Sometimes, the business benefits of project management aren’t fully realized by the organization’s leaders. However, it can become a game-changing experience for them, especially guided by a seasoned project manager and combined with the right project management tool.
So, what is the essence of project management? What are its business benefits that companies should be aware of? And how does a project management software solution contribute to business success? Let’s take a closer look.
Project management ─ Its essence and components
Before delving into the business benefits of project management, let’s explore its essence and components in more detail.
Project management is not just about giving tasks to the team members and overseeing their completion. It’s a combination of various complex processes and activities that lead to delivering a certain value and achieving a company’s business objectives. The project management body of knowledge identifies the so-called 10 project management knowledge areas that work together to ensure the fruitfulness of the PM process.
Here’s a brief overview of each knowledge area and its significance.
1. Scope management
Project scope management is the process of determining and documenting all the project goals, deliverables, tasks, timelines, and budgets. With the project scope clearly defined, all the project participants have a single source of truth regarding the amount of work to be completed. Also, it helps prevent a project from the flow of extra tasks and changing requirements and serves as a reference point for assessing the project’s progress when it comes to the project scope.
2. Time management
Work on any project involves fitting into certain timelines: project due dates, milestone deadlines, task estimation, etc. In addition, no project is immune to delays in the workflow. To make sure that a project won’t fall behind its schedule, and will be accomplished on time, project time management is applied.
3. Cost management
Simply put, project cost management involves estimating the amount of money required to complete project activities, and managing and controlling them. It helps project managers fit a project into the approved budget and avoid cost overruns.
4. Resource management
Proper resource management is one of the most important prerequisites for project success. It involves assigning the right people to the right tasks, efficient utilization of resources, managing their competencies, identifying the gaps between the resource demand and supply, and more. Also, resource management contributes to the effective utilization of an organization’s material resources (equipment, facilities, etc.).
5. Quality management
Project quality management involves regular monitoring and control of the quality of project activities as well as taking corrective measures to achieve the desired standard of project outcomes. The purpose of quality management is to ensure that the final project deliverable meets clients’ expectations and ensures their satisfaction with project outcomes.
6. Communications management
Communications management ensures that the information regarding project workflow is properly collected, stored, and timely and effectively distributed among all the project participants. The quality of communication has a direct impact on project success. For example, if communication is poor, there will be misunderstandings, and a lack of timely updates, and transparency, which will create obstacles to the workflow.
7. Risk management
Risk management is about finding ways to mitigate the negative impact of unforeseen events. No project is immune to risks. So, to ensure that your initiative won’t be derailed by challenges, it’s better to prepare risk responses beforehand.
8. Stakeholder management
Project stakeholders are those who are involved in it and whose interests are affected by its execution. Stakeholder management aims to ensure that all the updates regarding project status, changes, and challenges are communicated to stakeholders; and that their expectations are managed.
9. Procurement management
The main purpose of project procurement management is to ensure that all the resources required for project execution are obtained and are of desired quality and cost.
10. Project integration management
Finally, project integration management unites all the above-mentioned processes – it’s about proper coordination of project management processes and activities throughout the whole project lifecycle. It helps keep projects on track and facilitates more informed decision-making.
Thus, project management involves comprehensive work that helps deliver certain values on time, within budget, and of desired quality. Let’s examine the benefits of project management for companies in more detail.
Business benefits of project management
In a nutshell, project management allows companies to get maximum value from their efforts. In particular, organizations benefit from centralized project management in the following ways.
Streamlining work on a project
First of all, project management creates a structure for further project work. At its initial stage, the project management process involves setting goals and objectives, developing a detailed project plan (that is a compilation of a number of smaller plans covering the above-mentioned knowledge areas), creating a work breakdown structure that is a clear and detailed visual representation of the scope of work, etc.
Second, monitoring and control are integral parts of the project management process. Regular monitoring of a project state makes it possible to detect issues in the workflow, and control is about taking corrective measures to improve things.
Third, project resource management contributes to proper work distribution and more efficient utilization of available resources.
Finally, project schedule and time management provide project team members with a framework they can rely on when it comes to tasks and project timelines.
Relying on such structuredness of project work allows all its participants (a project manager, the team, and stakeholders) to increase its efficiency and keep it on track.
Increased employee productivity
Project resource management, being a part of project management, ensures employee efficiency in the following ways:
- Efficient resource allocation: assigning people to tasks that fully correspond to their competencies;
- Taking care of employees’ workload so that they work at their full capacity but aren’t overloaded at the same time;
- Managing employees’ skills and facilitating their professional development;
- Promoting collaboration within a project team and creating a favorable working environment.
Proper project management can increase a company’s profitability.
- Scope management ensures that changing requirements won’t lead to scope creep, cost overrun, or project delay.
- Productive employees are able to deliver the required scope of work on time and achieve high-quality project outcomes.
- Wise project resource management contributes to maximizing the efficient utilization of available resources and eliminates the need for last-minute hiring.
- Proper procurement management ensures that the cost of material resources required for project completion will be most reasonable and there will be no overpayment.
- Monitoring and control of project costs reduce the probability of cost overrun.
- Risk management allows the project team to be prepared for unfavorable events, which minimizes unbudgeted expenses.
So, when most of the reasons for exceeding the budget are eliminated, employees are productive and complete their work on time, and an organization’s profitability has a high chance to go up.
Increasing customer satisfaction
There are two factors that contribute to increasing customer satisfaction. The first is project quality management which aims to deliver the product/service that meets customer needs to the full. If the project team uses Agile methodology, customers’ feedback becomes the basis for further work on a product, which also increases their contentment. Secondly, proper project management aims to complete the work without delays and cost overruns, which makes clients happier with the project outcomes.
How does project management software contribute to business success?
The right project management software can simplify achieving all these business benefits. Let’s consider its contribution through the example of Epicflow, the software solution designed for the efficient management of multiple projects and their shared resources.
- It sets priorities between projects and tasks so that the team members focus on the most important work for a moment.
- It forecasts bottlenecks before they cause serious problems to the workflow.
- It ensures that the task will be completed with the right employee.
- It prevents team members from improper workload, which is a prerequisite for high productivity levels.
- It helps keep track of all project health indicators – remaining buffer time, budget, and resource performance.
- It assists in making reasonable decisions under conditions of uncertainty.
Thus, Epicflow’s project and resource management functionality contributes to the successful delivery of all projects in the portfolio, which in turn increases customer satisfaction, and ensures a company’s profitability and business growth.
The project management process involves putting comprehensive efforts into delivering certain value (products or services) on time, within budget, and of desired quality. Organizations can benefit from project management in the following ways:
- it streamlines work on projects and makes it more organized and structured;
- it enhances employee productivity;
- it increases a company’s profitability;
- it contributes to a higher level of customer satisfaction.