Project management is a phrase that encompasses a lot of different things. Put simply, project management is a set of rules, recommendations, and tools that help teams work efficiently on a project.
If you work in a company where formal project management is not distinctly present, you might be wondering: what is all the fuss about? And yes, we see how easy it can be to dismiss project management as something less of an urgent need and more of a trendy buzzword.
However, we at the Bordio team believe that project management can add great value to the company in the face of better products, simpler work processes, and happier team members.
In today’s article, we will share the key benefits that project management provides. Whether you are a startup or a large enterprise, a team manager, or a linear employee, those benefits will apply to you.
What happens when people don’t manage projects properly
If you think that project management is overrated and going with the flow is enough, we are here to disappoint you. Inadequate project planning and execution lead to many issues, such as:
- The project never gets done or is completed way past the deadline.
- Project deliverables are not achieved, and milestones are not met because there are too many tasks to fit into the timeframe or time wasn’t estimated correctly in the beginning.
- There are no certain requirements, so no one understands when the project is finally done. When there are no clear goals and objectives with defined KPIs and acceptance criteria, the project team simply doesn’t know where the finish line is.
- People lose their motivation when they don’t see any progress. A well-built project management process results in evolutionary project progress that team members can see and feel. Without project planning, you risk getting stuck with little or insignificant change.
Benefits of project management for the teams
Good project management can turn the project around. Here are the main benefits of project management that the teams get to enjoy.
#1 Project success
First and foremost, the king of benefits of project management is actual project success.
Many projects fail because they never get finished. And, according to the Project Management Institute, one of the key reasons for them not being finished is the absence of a proper project implementation plan and framework.
Most projects have high risks because they involve a new untested product, work in a highly competitive environment, are rolled out during turbulent times, or all of the above. Simply coming up with an idea and going with the flow to see where it gets you is a strategy that leads to disasters.
Projects that have proper project management methodologies and practices implemented have better chances of making it because:
- They plan every step, making it time and resource-efficient.
- They’ve analyzed possible risks, eliminated part of them, and mitigated the rest.
- They are prepared for change with clear guidelines in place.
- Everyone works on a project as a team, not a bunch of individuals doing something and hoping for the best.
#2 General team motivation
If you’ve ever worked on a poorly organized project, you are unlikely to ever forget it: project schedule is a hot mess, and people either kill time with nothing on their online to-do lists or run around like headless chickens – there is no in-between. Yikes! No wonder such an environment kills motivation, creativity, or willingness to do anything really.
Effective project managers understand the importance of proper planning for the team’s motivation and morale. After all, successful project completion depends heavily on the team.
Poor project scope management creates anxiety, and smart project management reduces it. When team members understand the pipeline, the timeline, and their areas of responsibility, they are calmer and more focused. Humans don’t like uncertainties in their lives because they create stress, and working life is no different.
Another motivational benefit of project management is that people don’t overwork themselves but have a sustainable pace because they adapt to the critical path and can work smarter and deal with their task list better.
Moreover, with proper project management in place, team members can see career potential with clear titles and responsibilities. They know what is expected of them and others, so they can plan for training or education, work towards getting promotions, and try on new assignments.
It works even if the company uses Agile project management methodologies, like Scrum, where roles are responsibilities are more fluid. The process and pattern are still clear, so employees can see their future within the organization.
#3 Team as a competitive advantage
Project management helps build and sustain the advantage that is almost impossible to replicate by competition – a strong team with impressive skills and shared values.
Experienced project managers cherish and nourish their teams because they take a long and painful time to bring together and get on the same page.
A well-thought-out project management process allows the project manager to maintain the key talent within the team and also deliver the project successfully, within budget and timeframes, and, hopefully, with breakthrough innovation.
Now, we are not saying that applying project management methodologies or using trendy project management tools will guarantee your success, but it will keep your team focused and competitive.
Speaking of effective tools, staying organized and focused on an individual level is key to project’s overall success. So next time you run or participate in a project, suggest everyone work with an online weekly planner to keep themselves accountable every day.
#4 Better coordination
One of the key roles of any project manager is people coordination.
Projects typically involve a lot of cross-functional work and engage all kinds of specialists from various departments and external stakeholders, like suppliers.
It’s not an easy task, and experienced project managers utilize project management tools like a Kanban board or a communication plan that help keep everyone in touch and on the same page.
Better co-operation is achieved with the help of project management by a combination of factors. Clearly defined roles remove confusion, frustration, and delays. Planning boosts (cross-)team collaboration: everyone know what is expected of them, who they will be working with, and when. There are dashboards and reports that anyone can access to track progress and updates, and employees know how to reach one another should they need help.
Pro tip: Use an online calendar tool like Bordio to maximize efficiency and transparency. The beauty of a single central tool that is online is the auto-update feature. Data is available to everyone 24/7 regardless of location. Task progress, events, workload, – everything is there and can be reviewed on demand.
