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The Value of Project Management

Project-Management

Project Management vs. No Project Management

F

or a project manager, the only thing worse than having a project fail is trying to step into a project midstream when there was no project management to begin with. When there is more than one technician or department resource involved in a project, a lack of project management creates an environment that’s susceptible to problems and vulnerable to failure.

So what can happen? Without proper management, there are three major pitfalls that can occur:

    1. dreamstime_167190Communication drops: Mediating with the client isn’t the tech’s job, nor should it be; they have enough to worry about. Without consistent communication between the tech and the client, details get lost, risks go unnoticed, and issues do not get resolved quickly. A project manager ensures that things stay on-point to meet the project’s deadline.

 

    1. Steps are missed/duplicated: It’s the tech’s job to focus on the task at hand to ensure it’s completed correctly, but it’s not their job to oversee multiple departments. Without that oversight, activities you thought were completed are still being worked on, or are being redone for no reason.

 

  1. Budgets are not being watched: This is a huge issue. Throughout the project, you need to be able to determine how much money is being consumed and determine whether your spending is matching the estimate. It’s imperative that someone can coordinate with the team to figure how the remaining work will fit the original budget, or discuss with the client the risk of exceeding the allocated budget.

At the end of the day, these pitfalls make for a very frustrated client. That’s why a project manager is so vital to the success of any project.

As a whole, project management is a win-win for the client and the service provider. Projects are organized and tracked from the initial client meeting to the moment the client signs off on the final product. Vital components of the project management process include:

  1. • Project planning
  2. • Statement of Work (SOW)
  3. • Budgeting
  4. • Hardware and software tracking
  5. • Task and resources management
  6. • Scheduling weekly meetings (internal and client)

The project manager is responsible for understanding every detail of a project, and coordinating between the client and the technicians to see the project through. They work with all necessary department managers to organize the necessary resources and schedule their deployment. But solid project management is more than just scheduling tasks and making project plans.

Toughness and Persistence

AtoZSuccessful project managers have an A to Z mentality and a good business sense, along with being able to work with a multitude of people (and their personalities), and to multitask. A project manager’s personality is a unique one, and is often a perfect blend of toughness and persistence. If a project fails, we fail, and we take that very personally.

If the job doesn’t get done, it’s the project manager’s fault for dropping the ball, not the tech’s fault that didn’t do the job properly. If the deadline isn’t met, it’s the project manager’s fault for not knowing the plan or the timeline inside and out. If it’s over-budget, it’s the project manager’s fault for not addressing any over-costs that were set in the SOW. When it comes to project management, accountability is huge.

For that reason, the most important aspect of any successful project manager is having a hands-on approach. No matter how you approach each project, and no matter what skills or steps you employ, nothing is more valuable to a successful project than the sweat and the teamwork you put in when you are personally involved throughout the project.

Donna Hutz

Donna Hutz

IT Project Manager with DRS LLC