There is no question that project management processes provides value to an organization. Even if your organization utilizes “light” methodologies, there is still value in implementing a common set of “light” project management processes that everyone can use on similar projects.
The majority of organizations have a spotty reputation for delivering projects within expectations. Characteristics of these organizations include:
- Consistently completing projects late, over budget, or not meeting agreed upon requirements
- Weak standard processes and techniques used inconsistently by project managers
- Project management is usually applied in a reactive manner and not seen as providing value
- The time required to manage projects proactively is not built into the schedule
- Projects are ‘successful’ in spite of a lack of planning and project management, through heavy stress and overtime work by “heroes”
Good project management is the way to overcome these shortcomings. Having good project management skills does not mean you have no problems. It does not mean that risks go away. It does not mean that there are no surprises. The value of good project management is that you have standard processes in place to deal with all of these events.
Of course, there is also a cost to implementing project management. This cost is at both the organizational level and at the project level. Some of the organizational costs, such as building a Project Management Office, are long-term. The costs at the project level are more short-term and include the one-time costs associated with having to learn new project management techniques and templates.
The general value proposition for project management goes something like this.
Implementing a common set of project management processes takes effort and resources. However, the value of project management to the organization is much greater, and includes:
- Better expectation-setting though up-front estimating, planning and project definition
- Faster execution through the reuse of common processes and templates
- Fewer project problems encountered utilizing proactive project management processes
- Better organizational decision-making through more effective project communication
- Higher client satisfaction and less rework by building a higher quality product the first time