Project management is a comprehensive process where companies invest in managers, talent, tools, and relevant methods and processes to support a project from inception to successful completion. In the competitive modern business world, not having a project management strategy or not investing in project management in the first place leaves a company vulnerable on almost every front.
Without project management, a business cannot coordinate internally or nurture efficient cross-department collaboration, and customer-facing teams struggle to deliver stellar CX that customers expect. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Successful project management brings numerous short, mid, and long-term benefits to modern businesses.
Let’s take a look at what these are and go over project management best practices you can start implementing today to develop and retain your competitive advantage.
- Use the right tools to save time and money
- Make product development and rollout more efficient
- Improve cross-department collaboration
- Create meaningful insights from project data
- Continuous oversight and quality management
1. Use the right tools to save time and money
Modern businesses rely on technology to reduce financial waste, automate processes from the menial to the crucial, and empower their employees to improve performance while minimising the risk of human error. Investing in the right tech across every department is crucial for operational efficiency.
It is essential to empower your project manager and their teams with the right software and tools.
Project management tools come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s important to let your project manager find the best tool for your company’s long-term needs. Start with project management platforms that were tailor-made for your industry, with important features including:
- Task management
- Reporting and project analytics
- Real-time collaboration
- Internal communication features
- Project cost management and budget tracking
- Comprehensive project dashboards
- Document and file storage and sharing
- Numerous integrations
Employees should know best what kind of features they would need to improve their work efficiency.
2. Make product development and rollout more efficient
Companies not only need to retain high production quality and comply with quality assurance standards in their industry, but also to innovate to stay relevant in their sector. In a highly competitive market, product innovation is what keeps a business on the map and drives new customers to their doorstep while opening up-sell and cross-sell opportunities for long-term customers.
When it comes to innovating and developing new products and solutions, project management is an inextricable part of the process.
You can integrate your product management tools with your project management solution to create a centralised development hub for all your teams, and manage access both vertically and horizontally across your organisation.
Project managers work closely with research and development teams, as well as product leads and operations managers to ensure incremental daily progress, maintain QA efficiency, and minimise or stay within project timelines and budget.
3. Improve cross-department collaboration
One of the biggest benefits of project management, whether you’re bringing new solutions to life or trying to market a new product in an omnichannel capacity, is that it brings numerous departments together.
When marketing a product, for example, effective project management will bring different employees and teams in your marketing department to work synergistically, while also bringing in sales, support, and the higher ups to maximise the power and potential of every new product release.
After all, these other departments are crucial for the long-term success of your products, and need to work with your marketers - there is no room for department silos in growth-oriented businesses. Effective project management will break down department silos and allow everyone to work together towards a common goal.
4. Create meaningful insights from project data
Every project, no matter how big or small, and no matter how many departments it involves, will produce vast amounts of data. The experienced project manager will leverage their data analysts and business intelligence experts to create comprehensive reports and derive meaningful insights from every project.
If the project entails developing new software, for example, one of the benefits of agile development would be the ability to collect data automatically throughout the project. Product development, on the other hand, uses the reporting feature of your project management platform to generate actionable insights.
You can then combine these insights with your own project KPIs and goals, as well as the data you collect by monitoring all the teams and their work from project inception to completion.
5. Continuous oversight and quality management
If you want to become a standout project manager or if you are a business leader who is looking to hire a project management rockstar, you need to keep one thing in mind - good project managers are particularly good at quality management. What does that mean exactly?
Quality management in this context means that PMs can maintain the same level of quality throughout the process. From the ideation stage to successful completion and rollout, good project managers use continuous oversight, ongoing process optimisation, and expert guidance to ensure all teams and project management tools perform as intended.
Quality management extends beyond efficiency and productivity. Experienced managers focus on staying within project parameters (budget and timeline) without letting the motivation, zeal, and mental health of their employees suffer. This is how good project managers build thriving teams that deliver stellar results with every new project.
A few words on resource management
In closing, let’s talk briefly about resource management, specifically how to manage projects and resources the agile way and how to stay on track throughout the project. Firstly, what are considered project resources?
Project resources include, but may not be limited to:
- Employees and teams
- Time and timeframes
- Overall budget and task-specific budgets
- Managers and team leads
- Skills and unique employee talents
- Work schedules and workloads
- The tools you use and their capabilities
Now, in order to manage these resources effectively, project managers need to spend a lot of time in the project setup phase. Success lies in meticulous planning and organisation, as well as planning for contingencies and unforeseen circumstances.
The best way to do this is to use the aforementioned tools and platforms throughout. This will allow you to monitor your resources in real-time and adjust on the fly, which is the kind of agility you need to keep the project running smoothly.
Combined with manual oversight and guidance, all of this will prove invaluable for keeping the project within its predefined parameters.
Project management is essential for businesses of all sizes, and in all industries and sectors. Regardless of the size of your business and the scale and scope of your projects, your PM strategy will involve a variety of teams, tools, and talent that all work in unison to deliver the best possible CX, cut project cost and duration, and take your company forward as a whole.
Now that you understand the benefits of project management and the best practices that will save you time and money, start investing in project management to achieve your goals in 2022 and beyond.
About the author:
Nikola Sekulic is a seasoned brand developer, writer, and storyteller. Over the last decade, he’s worked on various marketing, branding, and copywriting projects – crafting plans and strategies, writing creative online and offline content, and making ideas happen.
When he is not working for clients around the world, he is exploring new topics and developing fresh ideas to turn into engaging stories for the online community.