What is project management? Making your business more profitable
Successful project management requires time, experience and a team-wide commitment to the goals of the project – in addition to extensive research and planning. This means that, in a growing company, finishing projects in the most efficient way is often a challenge.
As a business owner, you might not always have the time available to dedicate the hours necessary for every project. Sometimes, resources end up being allocated to projects on an ad hoc basis. Then, somewhere along the line, time runs short and the project overruns.
I can help you establish a very different system. I will make sure that you get the outcome you had in mind when the project first started by implementing well-researched baselines, logical schedules and planned workflows with the ease of extensive project management experience with companies across almost every industry.
Plus, as a finance specialist, I will ensure the changes we have implemented mean your project comes in on-time and on-budget too. This will mean you have no more suddenly spiralling costs as projects slowly go out of scope. Successful project management calls for careful attention from design through to implementation. I will make sure you have it.
Creating your unique project management plan
Of all project management phases, creating your plan itself is the most vital step to get right. Many people picture a project management plan as being something like an actual schedule. In reality, a plan will lay out much more than the timeline of the project. It will also be concerned with other critical parts – such as how the project is going to be monitored and measured in addition to carried out.
Creating a project management plan which will withstand contact with the real world requires input from your actual project team as well as any other key stakeholders in the project. The final document needs to be approved as achievable by all parties.
Your plan will be brought together by assembling a number of smaller components and plans to create a cohesive view of every element involved in your project:
- Scope, schedule and cost baselines for the project to be measured against
- Secondary management plans for scope, schedule, cost, quality, communication, personnel, supply chains and other elements
- Plans to tackle predicted changes, desired process improvements or requirements
This document is not just going to be a list of project management steps. Every single aspect of your specific project needs to be addressed, considered and planned for. The alternative is a great deal of wasted time, money and energy as well as a risk of disappointing clients and stakeholders.
Your plan will not be a sedentary object either. As time passes, it may be developed further, finessed and updated as conditions change and more information is gathered. This is particularly important if your team does not have previous experience of handling this sort of project. However, improvements to management plans – while being a critical step if you want to keep your plans current and effective for long-term projects – need to be implemented carefully if you want to avoid causing confusion.
I will assist you through all project management phases, from concept to delivery. Armed with a fully developed plan which accounts for all of your goals and objectives as well as the outcomes you need to see, the skills and input of your project team and every other factor involved in delivery, you will always know precisely what your next project management steps need to be.
The importance of project performance measurement
If you want your plan to succeed in all areas, instituting metrics for project performance measurement is a necessary step. This is why baselines for scope, schedule and cost are the foundations of any well-written plan. When it comes to KPI in project management, these are the ones you will be using. Collectively, these three are sometimes referred to as the performance management baseline.
By referring back to these and comparing them with the current performance of your project, you will see if your team is deviating from the plan. If there is no deviation, everything is on target and you can feel more confident in this knowledge. If there is any deviation, as your project manager, I can make adjustments or even make full official changes to the plan baselines if circumstances are other than those originally planned for.
Usually, you would be spending all of this time and effort making sure that each project was following all of its baselines yourself. With me handling it for you, you and your company will get all of the benefits of in-house level professional management as well as a project which is always in-scope, on schedule and on budget.
Simultaneously, you will be free to focus your attention on the places it is needed most. Any time you want to check on progress, you will have all of the project performance measurements needed to know just how close to target every phase and element of your plan really is.
Giving you more than other project management companies
Most project management companies want to get your deliverables out of the door on time. Their focus is single-minded when it comes to achieving this overriding goal. This means that other priorities can get lost by the wayside.
As a project manager specialising in financial services, I bring a little more to the table. Your three main project baselines are scope, schedule and cost. And it is this latter area where so many projects rapidly start to get out of control. Overlooked mistakes made in the structure of the plan which are not corrected, unexpected problems with procurement – they all start to add up.
But with professional planning and a carefully researched project structure and supply chain, you will go into your project knowing exactly how much it will cost overall as well as how it should perform along the way according to a strict and clearly set out baseline.
You will know as well as any experienced project manager that financial services and planning are going are an absolute must if you want your project not to overshoot its budget.
I have already provided just this kind of project planning and operational oversight to businesses in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, the UK, Switzerland and the North of Europe, including Norway, Sweden and Germany. They have preferred me to other project management companies for this very reason.
Get in touch today. Tell me about your latest project and let’s discuss how we will work together to achieve your goals.
Which project methodology is right for you?
I will work with you to select the most suitable project methodology for your needs, those of your business and your individual project.
Some of the best-known and most popular project methodologies include:
- Agile – the completely flexible approach. Your small team works together as best they can. When you have no fixed end in mind or need to constantly accommodate quick changes, an Agile system might be alright. Many companies without professional project managers operate in this fashion. Your team will really need to know their stuff to make it work.
- Waterfall – one of the oldest systems, the Waterfall approach means planning your work fully. It works best with short, simple projects with clear, fixed requirements – or those which call for a lot of documentation.
- Hybrid – a mix of Agile and Waterfall, ideal for projects which need structure as well as flexibility. Like Agile, a Hybrid approach calls for a lot of collaboration and a highly experienced team.
- Scrum – similar to Agile, a Scrum approach requires even more experience as the team is self-managing and multi-tasking. Thus, they need to be highly motivated and disciplined in order to understand what is required. Suitable for smaller teams only.
- Kanban – Japanese-inspired system focused on achieving speed and quality through defined roles and task visibility.
- Scrumban – a hybrid of Kanban and Scrum where everyone works individually but regularly meets up to discuss progress.
- Critical Path Method (CPM) – work is broken down to identify tasks which need to be completed before others and tasks which can be accomplished simultaneously. For projects with multiple components, this can be ideal. For creative projects, it is less so.
- Critical Chain Path Method (CPPM) – a newer method where you work backwards from your objectives, identify deliverables and rely on experience to plan out the path. With a dedicated project team and a single project, this is often the best solution. It is also useful when resources are tight.
- Integrated Project Management (IPM) – ideal for creative campaigns and industries and relying on the standardization of activities across the organization.
- Projects IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE 2) – the official project methodology of the UK government and well regarded the world over. Best for large, complicated projects with set objectives.
Choose project management coaching or full planning
As well as professional planning, I regularly provide project management coaching sessions for companies in every industry. From the largest IT companies, legal firms and supermarkets to small beauty salons, restaurants and retail shops, every type of business will benefit from knowing how to deliver projects in-scope, on-schedule and within the expected budget.
You can choose solo project management coaching sessions for yourself and key personnel or larger group sessions for your entire project team or workforce. Or let me know more details about your latest project and we can talk about working together to get those all-important deliverables ready on time.
Contact me and let me know about your project management planning or coaching requirements today. I already help leaders in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, the UK, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and Germany improve their project processes and their businesses