Development greatly depends on good management. This involves managing financial, time, human and other available resources. Once that point is reached, project management becomes necessary to ensure the achievement of goals, maintain and improve the quality of products and services, as well as reduce costs and potential risks.
The importance of project management for successful business is also supported by very impressive data – 67% of projects aren’t successfully completed if there is no good management. Also, research by the PwC Research Center states that 97% of businesses believe that project management is crucial to business success and achieving high-quality results.
Project management benefits
Project management involves clearly defining a project from start to finish, its scope, necessary resources and deadlines. So, it is about managing numerous tasks in order to achieve one desired goal, for which the project manager must know what needs to be done, when and in what way in order to reach the goal.
For startups, project management is especially important as a way to use limited financial resources rationally and properly, as well as to make good use of human resources. It is much easier to conduct an analysis of available resources and their optimization, as well as points for improvement in comparison to the implementation of projects which aren’t managed in the right way.
As the size of a project increases, the need for high-quality management not only offers benefits but also reduces risk. First of all, the whole process is clearly organized with a precise hierarchy of responsibilities. Only in this way is it possible to reduce the number of potentially unknown factors that can significantly impair the final result. It is also possible to predict problems more easily, shorten the response time and reduce potential damage.
Project management can be a useful tool for achieving optimal productivity, in a situation where projects are completed on time, but without significant results, or vice versa. So, in situations when efficiency and effectiveness at work are not in agreement, the final project suffers.
How to choose the ideal way of project management
The introduction of this type of management implies making business decisions, primarily the employment of professionals as well as the selection of the right methodology for good project implementation.
In practice, different methodologies proved to be successful in modern business and industries. The type of industry you’re in affects the methodology which will be the best for your business, and it is always possible to combine elements of different methodologies to create a hybrid version.
Before choosing the best methodology, ask yourself the following questions:
- How big is your team?
- How much will the team grow in the next five years?
- How complex are your projects?
- How many projects do you have to manage at the same time?
- How closely do employees have to work together or can they work independently?
- What resources are at your disposal?
- How similar are the projects you manage?
When you have the answers to these questions, it will be much easier to assess and make the right decision while choosing between the three most well-known project management methodologies:
- Scrum framework
Scrum framework is primarily intended for software development, although other industries successfully apply it as well. It is a clearly structured process consisting of “sprints” – a list of tasks that are done in a shorter period of time, usually on a weekly basis. Each working day is done with so-called “standups” – short meetings created for a basic overview of the work done and what is scheduled for that day.
The good side of the Scrum methodology is that it provides the possibility of detailed monitoring of the work done, facilitates communication among team members, and short-term goals. This approach can have a very positive effect on motivation and productivity. Also, the principles of working according to the Scrum methodology can be applied in building your own way of project management. However, if you want to fully apply this methodology it is recommended that you have a certified Scrum Master and Product Owner so this project management software can realize its full potential.
Kanban project management methodology is mostly used in manufacturing industries. It is aimed at optimizing the process and reducing unnecessary waste of resources. It does not require the introduction of drastic changes in existing processes, employees are not expected to be responsible for tasks they’ve never taken on, but the desired goals are achieved through continuous improvement and small changes on a personal level.
Projects are arranged according to the tasks on the Kanban board – the ones that have been done, the ones that are currently being worked on and the tasks that have yet to be done. This principle of organization provides visual clarity of the entire project, and tasks are distributed to employees in accordance with the amount of work they have scheduled. Thus, there is no work overload, it is clear what phase the project is in and what is necessary for a successful final result.
Kanban is a simple but clearly structured methodology that facilitates project management with its clear way of organization. Based on the principle of constant improvement called Kaizen, this is a methodology that is applied to already existing systems and does not provide many opportunities for introducing drastic changes in processes.
Agile is another methodology developed for the needs of the software industry, but over time other industries started using it, too. It is recommended for startups because it allows great flexibility in work, which is especially important for businesses that are developing and constantly improving their work.
Project management according to the Agile methodology is focused on the completion of the project in the shortest possible time, after which it is improved through the iteration process. Flexibility enables quick and easy reaction to changes, mistakes, obstacles and that the process adapts quickly to the given situation. Also, elements of other methodologies are easily implemented in Agile in order to achieve the desired goal as soon as possible.
The downside of Agile is that in certain situations, startups will opt for a precisely structured system, compared to this one that is very flexible.
What project management will look like in the future
The changes that are happening at the global level affect all aspects of business together with new technologies and trends, which is also reflected in project management. As changes come, it is necessary to adapt and apply the innovations they bring. At the global level, there are trends related to project management and we list some of the most important:
- More and more work is being done from home
- Application of hybrid project management methods
- Focus on data analysis, metric tracking
- Influence of artificial intelligence
- The importance of “soft” skills
Project management trends indicate the direction in which the industry and the market are going. Follow trends to make sure they bring great benefits to your business.
Given all that has been said so far, project management is a completely separate industry, and with the aid of extensive practice, nowadays it’s easier to decipher which modalities are best for different industries. Whether it is a startup or a developed business, project management has become an integral part of the business, which brings significant improvements, enables optimization, savings, easy and fast problem detection, and opportunities for improvement.