If you decide to drive to Los Angeles from Chicago, The GPS will barely highlight the California portions of the map while on the driveway. Rather, it sequentially and methodically plots each ideal road to take in order to reach the destination. Well, project management follows the same logic. Oliver Terry (national program manager at Insightus) says that to meet the desired outcome, a series of crucial tasks have to be done in a systematic process.
However, this form of thinking is usually elusive when it comes to project management. If you ask someone to map out the numerous key steps needed to attain specific results, they will simply say it’s overkill. Yet, the budget or money at stake and disruption to the business seem secondary to the tedious task of planning the process in advance. If you cannot start driving without a map, it doesn’t make sense to embark on a project without a plan.
Failing to plan is setting yourself up for failure, and that is no exception when it comes to business projects. However, even if you have a solid plan, the success of the project will equally depend on the manager. It is therefore crucial for a company to identify those key individuals that have what it takes to lead projects. Here are some key qualities of an ideal project manager.
Know the End Game
It’s essential to determine what a successful project is in advance. Most successful business projects have a clear vision from the onset. Projects that are managed poorly end up suffering from duplicate resource allocation and even cost overruns. This can be quite detrimental to a company as it only sucks away future money that could be invested back into the business.
On Time and Budget
There should be nothing more fundamental in the project manager’s mind other than completing the project on time and on the allocated budget. More often than not, managers view their projects in a vacuum, but these tasks are rarely within an organisation. Therefore, failing to do things on time and within the budget, bracket not only leads to failure of the project but puts other reliant projects at a risk of failing as well.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t expect your project to be completed overnight. Setting realistic targets for the project as well as for the approving committee is essential for managing expectations. A business project cannot be done for free, and it can’t be completed in a day. Realistic timetables and goals are vital to the overall perception of the project and need to be continually communicated. It’s paramount to manage expectations all the way.
Project management is all about sequentially organising processes and systems to complete the work at hand efficiently. As such, identifying key resources that are needed for the project is part of the job. However, resources are limited and competent people are always in demand. So, an ideal manager should be able to manage the resources of the project, regardless of the competition out there.