By Veronica Thraen / September 11, 2017
As an organizational leader, do you find yourself spending an enormous amount of time in meetings talking about projects, chasing down team members for status or developing project reports or presentations?
Spending so much time on project-related detail rather than focusing your efforts where it’s needed most—strategy, roadmap, building internal/external customer relationships, etc.—increases risk and cost.
Studies have shown that projects are 2.5 times more successful when proven project management practices are used. It provides tangible and intangible value to an organization, including reducing risk and cost.  Here’s how:
Oversee Traffic: Projects & Dependencies
Most likely, you have more than one project being worked on concurrently within your team. But what about other teams or departments that may be dependent on what you are working on (or vice versa)? Having someone oversee all projects within the organization will help provide insight into overall performance and reduce the risk of schedule or cost overruns.
Understanding dependencies and managing change and priority shifts are all benefits of effective project management. The ability to analyze and deliver the technical, budget and schedule impact in order to make the right decisions is key.
Manage Roadblocks: Who’s Doing What?
It’s difficult to manage where time is spent when there is no visibility into who’s doing what. You may have a team member spending too much time on support issues when they should be working on a higher priority project. Or maybe someone has too many projects on their plate…or not enough.
Project managers track tasks, effort and resource assignments across all projects and will even adjust schedules if team members are only available to work on projects for a certain percentage of time. Tools like Microsoft Project or other project management software will help present the information necessary to appropriately plan current and future initiatives.
Ensure Visibility: Keeping Everyone in the Loop
Much of a project manager’s time is spent communicating—whether they are providing weekly status reports, facilitating meetings or escalating issues and risks to stakeholders. They are responsible for the success of the project from initiation to completion so staying on top of all the details is critical.
When a project manager is appropriately communicating throughout the project lifecycle, the team has the information they need to successfully deliver the project on time—i.e. goals/objectives, scope, timeline expectations, etc. Stakeholders and leadership know when projects will be completed, they are up-to-date on recent accomplishments and are notified if the project is at risk for delay.
There are many benefits of incorporating project management best-practices into your organization, including lower project failure rate, better allocation of resources and faster response to customer requests. The ability for teams to be proactive rather than reactive will not only reduce risk and cost, it will allow you to focus on what’s most important—team development and helping business units achieve their goals.
 - PMI: The High Cost of Low Performance | Pulse of the Profession 2016 - http://www.pmi.org/-/media/pmi/documents/public/pdf/learning/thought-leadership/pulse/pulse-of-the-profession-2016.pdf
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