What is the value of the project management function in a business organization?
The value of project management should never be underestimated with the plethora of benefits it could provide to an organization. Some of the benefits that project management may include are delivering results consistently and accurately, reducing costs of a project, increasing a process’s efficiency, improving satisfaction among stakeholders to include the customer, and even possibly create a competitive advantage. Businesses are constantly busy and attempting to make the best decision all the time which is where project management comes in. A project manager is an experienced and knowledgeable individual that an organization can put trust in to accomplish its goal. The function of project management is important to realize the strategic goals of the organization and is a process that takes control of the situation. From the beginning to the end the goal, product, etcetera is carefully calculated and evaluated to ensure the business sees a positive result while remaining cost effective and free of harmful risks to the company. Overall, this function is an essential aspect of business and something that leadership can put trust in to get the job done (Bridges, 2022).
What are the key factors that make a difference in managing projects successfully to meet key deliverables on time and on budget?
Managing a project successfully to include meeting the key deliverables on time and staying on budget is what every organization wants, but unfortunately doesn’t always happen. There is generally a large number of projects that will run over budget/time as the number on website sources differ however, it stays quite high regardless with most sources stating close to or over 50 percent. Therefore, it is important for certain things to be taken into consideration or completed during a project. Some of these key factors include knowledgeable project managers with adequate skills, clear and understood goals, competent and experienced project teams, and also top management support. These factors allow an overall knowledge skill base of participants that understand the goals of an organization with leadership backing to accomplish the goal at hand (Pandey, 2022).
What project management practices used by high-performing companies could be replicated by others?
The Project Management Institute defined a high-performing organization as having over 80 percent success rates in projects that they partake in, with 75 percent of those bringing in over $250 million in revenue. This basis was built off of the idea that an organization with a project management culture is more mature and leads to the higher rates. An organization that does not fully understand the process can fall behind in the competitive atmosphere of business today, so it is crucial that they realize the importance of project management. A few of the factors noted in the PMI’s study included: alignment of projects to strategic goals, effective program/portfolio management, understanding of the value of a project, and engaged sponsors.
To begin aligning the projects with the strategic goals is essential as this is the sure way to create a project to benefit the organization and ensure it is useful. Secondly, as we touched on in the last module with project, portfolio, and program levels, it is absolutely important to be effective at each level or the entire process can be hurt. Again, value is crucial because this helps buy-in from stakeholders, and finally, engaged sponsors are something that may prove more difficult but are still essential. All of these practices are things that are possible for an organization to do and will be helpful if replicated (Rajput, 2018).
Provide a specific example from your own experience or from business news reports in which a project has gone over budget and deadline and identify a few project management “best practices” that may have prevented the project failure.
For this final part, I picked an example of a project that happen in the Air Force, although it doesn’t relate to my job. A number of years ago, the United States Air Force commissioned a corporation to develop an Oracle-based system to manage logistical functions that was for $628 Million. The project ended up going to one billion dollars and was finally canceled. This project was a catastrophic failure and waste of money. It was said that they attempted to do too much too fast resulting in failure. A few best practices that may have helped with this include creating a project plan, planning for setbacks and how to take corrective action, and avoiding unrealistic milestones. One of the statements from the Air Force director of transformation was they wanted to, “change all the processes, tools, and languages of all 250,000 people at once.” To begin the project plan should have showed how the change would take place then allowing for a better rollout to not rush the process. Secondly, if they planned for setbacks, they may have been able to fix issues instead of canceling the project. Thirdly, I would consider that a very unrealistic milestone. That is a lot of change happening quickly which caused many issues (Heath, 2015).