Article

Oper­a­tional Excellence

The busi­ness world’s most under­rat­ed superhero

January 3, 2020

Read the arti­cles on For­tune 100 com­pa­nies and you’ll see com­mon themes revolv­ing around heroes in lead­er­ship, inno­va­tion, tech­nol­o­gy, brand­ing, design and cul­ture. How­ev­er, to bring all of these togeth­er to deliv­er that mean­ing­ful prod­uct or ser­vice to peo­ple requires this “hero” behind-the-scenes: the project manager.

“Projects are often viewed as being fun­da­men­tal­ly root­ed in tech­nol­o­gy. This is because most projects are tech­ni­cal. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, this ori­en­ta­tion toward tech­nol­o­gy has obscured the true pur­pose of projects. The truth is that projects are all about busi­ness – not tech­nol­o­gy. The fun­da­men­tal objec­tive for a project is to achieve a busi­ness result, such as improv­ing effec­tive­ness, increas­ing sales, or mak­ing oper­a­tions more effi­cient. No mat­ter what that under­ly­ing cause, the ulti­mate pur­pose of a project is very sim­ple: to make mon­ey or to save money.”

Brief Case Books – Project Man­age­ment, by Gary R. Heerkens, PMP

Dri­ven by the need to change, most busi­ness­es today are plac­ing more empha­sis on project-related rather than func­tion­al work. Repet­i­tive func­tions, like pay­roll, book­keep­ing, data entry and IT sup­port, are being out­sourced so that employ­ees can devote more time to projects that add real value.

These can range from ongo­ing process improve­ment projects to short-term projects such as com­pet­i­tive analy­sis. But in order to run effec­tive­ly, what­ev­er its lev­el of depth or dura­tion, a project needs to be based on a clear under­stand­ing of the dri­ving objec­tives and a sound framework.

Below we’ll out­line nine fun­da­men­tals of project man­age­ment – its superpowers:

1. Man­ag­ing integration

Most projects com­prise a wide vari­ety of activ­i­ties and it’s impor­tant to keep the whole thing mov­ing for­ward togeth­er. This means inte­grat­ing all the dynam­ics involved.

2. Man­ag­ing scope

Projects need to have defined para­me­ters or scope. This should be bro­ken down and man­aged through a work break­down struc­ture (WBS).

3. Man­ag­ing the schedule

Projects have def­i­nite begin­ning and end dates. To avoid delays it’s impor­tant to man­age the time spent on each stage using a project sched­ule, which may need to be reviewed periodically.

4. Man­ag­ing costs

Projects con­sume resources. In order to ensure it deliv­ers val­ue, the invest­ment in it must be man­aged to ensure that the ben­e­fits derived exceed the amount spent.

5. Man­ag­ing quality

Projects involve spe­cif­ic deliv­er­ables or work prod­ucts. These deliv­er­ables need to meet project objec­tives and per­for­mance standards.

6. Man­ag­ing human resources

Find­ing the right peo­ple to be involved, then man­ag­ing their out­puts and keep­ing them on sched­ule are a big part of man­ag­ing a project.

7. Man­ag­ing communication

Every project touch­es a lot of peo­ple, includ­ing par­tic­i­pants, the man­agers over­see­ing it and exter­nal stake­hold­ers who have an inter­est in its suc­cess. Effec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion between them is vital.

8. Man­ag­ing risk

Projects are a jour­ney of dis­cov­ery and will often uncov­er cus­tomer needs and crit­i­cal issues you had not pre­vi­ous­ly been aware of. You may also encounter unex­pect­ed hitch­es, such as team mem­bers resign­ing, bud­get­ed resources sud­den­ly chang­ing, new tech­nolo­gies being intro­duced or trou­ble with­in the wider organ­i­sa­tion. There is a real need to prop­er­ly iden­ti­fy the poten­tial risks so they can be managed.

9. Man­ag­ing procurement

Projects may require the ser­vices of out­side ven­dors and con­trac­tors as well as equip­ment and sup­plies. It’s impor­tant to man­age the pro­cure­ment process through­out the project life-cycle.

Tak­ing these fun­da­men­tals into con­sid­er­a­tion at the out­set of any project and through­out is the hall­mark of effec­tive project management.

Through our years of deliv­er­ing projects on-time and with­in bud­get for busi­ness­es across the globe, the Renoir team has gar­nered spe­cial­ized tools to help busi­ness­es imple­ment projects suc­cess­ful­ly. So if you feel your in-house project man­age­ment capa­bil­i­ties need a boost or you sim­ply need expert sup­port due to a short time-frame, please get in touch. We’re here to help.

Share This Article

How We Can Help

Connect with us

Let us work with you to achieve exceptional results.

Share this article

Other articles

Busi­ness Transformation

Posts

16 March, 2022
Cul­ture Eats Strat­e­gy For Breakfast

Oper­a­tional Excellence

Posts

19 June, 2019
Renoir In Action: Do you want the prob­lem or the symp­tom to go away?

Imple­men­ta­tion

Posts

19 June, 2019
Renoir In Action: How long-tenure employ­ees can actu­al­ly short-circuit your prob­lem solv­ing engine

Posts

Busi­ness Transformation

Busi­ness Trans­for­ma­tion in 2020: Quick tips to go beyond the buzzword
10 Jan 2020

Posts

Busi­ness Transformation

Trans­for­ma­tion­al Lead­er­ship For A Post- Pan­dem­ic World
25 Jun 2021

Posts

Imple­men­ta­tion

Renoir In Action: How long-tenure employ­ees can actu­al­ly short-circuit your prob­lem solv­ing engine
19 Jun 2019