Project Management profession is becoming reputable year over year and necessity for Project Management in organizations increase as well.
Main reason of the increasing Project Management importance is the deadly competition of companies with each other compared to past. Because main purpose of project management is delivering a unique product or service in a limited time with a defined budget.
Why Project Management?
Project management enables first to collect your requirements regarding your project. These requirements constitute the scope of your project, in other words “what you will deliver in your project”. Actually, requirements in a project define the overall cost, schedule, and quality parameters.
Once scope is defined, activities that need to be performed in order to meet requirements are listed. Then duration and cost estimates of these activities are done. For example which activity will be performed by which individual or by which department or you subcontract a part of your work completely to an external organization for example.
Then dependencies of these activities are defined. For example, you cannot test a software product before it is developed, or similarly, you cannot start painting on a construction site before you finish the construction. These are all dependencies of activities in projects and define the schedule, time plan of your project.
Once you defined activities, responsible of activities, cost of each activity and interrelations of activities with each other, you will aggregate these estimates to constitute the overall budget and schedule of your project.
If you look to the steps we defined above, first we decomposed the overall project work into smaller pieces in order to be able to identify tiny activities of project better. Because, doing duration and cost estimation for a smaller activity is always easier compared to a big work. Then, when you aggregate these estimations for each activity you will be able to reach a more precise estimates for the overall project compared to a rough estimation of the total project work without decomposition.
During my professional experience, whenever I asked a duration estimate for a team member in my projects, they always gave smaller estimates before decomposing the activities in smaller pieces. But, when I directed them to decompose each step of the activities and then do the estimation, results have shown often higher estimates for the overall activity.
Project management enables you to approach planning, executing, monitoring and controlling your projects in a structured way. If you do not plan the project work in your organization, you will not have a clear vision of where you are headed to in your projects.
Project management enables you to better plan and coordinate all project activities. Let’s imagine that you are delivering a project without project management where overall project has been estimated roughly and where activities do not represent realistic estimates which they require. Then there will be two options for this project.
1- Since project has been estimated roughly, you might have very high estimates which results in unrealistic schedule.
In this case, when you started to your project, you might have agreed on with your customer to deliver your project within 1 year for example. But since activities were estimated higher than they actually require, once your resources starts to complete the activities in shorter times, customer may start to diagnose your estimations and this can cause you to lose trust between you and customer.
Also this may lead to Parkinson law. Parkinson law states that, if you assign a task to a team member for more that its required estimate, actual duration passed in performing that activity will extend to estimated duration. For instance, if you estimated an activity as 10 days, and if that activity actually requires 6 days, when you assigned this activity to a resource, although he could have completed it in 6 days, since he would see that the due date is 10 days later; this will cause sluggishness in the performer of the activity.
2- Since project has been estimated roughly, you might have very short estimates for activities which require longer time.
In this case, performers of the activities will have stress in order to catch the estimated times. Think of the previous activity example I gave above. If the activity requires 6 days of work, and if you estimated 4 days for this activity for example, performer will try to meet his or her due date. But, this will cause stress since he or she will try to complete the activity in a shorter time than it actually requires. And after 2 or 3 activities, he or she will give up since it will be seen that the durations of activities are not realistic and this will decrease the motivation and commitment of the resources to the project.
For all these reasons, we need project management in our works. I would like to conclude the article with a famous saying.
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