As companies seek to create and implement solutions that provide consistent, complete, and cost effective outcomes, the role of the Project Manager has found a place in almost every industry imaginable. Successful companies and organizations across industries rely on these experts to take ownership of projects, using a unique set of skills to plot the path of a project and navigate it to completion.
What exactly is a “project?” The Project Management Institute defines a project as a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.”
This is a definition that, at first glance, seems to indicate a simple and straightforward process from beginning to end. However, bringing a project to successful completion within the desired timeframe, within budget, and with all components fully understood and documented can be a complex task utilizing many resources. Project Managers are highly skilled, practiced professionals, capable of keeping all stakeholders contributing to the project on task and within budget, while identifying challenges and assessing risk factors within the project. A Project Manager’s role is to also consider the scope of the project and possible effects on the company as a whole. Project Managers are responsible for establishing the roles of various resources involved and preventing omissions of needed tasks, as well as repetition of work.
Additionally, Project Managers create and implement metrics which can be used to measure the success of the project throughout the lifecycle and beyond. Clear, defined goals and milestones keep the project on course and those who are contributing accountable.
The recent recession underlined the importance of effective project management. As budgets tightened and resources became more limited, effective project management practices assured those resources were producing maximum return, while project management oversight provided protection against risk of project failures.
The value of Project Managers goes beyond maintaining the desired timeline and budget of a project. Effective Project Managers can maintain morale and lead teams through project setbacks, assuring that small sticking points don’t grow into costly, time consuming roadblocks. They consider the personalities and the varying priorities of the individuals and teams contributing to the project, and leverage that knowledge to keep the project on track to completion. Effective project management builds trust and motivates those working on the project to buy in and contribute their best. Project managers understand the culture of the business as a whole as well as the different stakeholders involved in the project. They communicate effectively to those stakeholders and to external contacts as needed.
By investing in skilled Project Managers and project management practices, companies can lower the risk of project failures, reduce spending, and deliver consistent business results.
To learn more about how to be become a successful project manager please visit Maryville University’s Online MBA program.