#5 Improved efficiency and effectiveness
Project management starts with the initiation phase where goals and requirements are established.
Clearly defined (and monitored) goals improve effectiveness and help deliver better solutions faster. Just like you need to know where the finish line is to complete a marathon, end goals and expectations are vital for project completion.
Implementing project management involves using techniques and tools, such as project management software. All those instruments combined multiply the efficiency and effectiveness of the endeavor, resulting in more successful projects.
#6 Better team management
One of the very important benefits of project management for team leaders (and for the team by extension) is that they can be better managers.
Proper project management plan and framework create healthier conditions for the employees:
- Team and individual goals are defined and supported with deadlines and KPIs.
- Work is allocated among the employees who have the skills and knowledge to complete it.
- There are tools in place, such as daily planners, to track everyone’s performance and monitor progress.
- The team feels more accountable as they see task dependencies and how their work affects the overall process.
As a result, managing projects becomes less of a troublesome chore and more of an interesting task for the project manager.
#7 Better risk resistance and change adaptivity
It’s naive to say that we can eliminate all risks and be forever prepared for change once we adopt some project management skills and tricks.
However, when there is a plan with tools and the right people to support it, we get peace of mind and a wiggle room to address whatever unexpected comes our way from a stronger, better-prepared perspective.
#8 Lower costs
As simple as that, better project management results in lower project costs and time commitments.
A project manager who’s done their homework and allocated enough time to the planning and analysis will avoid spending money on hiring specialists who do not add value to the current project and will budget just as many resources as the project requires.
Tip: If you are interested in lean resource planning, read our Lean StartUp guide for insights on waste, efficient work processes, and pivoting from the original idea.
Yet, probably the most crucial cost reduction that a project manager can get here is the elimination of errors that lead to wasted time and having to re-do the work again. It is increasingly difficult to keep the costs and the deadline under control if it turns out that part of the work needs to be done all over again.
Project managers can use techniques like fast-tracking to resolve problems that came up but it doesn’t work every the time and can even worsen the situation. So it is best to avoid this altogether than have to find ways to compensate for the mistakes without affecting the project’s outcome.
Benefits of project management for the individual team members
Good project management helps not just the team as a whole but each individual team member as well. Here are the main perks for someone working in a company with advanced project management in place.
#1 Clarity over one’s position and role
Thought-out project management means that there is no chaos (or, at least, there shouldn’t be any chaos), and there is a general understanding of the workflow and who’s doing what.
We’re not gonna lie, it can be fun and exciting to work in a hectic place where most random tasks and deadlines are thrown at you all the time. But we can all agree that it’s not sustainable in the long run, especially if you are ambitious and want all your work to be executed with high quality.
If you, as a project management professional, want a better understanding of your role and responsibilities within the project and the company, then make sure you look for an organization that cherishes key project management principles.
#2 Improved productivity and time management
We at Bordio are firm believers that time management and productivity are not just the buzz words but essential concepts that one needs to live a fulfilling life.
Everything that surrounds us either facilitates our success or threatens it. A messy desk and poor sleep schedule can ruin our productivity, but so can an inadequate project plan.
When your project work is organized, clear, and involves project management tools that enhance your creativity, it is almost impossible to not be productive and efficient.
Tip: both time and productivity management are like muscles. They can be trained and they need to be maintained. If you’re curious about upgrading your routines, have a peek at our top lists of best time management and best productivity books.
#3 Better motivation to work
If an employee has a clear understanding of their job and gets to be productive, then they are most likely to have higher motivation for work.
And for someone who doesn’t want to waste their life working on something they are not excited to do, staying motivated is an important factor to consider.
Benefits of project management for the clients
Last but not least, let’s touch on the main benefits of project management that customers get to enjoy. End-users also gain from smart project management, and here are the key benefits they get.
#1 Increased customer satisfaction
The majority of project management frameworks have the end goal of delivering a product or solution that would spark maximum customer satisfaction.
Such solutions that are met with the most praise by end-users are rarely a product of accidental coincidences. More often than not, getting there requires meticulous planning, constant progress monitoring, and quality control, which are all provided by project management.
#2 Better service delivery
Companies that follow project management rules and guidelines tend to be more stable and deliver consistent services and products. Many tools, standards, guidelines, and templates ensure that quality remains the same (or gets better) with time, so clients can continue to invest in the products and be sure of what they will get.
Final thoughts on key benefits of project management
Project management boosts and supports continuous improvement. It gives the instruments and the theory to making things work, and it provides the tools to measure the performance.
Project management also helps reduce risks, manage change, and deliver great solutions to the market faster. So, whatever project management methodology you prefer, using one is always better than not having a framework in place.