Understanding the Importance of Project Management: A Guide

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 22 August 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An organisation can divide its responsibilities into different projects for various teams or individuals to execute. Completing these projects requires specialised planning, organisation and management expertise and skills to ensure each project reaches its desired outcome. You can better understand the value of project management and how to integrate it into an organisation by understanding what it involves, what its advantages are and what it can look like in real life. In this article, we explain the importance of project management, list its various benefits and provide tips you can follow to enhance your project management expertise.

Related: 8 Effective Project Management Techniques Defined

What's the importance of project management?

To better understand the importance of project management, it helps to first know the definition of project management. Project management is the act of overseeing a specific undertaking that aims to reach a planned outcome through tasks and activities. These projects can fall outside of an organisation's routine activities, making them temporary. A project can also have a specific start and end date, with specific resources and a budget allocated to its execution. Project management can involve coordinating different business departments and teams inside and outside the organisation and having them work towards a common goal.

Related:

  • How to Improve Project Management Skills in 9 Steps

  • Credible Project Management Certificates with Examples

7 project management benefits

When successfully executed, project management can offer businesses the following benefits:

1. Creates ownership and responsibility

An organisation can assign a project manager or project management team to organise and complete a project. These individuals delegate tasks for the project and create a hierarchy for reporting and execution. Having a single point of authority and allocated responsibilities for the project minimises the potential for confusion and miscommunication. For example, a project manager can create an organisational chart detailing who handles which task and to whom each person reports. This can ensure people don't try to do the same task or ask the wrong person for guidance on how to proceed next.

2. Encourages accountability

Project management can begin with a project manager dividing and allocating tasks among employees and ensuring everyone is aware of their responsibilities. They can document this and have each person agree to undertake specific tasks. This can encourage each person to be accountable for their contributions to the project. It can also ensure that if someone is behind schedule in completing their task or cannot complete it, the project manager can follow up with the right person. Alternatively, they can approach their direct manager to find someone else with a similar skill set to undertake the task.

Related: What Is Project Governance and How Can It Lead To Success?

3. Achieves specific, measurable results

When you create a project, you can set clearly defined outcomes to work towards and consider any limits to the project's scope. This can ensure that a business knows what to expect as an outcome and can measure its goals against what's achieved. It also helps to differentiate the project's ambitions from the daily operations of the business. Because projects often have measurable goals to work towards, a business can compare its results with its aims and determine what got in the way of reaching the goal. This can help create a performance benchmark for what to aim for in future projects.

Related: What Is Out of Scope? (And How to Avoid It in Projects)

4. Creates a clear timeline

Project management can involve setting specific deadlines for the project and the completion of each stage within it. This sets the pace and creates a sense of determination that can compel those involved to work harder to complete the project. It also helps everyone involved to know when it's necessary to deliver their contribution without delaying the rest of the project. This can mean that if someone foresees a delay taking place, they can alert those involved in the relevant project stage so they can make contingency plans to prevent or minimise the delay.

Related: 10 Programs for Project Dashboards (Plus Definition and Tips)

5. Allows for preparation

Project management can occur months before the start of a project to allow its various elements to come together. This gives everyone involved enough time to prepare themselves for the tasks and ensure they have the materials and resources they require to complete the project. Doing this can be helpful when a business is coordinating with external service providers. These service providers also work with other clients, so securing them before they're actually required can prevent issues further into the project.

6. Limits risk

Because project management can determine potential issues a project can experience during execution, the project manager or management team can make contingency plans to work around them if they occur. This can help a business mitigate potential risks and better manage any issues that may occur. For example, a business can anticipate price increases and set aside funds to cover them before they take place, thus preventing the project from falling behind or having to use other resources. It could also undertake performance audits and put backups in place for data and resources.

7. Allows for prioritisation

When undertaking projects, you can create a list of tasks and give them an order according to their importance, a deadline or the time required to complete them. Knowing this can help employees and managers prioritise and balance their daily responsibilities with those of the project so that neither one falls behind. It can even help with scheduling the project. For example, a project that takes place over December can interfere with the generation of a business's annual report. The business can decide to halt the project until after this month to ensure it has the required resources and time.

Related: What Is a Project Management Information System (PMIS)?

Project management enhancement tips

Now that you know why project management is important and what its benefits can include, you can use the following tips to get the most value from it:

  • Use project management software. Integrating the right project management software and training employees to use it can help a project management team execute a project and save time, money and effort. This software can help you plan projects from beginning to end, including scheduling resources and teams, allocating the budget and providing a place to share and store documentation.

  • Motivate the team. When you motivate employees with clear rewards or incentives, you can encourage them to work more efficiently and even complete tasks ahead of schedule. You can help motivate employees by acknowledging their contributions to a project and communicating to them how it can benefit both their careers and the business.

  • Work with an experienced project manager. If a business hasn't undertaken a large project before, it can benefit from hiring a temporary or full-time project manager. An experienced project manager can help with all stages of a project and ensure it's planned and executed correctly.

  • Know the strengths and weaknesses of employees. Employees can perform better at some tasks compared with others because of their education, skills and personality. By asking employees to self-identify their strengths and weaknesses or having them undergo professional evaluation, you can determine how to structure a project team in a way where everyone can thrive in their allocated role.

  • Test the unfamiliar. If a project involves a new process or working with an unknown supplier, a business can benefit from testing out any unfamiliar variables before it begins the project. This testing can include training employees, and it can help to ensure the variable works and that everyone involved understands how it operates.

  • Create evaluation forms. You can plan how you intend to evaluate a project's success before the project begins, as it can include the project's major measurable goals and the success of internal processes or teams. This can help you detect possible issues within the business and resolve them before undertaking another project.


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