The Value of Project Management
By: Collin Quiring
There are numerous viewpoints and benefits that an individual can demonstrate when presenting the need for Project Management to upper management. This entry isn’t an attempt to create an exhaustive list, but it is a starting point that helps show some of the value of Project Management, particularly when using Microsoft Project Server.
Some business areas that are affected by Project Management are harder to quantify in terms of ROI and money than others. One of the biggest benefits that results from using Project Management principles is the increased flow of information and ability to make better informed decisions. It is difficult to put a dollar amount on “doing things better” but there are some intuitive benefits. Being able to make better decisions means fewer mistakes and a reduction in the number of times costly projects are started and then later stopped or completed without the expected gains.
Collaboration and real time, easy to access information is a business benefit that shouldn’t be underestimated. The ability for everyone (with the appropriate security permissions) to see information from their own desktop, through a web browser, without having to request it from somebody else, or waiting for the “official report” to appear, is valuable. Using templates allows for everybody to start from the same spot and to use pre-existing and approved information terminology and methodologies. This saves time and effort and permits the Project Managers and the users to have a familiar format – increasing collaboration and understanding.
A few of the questions that we like to ask Senior Managers are: What is a single view of ALL your projects worth? What would the value to your organization be if you could see every project that you have? How does each project align with the company’s stated strategies? How does the portfolio align? With Portfolio and Project Management in place the ability to see, and understand, individual projects or the entire project portfolio is straightforward. Project Management can provide you with productivity improvements, better resource allocation, time-to-market enhancements, cost reductions, and timely information.
As an organization becomes more and more “mature” in the area of Project Management and their use of Microsoft Project, they can use the built-in timesheet functions in addition to the task functions. This allows for the tracking and understanding of what each resource within the organization is doing. It allows you to answer the question “Can we do this next project with the people we have, on budget?”. The system allows you to see instantly where a resource may be overloaded, or have free – or perhaps what work can be shuffled around to free up a resource.
In a survey of 166 companies by the Center for Business Practice, The Value of Project Management, 94% or respondents stated that implementing Project Management added value in terms of :
ROI – 25%
Productivity – 15%
Time to Market reduction – 15%
Project/Process Performance – 20%
While intangibles are hard to demonstrate to management, the effort expended on Project Management has proven again and again to be worth it in terms of increased efficiency, collaboration and overall effectiveness.