The benefits of project management – when done well

Remember the often used swan metaphor? Swans glide gracefully by on our waterways, yet the onlooker is oblivious to the furious paddling under the surface that provides the momentum to propel them forward. As project managers, we are all too aware of the ‘furious paddling’ that propels us to successful project delivery, even with a sound methodology to guide us.

When a project is at the initiation stage, do we spare a thought for the consequence of not achieving any project benefits? We do not think that our project will unfold like the plot of some horror movie. Instead we focus on what action we will take to prevent failure.

Despite the challenges, we persevere. We refer to our standards and frameworks for guidance.  We share our knowledge and seek to learn lessons from our peers. To us the benefits of good project management seem obvious, but they can be difficult to define for someone unconvinced or new to the discipline. When asked “why do we need good project management?”, how would you respond?

The PMI’s white paper on The Value of Project Management, discusses why project management matters, and in a case study demonstrate how it has become an integral part of business. Their findings included:

  • Implementation of project management discipline enables organisations to obtain measurable results and change behaviours.
  • Adhering to project management methods and strategies reduced risks, cut costs and improved success rates
  • A review of the project outcomes showed that it delivered improved customer satisfaction by creating a more user-friendly process.
  • Good project management discipline stopped the organisation from spending money on projects that fail.
  • In conclusion, strong and disciplined project management practices will drive an organisation forward.

So, why should your organisation implement a framework and follow a discipline? In simple terms, when you achieve good results, when you are successful, you want to repeat that success. Reasonably, we assume that what worked for us in our last project might also work well in our next project. And we all want consistent results. Consistency in performance and behaviour fosters a shared understanding. It facilitates the identification of efficiencies in business activities. When we all know what we are doing, why we are doing it, how we are doing it, it becomes easier to deliver. This shared understanding is often the antecedent to project governance, reducing the risk of failing, reducing the cost of failed projects, thus making our organisations more competitive in their chosen markets. Almost like dominoes, the realisation of one benefit, offers the opportunity of realising the next.

Ultimately, we pass on those benefits to our customers. The benefits of project management – when done well – align to the project benefits as defined in the business case that in turn align with the goals of the organisation and deliver real value to the customer. They are a measurable return on investment for the organisation.

So, if you want to learn more about the benefits of good project management let Aspira, whose mission is “to take the chaos out of project management”, help you on your path to enlightenment.  Contact us here.

Author:  Niamh Lynagh, Project Manager, Aspira.

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