5 reasons why project management principles are vital to your organisation’s survival
By Hamish Williams
You’re not imagining it and the experts are not exaggerating. Today’s business landscape is more dynamic than it’s ever been. The frenetic pace of change in many industries is staggering and it feels like every week we read about a new disruptor that is changing the way we think about our own business.
While we’d all love to have that silver bullet innovation that will safeguard our business for the foreseeable future, the cold reality is that you can’t catch lightning in a bottle without an efficient system for creating the bottle first. To thrive in 2016, you need the ability to complete strategic projects to a consistently high standard and you need to develop this capability within your organisations.
Whether your project is designed to make your organisation more efficient, more effective or both, having knowledgeable project managers who can apply the right project management principles will enable your organisation to have a long and successful future.
By definition, projects are large and complex undertakings. They typically involve multiple departments, numerous FTEs, significant budgets and uncertain timelines. Undertaking a project without the appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities to manage them is like ocean sailing without a map, compass or even a set of sails. A knowledgeable and experienced project manager will be able to steer a project through the endless fog of variables, enabling the project to reach its stated goals.
Any project worth undertaking will have a significant budget behind it and ensuring a project remains within this budget is vitally important. A project that goes significantly over budget can have devastating effects on an organisation’s bottom line. Even if a project is cancelled due to spiraling costs, an organisation may never be able to recoup their initial spend on the failed project. Many a thriving business has been brought to its knees by a poorly managed project budget.
The nature of business involves taking risks but project management principles enable an organisation to manage these risks while achieving large scale objectives. An appropriately qualified project manager will enable a project’s stakeholders to navigate the legal and compliance minefield that most large organisations operate in. Failure to identify and manage risks adequately is also a surefire way to hobble an otherwise successful organisation by being dragged into costly and protracted legal matters.
Achieve Strategic Objectives
The ability to define the scope of a project is a crucial skill that all project managers should possess. Before a project commences, a project manager will undertake this process to determine what the completed project will have achieved. This is an opportunity for senior managers and board members to build in strategic objectives into the deliverables of a project. Having a qualified project manager overseeing the implementation of strategic objectives is the best possible way to ensure they are achieved.
Create a Competitive Advantage
Your ability to capitalise on opportunities is your key to developing a sustainable competitive advantage. Developing a low cost product, transitioning to a new customer service model or entering a new industry altogether, all of these strategies require a number of projects to be completed successfully. No matter which competitive advantage you choose to pursue, having a stable of knowledgeable project managers who can deliver these projects on time, within budget and to a high standard will be your organisation’s real competitive advantage.
AIM offers a number of short courses such as Project Management Fundamentals, Project Management Practitioner and Applied Project Management that provide the fundamental knowledge required to manage workplace projects as well as an understanding of concepts such as the project lifecycle. With qualifications ranging from a Cert IV through to a Diploma, AIM also offers pathways for professionals to gain the knowledge and skills they need to complete successful organisational projects.