Learn How to Convince Executives of the Value of Project Management (Part 2)

If your company doesn't have common processes, templates, and a consistent set of expectations for managing projects, then you need to make upper management aware of their value.

“Here's the TenStep guest blog post "Learn How to Convince Executives of the Value of Project Management (Part 2)":

Last week we reviewed a high-level summary of the value of project management. This week we will explore some of the benefits in greater detail.

Better Estimating and Planning

How many times have you heard about or been involved in a project that failed or was not as successful as it needed to be. Chances are that you looked back and said, "We should have spent more time planning."

Project management focuses first on planning the work. This is a vital discipline, and allows the project team and the customer to have common perceptions of what the project is going to deliver, when it will be complete, what it will cost, who will do the work and how the work will be done. This includes items like:

  • Understanding and gaining agreement on project objectives, deliverables, scope, risk, cost, approach, etc.
  • Determining if the original business case is still valid. For instance, a project that requires 10,000 effort hours might make business sense. If the planning process determines that the effort is really 20,000 hours, the project may not make sense any more.
  • Making sure the resources you need are available when you need them.
  • Providing a high-level scope, schedule and budget baseline from which progress can be compared and measured.
  • Working with your customer ahead of time on the processes used to manage the project.

Executive value statement: Project planning helps to better define the project, and ensures that the project team knows what they are doing before they start executing the project. Planning can also result in the cancellation of projects without a viable business case - a good thing!

Reuse of Processes and Templates

People intuitively understand that it is faster and cheaper to reuse something that already exists rather than to build something similar from scratch. If your organization creates a set of project management processes and templates that are used consistently from project to project, each instance represents a savings of time that would have otherwise had to have been spent on building the processes from scratch.

Executive value statement: Utilizing common project management processes and templates will result in cost and time savings associated with project start-up.

Proactive Project Management Processes

Your project is going to face issues. The question is whether you will proactively resolve them or figure them out as you go. Your project will face potential risks. Will you try to resolve them before they happen, or wait until the problems arise? Are you going to communicate proactively or deal with misunderstandings caused by lack of project information?

The characteristics of the project are not all going to change whether you use a formal project management process or not. What changes is how the events are dealt with when the project is in progress. Are they dealt with haphazardly and reactively, or proactively with a smoothly running process?

Executive value statement: Having proactive and consistent processes in place will ultimately help projects run faster, cheaper and at a higher quality level.

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