A project is a temporary effort to achieve an end, whether that is a product, service or result. Projects have defined parameters; a beginning and an end. They differ in that respect from day to day business operations.
Project managers (PMs) are individuals trained to manage all aspects of a project, including budget, deadlines, milestones, project scope, client satisfaction and project communications. They are responsible for the overall success of the project and its results.
Some mistakenly believe that a team leader or middle manager can also step in to serve as a project manager. They may try to cut costs by adding the project management responsibilities onto someone who already has a full load. In actuality, the project may wind up costing more due to lack of expertise, missed deadlines, frustrated team members and clients, and ultimate project failure.
We’ve listed five critical reasons here why you should hire a professional and dedicated project manager for your projects.
A project manager serves as the captain, guiding the team and providing direction on the project vision, goals and progress. The PM removes roadblocks, coaches, motivates and inspires the team to succeed.
The PM also is the point of contact with the client or product owner. The PM enforces guidelines and processes, keeping the project team on track for success.
2. Clear Focus and Objectives
Each member of a project team has his/her own responsibilities. It’s difficult for them to see the broader view of the overall project because they are honed in on their piece of the pie. The sole purpose of the PM is to define and track the tasks assigned to the team to get the project completed on time and within budget and scope.
Breaking down a project into manageable tasks and monitoring the completion of those tasks are what good PMs do best. This enables the team members to concentrate on completing small chunks of work assigned to them, then moving on to the next. The PM is the one overseeing ALL of these tasks and making sure they are completed as planned.
3. Project Planning
An experienced and trained PM knows how to properly define tasks to meet deadlines. They should be involved in the initial stages of project definition so that they can provide strategic input into budget, timelines and milestones. Without their expert advice, timelines can be overambitious and budgets underestimated.
Too often, too much urgency is placed on project completion, without sufficiently considering the steps necessary to reach the goal. This will ultimately lead to a failure to achieve success and affect the quality of the project outcome.
A good project manager can create a reasonable plan and schedule for the project, with achievable deadlines and reasonable expectations.
4. Risk Management
Risks are sometimes known at the beginning of the project, but some may arise as the project unexpectedly progresses. Managing and mitigating those risks are the responsibility of the PM.
There needs to be a definitive process for identifying, managing and mitigating potential risks so they don’t grow into unmanageable issues. A good PM can identify most potential risks at the beginning of the project. PMs will analyze and quantify potential risks to the success of the project, and have a contingency plan to mitigate or resolve them if they occur. However, there are always unplanned issues that will occur during the project. The PM knows how to adapt and change direction with minimal disruption to the project plan.
Project managers will oversee, monitor and control the progress of the project and provide status and reports accordingly. Business managers and stakeholders are kept up to date on the project and any anomalies that occur. Early intervention of any deviations can help get it back on track quickly and avoid having the project go off the rails entirely.
Project managers will produce regular reports that portray the schedule, risks, assumptions, issues and dependencies. This is invaluable documentation for presenting to stakeholders and product owners for oversight and to encourage trust in the project’s success.
Don’t Make the Mistake of Not Having a Dedicated Project Manager
There are more advantages to hiring a dedicated project manager to ensure the successful outcome of your project. From defining the project to documenting lessons learned, the project manager is involved in every step to ensure its success.
Without a dedicated project manager, your team and clients are vulnerable to unclear objectives, lack of resources and oversight, insufficient or unrealistic planning, poorly defined deliverables, exceeding budgets and unmet deadlines.
E3 Consulting has over 30 years of experience in project management, helping businesses in the industries of Manufacturing, Distribution and Professional Services rely on us to manage their projects.
Right now, the best move you can make to bring your project to successful completion is to call E3 Consulting at (732) 735-6429.