single Point of Responsibility: With the project manager responsible for the complete project, this should limit scope overlap and scope underlap. 

3-Estimating: The estimate forms the basis of the project plan. If you cannot estimate and measure it, how can you manage it? 

4-CPM: The critical path method calculates all the activities start dates, finish dates and floats. Activities with zero float form the critical path which determines the duration of the project - delaying a critical activity will delay the project. 

5-Fast Track: Bring a new product to the market quickly before your competitors. • Schedule Barchart: Communicates the what, where, when and who. 

6-Project Integration: Co-ordinates and integrates the contribution of all the project participants. 

7-Reporting Interfaces: The planning and control system's database can be structured around the work breakdown structure (WBS) for project reporting and around the organization on breakdown structure (OBS) for corporate reporting. Without an integrated system, the two reporting requirements would have to be processed separately.

8-Response Time: Timely response on project performance is essential for effective project control. The project planning and control system can adjust the content and frequency of the feedback to address the needs of the project, while the corporate systems may be less flexible. Consider the accounts department for example - they generally use a monthly reporting cycle where feedback on invoices may be four to six weeks behind time now. 

9-Trends: Projects are best controlled by monitoring the progress trends of the time, cost and performance. This information may not be available to the project manager if the trend parameters are derived from a number of different functional sources and not communicated. 

10-Data Capture: If the project progress reporting is based on information supplied by the functional departments, the project manager cannot control the accuracy of this information. The problem here is that it may only become obvious towards the end of the project, that the reporting is inaccurate, by which time it may be too late to bring the project back on course to meet the project's objectives (see Project Control chapter). 

11-Procedures: The planning and control system enables the project manager to develop procedures and work instructions which are tailored to the specific needs of the project. 

12-Project Office: Offers a center for project management excellence.

13-Closeout Report: The performance of the current project will form the estimating database for future projects. If this data is not collected by the planning and control system it may be lost forever and you will live to repeat your mistakes. The closeout provides an effective mechanism to learn by mistakes, and strive for continuous improvement. 

14-Marketing: Vendors can distinguish themselves by marketing their project management systems. If two vendors are offering similar products at similar prices - then their selection may be based on the vendor who can demonstrate they can effectively manage the project. 

Although there are many benefits from using project management techniques, senior management should tread carefully if the project management culture is not already established within the company, because the resistance to change could derail the project.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post