Organisations have adopted project management experience with a clear mission: they’re convinced that project experts can add value, advance strategies, and increase their competitive advantage. Mark Langley, president and CEO of the Project Management Institute (PMI), comes to this conclusion in his recent report on PM statistics, implying that competent project managers are worth their weight in gold.
Let’s take a closer look at the findings of this survey. PMI indicates that companies are expressing a growing need for project leadership, as organisations are wasting an average of $97 million for every $1 billion invested, due to poor project performance. CEOs are beginning to approach project managers as strategic partners, expecting the latter to develop competence in digital advancements, customer expectations, disruptive organisations, and changing workforces. But what exactly can PMs do to help you improve business performance and what is their trump card? Though there are many factors at play in project management for business, here’s how project experts can stimulate business growth.
Change the status quo of multi-project reality
According to Wellingtone’s 2016 project management survey conducted in the UK, almost 40 per cent of business experts admit that running too many projects simultaneously is their greatest challenge. Multi-project environments often entail thousands of tasks, which are impossible to delegate without a clear and healthy mind. While you can supervise a single project without losing oversight, you cannot do so while managing several teams because in a multi-project environment circumstances will spread beyond your control. Luckily, this year PM experts can avert the risk of project delays caused by multi-project overhead. Dutch scientists have come up with a new method, implemented in the Epicflow software, that’s immune to business volatility and has no analogue on the market.
Prevent your workforce from overcommitting
A work overdose may turn out to be a crippling burden for employees and hamper their ability to complete existing projects. If the strain is taking its toll, it’s a project manager who calculates effort-based workloads to reduce pressure. And though this goal wasn’t reachable ten years ago, it’s child’s play in 2017. You’ll be surprised what project managers can do when armed with up-to-date planning technology – without superhuman effort, they can find the optimal balance across workloads and ensure that nobody overcommits. By approaching your business from the perspective of resource availability and capacity, it’s possible to raise your company to a new level of project maturity with less stress and more output. With an optimal number of worker hours your team can double your profit and improve the delivery cycle of your business. But how can you support the growth of your business? How can you stay ahead of your competitors?
Clear bottlenecks in the production line
There’s project information that PMs can share with you to align PM processes with your business strategy. For example, they may provide you with estimates of your projects’ progress in real time – giving full access to the list of priorities, workloads of your employees, and future bottlenecks in one glance. They can also collect all tasks under one roof and zoom in to look at project details. They'll be able to find out what the most urgent task is on the work floor so they can take direct action and monitor who’s working on it at the moment. Spotting bottlenecks before they occur, PMs will be able to allocate your risk-response team to the bugs in your business with the press of a button.
Predict feasibility of future projects
Although the concept of continuous improvement based on previous flaws may not sound new to you, the ability to draw a projection about undertaking more projects is a state-of-the-art achievement in the domain of project management. A well-informed project or portfolio manager will be out in front helping you strengthen your business strategy by calculating feasibility and considering all the pros and cons of embarking on new projects. Thanks to unique project planning paradigms, you can deliver on time and on budget, taking on more projects than you expected. It’s high time to equip yourself with a proper adaptable solution to get to the new levels of identifying, executing, and sustaining definite assets.
Make your employees laser-focused
Project management has also gone far enough to provide business experts with early access to valuable project information, and you can put this information to good use by comparing where you currently stand to where you should be. Nowadays, planning systems with automated rescheduling of tasks allow project experts to save time on capacity problems. Continuously monitoring progress, project managers can reduce the number of uncertainties and learn about weak places to strengthen them in the future. But a true outcome of project leadership that immediately translates into a business asset is knowledge of your priorities.
Cutting down on intuitive prioritisation frees space for local knowledge by saving your employees’ reserve of decisions. Every person has a special “ego reserve” that defines our self-discipline, and that gets depleted when there are too many decisions to make. Steve Jobs was known for wearing exactly the same clothes every day because he wanted to cut down on the decisions he made in the morning to protect his reserve and get ready for the business day ahead. By providing your employees with a list of priorities, project managers shield their inner “reserves” from going empty. Thus, employees are encouraged to become even more autonomous, pro-active, and self-disciplined. This information is a spotlight for your employees, shining the light so everybody focuses on the right thing.
PM practitioners are touted as business virtuosi, capable of orchestrating projects that deliver the expected benefits and win you a competitive advantage. But the downside is that over 90 per cent of business experts are dissatisfied with their planning tools and the accuracy of their data. An important part of successful orchestration, though, is using a piece of intelligent project management software. With the help of software, you’ll be able to see a real-time overview of all projects in your portfolio sorted by priority, shift focus from the macro to the micro level, and achieve complete visibility over team performance.
Improved business performance isn’t a low-hanging fruit, but project managers can be instrumental in finding ways to pick it.
Iryna Viter, research writer, Epicflow
Image Credit: Epicflow