Are you a passionate business owner, a tenacious entrepreneur, or a dedicated manager on a mission to steer your ship toward success?
If so, you've likely wrestled with the daunting challenge of managing projects, including what seems like a million tasks, all about to miss their deadlines. This might have led you to wonder, "Is there a better way to manage my business, team, or projects?"
With project management, you get the tools, techniques, and practices to help you effectively guide projects and ventures from beginning to end.
In this post, we'll cover the lifeline you've been wondering about — project management (and its benefits).
What is project management?
Project management provides a structure for turning ideas into reality in a given time while meeting specific requirements.
Let's say you're planning a road trip. You've got a starting point (your current situation) and a destination (your goal), but there's a lot in between — the route, the stops, and the timing. Project management is the framework that helps you map out and track the progress of this journey, including the timeline and money (budget).
For example, the second process group of traditional (or waterfall) project management is project planning. In this stage, you spell out the project timeline, resource allocation, risks, milestones, and key project stakeholders.
Benefits of project management for business
The latest research from the Project Management Institute (PMI) reveals that those new to project management (or with immature project management practices) perform worse across a spectrum of critical project metrics.
If you're thinking, “We don't have any big, complex projects, so do we even need this?”. The answer is a resounding yes. Even if you don't handle your next project (or the one after that) exactly “by the book,” with the incremental gains you'll be making, you still stand a better chance of project success.
Let's zoom in on a few key benefits of effective project management.
A methodical foundation and approach
First and foremost, proper project management practices will help you lay out a solid foundation for executing a project by:
- Helping you set the project scope and objectives.
- Getting better alignment on KPIs and project goals.
- Gain a better understanding of what it takes to get happy customers.
- Helping you bring together project teams (and then getting them to collaborate).
- Deliver consistent messaging around the project objectives, goals and project progress (with a project communication plan).
- Helping you identify and mitigate project risks.
- Emphasizing quality at every stage, which results in higher-quality project deliverables (and satisfied customers).
- Avoid unnecessary delays by predicting and avoiding bottlenecks and roadblocks
- Getting your products or services to market faster.
- Controlling scope changes and keeping the focus on long-term goals.
There are several project management methodologies at your disposal, each with its own benefits. The three most popular are:
- Agile methodology has several frameworks (Lean, Scrum, and Kanban). While each framework is different, its focus is on continuous improvement, customer value, and adaptability.
- Waterfall follows a systematic structure to project management. The focus here is to control each project stage so you can deliver exactly what was planned.
- PRINCE2 is a method where you divide the project into smaller stages.
Save time and money
Just like the captain of an ocean-sailing ship charts their course, project management can help you chart your course (and plan out deadlines and expenses).
Once you are clear on the tasks that need to be completed, it becomes much easier to accurately plot out resources and estimate the effort needed to complete the work. Add it all up, and you have a tight budget and a plan to track expenses against.
(Effective project managers tend to use a project management solution to help them track time and money, but more on this later.)
Make better (and faster) business decisions
The only certainty in a business venture or project is uncertainty.
All jokes aside, with a tight project management plan, it's relatively easy to track (and understand) where you are at any given time, how your resources are being spent, and where you're likely to get off track. This makes for easier (and faster) decisions on the fly.
For example, say you have a new product you are developing and plan to launch soon. Thanks to the project plan and tracking mechanism, you foresee a big problem with one of the core features. You then quickly assess where you have extra resources available and make the adjustments.
For the most innovative companies, teaming is the most important cultural aspect to getting things done. Simply put, teaming is a group of people working together towards a common goal. With it comes more creativity, diverse perspectives, improved problem-solving skills, and increased efficiency.
According to Forbes, having a strong company culture can lift morale and engage employees more positively. Gallup's research reports that businesses with strong employee involvement can experience a 20% annual increase in sales. These studies prove that a happy workforce is worth its weight in gold.
Here are some qualities of a strong workplace and team culture.
- Employees can communicate freely with each other. Gallup found that employees who create friendships at work are more productive and will often speak positively about their work.
- Improved conflict resolution. Strong teams can overcome conflicts of any size.
- Improved adaptability. Teams with a strong culture will support one another through a changing environment.
- A feeling of unity. Your team will feel unified in their aim to achieve their common goals.
Leading an organization means managing a succession of projects, each with many moving parts. Organizational growth is achieved through the successful execution of these projects.
To do so effectively, you need a rigorous framework to keep pumping out successful projects (and not letting any of those moving parts fall through the cracks). That's exactly what you get with project management methodologies and frameworks.
What's more, with a lot of growth comes a lot of risk and change. Perfect, since change and risk management are integral pieces of project management.
Let's say you are launching your 5th coffee shop, but this one will be in a new area. Your risk assessment indicates that the market in the new area is more health-conscious. You now know you'll have to change your drinks menu and add more healthy options when you open your new shop.
Project management adds guardrails to scaling.
Better project management with Motion
Adopting the proper project management approach is only the first step.
Without the right project management software, sticking to (and tracking against) a project plan is a tricky and manual affair.
Many businesses have already started using tools like Motion to help them implement their project management plans and realize benefits like higher revenue and customer satisfaction.
Here are a few top benefits of using Motion to help you with your project management.
A unified platform where the team can coexist and work together
Motion centralizes your entire business ecosystem. From senior management and stakeholder vision planning to onboarding a new intern, Motion is everyone’s digital home.
Multitasking can eat up 40% of an employee’s productivity. Keeping things central means your team has fewer tabs and apps to juggle, and you can chip away at the 40% productivity drop.
Visualization features for a better overview
Data is only useful if you can understand and apply it. One of the best ways to do this is to visualize key project details using easy-to-manage visual tools. Motion gives you a lot of good options here.
For example, you can use the Kanban board view to gauge progress in an instant. You can easily adjust tasks on the Kanban board with drag-and-drop features and rely on its AI to optimize the subsequent tasks.
Automated task allocation and tracking
Motion automates the allocation of tasks for your entire team (and company). You create the project and list the key details (deadlines, subtasks, and priorities). Motion can then distribute tasks to your team automatically. Smart automation at its best.
Motion can automate (and simplify) your entire project management journey.
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