Updated: Jul 11, 2022
To manage or not to manage – that is the question!
Tongue in cheek Hamlet quote aside, project management is to business what a compass is to the Captain of a ship.
Setting direction; keeping course; course correction; and assurance that you will arrive at your destination. However, much like yea days of yore where the stars and a sextant guided a ship, yet left it perilously at risk due to limited insight of impending weather, storms, reefs, or pirates - a business without project management principles at the helm runs the risk of being beached or hitting the shoals.
Project management, no matter how big or small the event, undertaking, to-do list, implementation, or initiative becomes successful, organized, grounded, and safe with a leader who understands how to marshal, manage, and keep the project on budget, on time, and on-scope!
"With the 2 pillars and 3 keys in place, success is a natural outcome, but what are the two pillars and three keys? The pillars are the guidewires or rails by which the project progresses day by day with the keys, the principles the project is governed by."
Pillar One: the right-skilled, experienced, industry-based project manager who will lead the team or be the team depending on the size of the project and guide it to a conclusion.
Pillar Two: the right tools/software designed, organized, and structured to capture everything that needs to be done, organized, and delivered to meet the scope and objectives of the project.
The three keys to success in any undertaking are business intelligence: risk management and oversight-compliance.
Business intelligence brings insight, wisdom, alertness, and awareness to the project for the stakeholders, operators, sponsors, customers, and vendors. Having business intelligence is vital, as without it a project can easily become a series of to-dos on a list or on a GANTT chart – static versus dynamic, and not moving forward with ease or fluidity control.
Risk Management needs no introduction! Without the knowledge of what can go wrong, how it can go wrong, where it can go wrong, and more importantly ‘when’ it can go wrong means the on-time, on-budget, and on-scope is a soap bubble waiting to burst.
"If I, as the writer, and project manager could choose just one thing that makes project management a gift to business it is Risk Management. Managing risk is the difference between success and failure – Period!"
Oversight and compliance are the secret sauce to not encountering moments of fear, cost overruns, and uncertainty. Progress is impeded and in so many cases stalled due to lack of oversight. Compliance with regulatory standards; compliance to budget; logistics; manufacturing; shipping; county or municipal rules; building regulations; health and safety and a host of other possibilities means that oversight or the lack thereof can bring a project to a grinding halt costing a fortune to the business as they try to adjust and repair the damage. (knowing and understanding the regulatory landscape)
In 2016, only 62% of projects met the original business goals set for the project with only 50% being completed within the set budget. In 2018, these numbers went up to 70% and 60%, respectively. What changed?? Setting up a PMO, taking project management seriously, and engaging the right resources at the inception of the project.
If setting up a PMO (Project Management Office) does not make business sense for you yet the need for project management for a short- or long-term project or event is there, hire a Fractional PMO.
Look to organizations that bring the two pillars and 3 keys to you but without the burden rate of an FTE or department. Fractional services make so much sense – you can have the best of skills and experience for as long as you need, for whatever purpose you need and to achieve the best outcome for your business.
"No matter what the word ‘project’ means to you; no matter what the word ‘management’ means to you, having the right ways and means to run a business project, event or undertaking means having project management guide the success."
Upon completion of a rather large implementation some years ago now, the CEO of my company and a mentor reminded me to never sit on my laurels. Good project management is always the key to success – and I quote
"Never forget, you are only as good as your last successful project!"
In today's vernacular-----NUFF SAID!
Dina Wiltshire is 4xi's Strategic Partnerships lead, and also our Project Management Office expert. She has helped organizations navigate complexity to success:
Jennifer Durning has a stellar background running a variety of complex projects from W Hotels, to JPMorgan Chase & Co, and most recently Aramark.
On-time, On-budget, and On-scope.
If you need support and navigation through your next big project, you can contact Dina at email@example.com or Jennifer at JenniferDurning@4iconsulting.com for an introductory conversation on how we can help.
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