Implementing tools and software rollouts to improve business and IT processes is a risky move, both financially and organizationally. Such implementations, when not considered with diligence and meticulous care, frequently end up providing the opposite of what management initially expects.
Case in point is the recent IT implementation problem that caused Philippine fast food chain juggernaut Jollibee, McDonalds’ top competitor and with thriving branches in the USA and other countries, to halt operations in 72 stores in Metro Manila. This botched IT upgrade, a supposed 0.5-billion peso (around $11.37 million) project, resulted to lost sales of 6% for just the seven days of August, which, in Jollibee’s 2013 revenue terms, is equal to roughly 92 million pesos.
When managing a project, it is normally expected that all processes and activities essential to the completion of a project are completed on time and within budget. It is, more often than not, the “on time” and “on budget” parts that identify success in project management.
The Project Management Institute (PMI) defines project management as “the application of knowledge, skills and techniques to execute projects effectively and efficiently.” To ensure this success and aptly consider yourself an effective project manager, should you manage and execute every little detail of the project management plan yourself?
People learn three ways – visual, auditory and kinesthetic. But by far, according to a Forbes article, “the most important part of our brains taking in new stimuli is visual.” Here’s one example that clearly illustrates this point: Between an infographic and a large block of text, the former is far easier to digest. This is also one of the reasons behind the use of visual tools in project management software, e.g., the project management Gantt chart.
As an enterprise expands in scope, workload increases. Automation of repetitive work becomes mandatory, as a consequence. Because of the scalability and cost-effectiveness of cloud-based software solutions, among other things, to improve the efficacy of a company’s workflow, cloud implementation is one of the first considered options.
Prepping for a boxing match is no walk in the park. A lot is dependent on the game plan. And if the plan isn’t carefully thought out, barring a lucky punch come show time, a defeat isn’t too far behind.
Project management success is largely dependent on the individual and collective contributions of the people comprising a company. If staff workload is not properly managed and allocated, the dominoes start falling – some team members juggle their time between projects, all the while trying to keep a work-life balance, others don’t meet deadlines because they’re not equipped with the right set of skills or competencies to get the job done, changing priorities up workforce frustration a notch further, and the list goes on and on.
It’s no secret that project management benefits go beyond just the client. They extend to the project manager, the team, the company, its other clients, even third-party vendor partners. Efficiency, customer satisfaction, team development, better flexibility, increased competitive edge, more opportunities to expand the company’s services, client confidence, lessons learned – there’s no denying that the project management benefits to be gained are many.
You may insist that it’s not a requisite, but it pays to have a trusted tool that reaps the benefits of project management software to facilitate project planning and analysis.
There are no silver bullets to project management success, but there are basic principles to keep in mind when planning and executing a project – from laying the groundwork to estimating the project, from developing the plan to tracking its progress. One such principle focuses on resource management solutions and falls within the project estimation phase.
By resource, we generally mean people, time and budget. But for this particular article, we will focus our efforts on the people piece of the overall pie.
In some businesses, especially in startups, employees may have to do other jobs here and there, aside from their basic responsibilities. One of the most critical of these “other jobs” is project management.
Even as more companies now prefer certified project management professionals, the reality is that getting a PMP certification can be quite an expensive commitment to make. Some professionals handed with additional project management responsibilities have to make do with mastering a simpler project management guide instead.
If you don’t know what’s going on in your department or your company right now, you are trying to manage a ‘blind system’. Even process automation doesn’t give you enough insight into daily company activity in this case. The holistic approach is a combination of tools you can put together around your automated processes to gain visibility. Here is what you can do: