Project Management: A Skill for Managing Resources Better
Here's a quick quiz – Are projects in your organization getting done on time? Within budget? Are the customers of these projects satisfied? Are your employees enthusiastic about their involvement in projects? Do you even know how many projects are currently underway within your organization? Are you successfully implementing your strategic goals? Dealing with change? If you answered "no" to any of these questions, then read on.
According to A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, published by the Project Management Institute in
Newtown Square, Pa. a project is "a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service." Projects can range from building new multi-million dollar facilities to developing or improving a new product or service.
"Projects" are becoming more common in the world of business because of the pace of today's hyper-competitive economic environment. In Fast Company magazine, Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence, observed "In the New Economy, all work is project work.", and Fortune Magazine recently labeled project management as the number one profession for the 21st century.
All business organizations are being impacted by the challenges of the new economy, such as higher quality at lower cost, tighter schedules, improved management of resources, and more. Add the need for rapid change and suddenly, what was once routine task-oriented work becomes non-routine "project" work.
I'm willing to wager that if you take a look around your organization, you'll find that many of your current activities are actually projects in disguise. If this is the case, how successful are you at managing the resources being committed to these projects?
Just because you're good at managing daily operational issues doesn't guarantee your success managing projects. A different set of skills and tools are necessary to effectively manage the resources involved in carrying out successful projects. To insure that these invaluable resources are well managed, you need to utilize the discipline known as "Project Management". The future success of your organization could depend on it.
Project Management provides a method by which groups of employees working together as teams can create the right product or service at the right time for the customer, within established resource limits. A typical project management process contains the following four stages: (1) Initiate, (2) Plan, (3) Execute/Control, and (4) Close Out. By understanding and applying these stages and the tools (charters, milestone schedules, work breakdown structures, Gantt charts, and critical path scheduling) associated with them, your organization will learn to manage projects more effectively, efficiently, and successfully.
Baseball great Yogi Berra once warned, "If you don't know where you're going, you just might end up somewhere else." Take advantage of the many strategic opportunities that today's economy can offer your organization by improving your ability to manage projects.
Bob Jewell is Founder/CEO of the Omega Leadership Group in West Chester , Ohio . He has over twenty-five years of practical, hands-on experience managing projects in a wide variety of business environments. His clients include Toyota, Federal Express, General Electric, Sherwin-Williams and Catholic Health Partners. Bob is a certified Project Management Professional by the Project Management Institute. These experiences, combined with his presentation skills and passion for excellence, creates a dynamic atmosphere for teaching others how to develop and implement the skills of project management.