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A GOAL WITHOUT A SIMPLE PLAN IS JUST A WISH
WHAT IS IT?
Put simply, project management is a structured approach to helping an organisation achieve its goals, manage change and realise it benefits effectively
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
The idea that project management is needless overhead is surprisingly common. This idea is most prominent in small organizations and organizations that are new to project management. Stakeholders who are accustomed to cowboy approaches to project management are often resistant to a comprehensive methodology. Project management is important for several reasons:
1. Organizing Chaos
Projects are naturally chaotic. The primary business function of project management is organizing & planning projects to tame this chaos. It's hard to think of any complex business endeavor that was ever achieved without organization & planning. Project management is the organization, planning and control of projects.
2. Managing Risk
Any good project has plenty of risk. After all, the nature of business is taking risks. Risk is a fundamental part of business strategy. However, risk needs to be managed. Risk is that chance of a negative event or loss. Uncontrolled risk taking ends in asset destruction and compliance issues. Project management identifies, manages and controls risk.
3. Managing Quality
Quality is the value of what you produce. There's not much sense producing something that has no value. Leaving quality to chance is analogous to producing something of random value.
Project management identifies, manages and controls quality.
4. Managing Integration
Projects don't happen in a vacuum. They need to be integrated with business processes, systems and organizations. You can't build a sales system that doesn't integrate with your sales process and sales organization. It wouldn't add much value. Integration is often key to project value. Project management identifies and manages integration.
5. Managing Change
Projects always happen in an environment in which nothing is constant except change. Projects are always a moving target. Managing change is a complex and daunting task. It's not optional. Unless you can put your business universe on pause, change happens whether you manage it or not. Project management manages change.
6. Retaining and Using Knowledge
Projects generate knowledge . Knowledge represents a significant asset for most businesses. Left un-managed, knowledge tends to quickly fade. Project management ensures that project knowledge is captured and managed.
7. Learning from Failure
Projects fail. When they do, it's important to learn from the process. Learning from failure is key to business innovation and quality improvement. Project management ensures that lessons are learned from project success and failure.
Everyone gets very precious and emotional on what methodology you should use to get results. Everyone forgets there are no silver bullets to managing complex change in unknown markets and environments. Also, every organisation is at different levels of maturity and choosing something fit for purpose that makes sense culturally is critical to success. In my experience, leveraging a methodology that delivers results in short time boxed windows iteratively over time with a formal governance structure overlayed on top of it works best.
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