The 6 benefits of using project management services
Blog: Monday Project Management Blog
Aligned. On the same page (in the same book). Working as one team. Efficiency. Working together. Controlling day-to-day processes.
All of the above are important critical to ensuring projects are completed on time, within budget, and are (ideally) successful.
All of the above are also attributes of project management: the art of making sure that all people, tools, and funds work together as effectively as possible to complete a project.
Good project management services include, but are not limited to:
- Constantly assessing and reevaluating project feasibility: can this project be successful by staying within budget and on the predetermined timeline?
- Maintaining an active, yet flexible, project management plan.
- Identifying key project deliverables, then breaking them down into more manageable subtasks … and then assigning them to teams and staff.
- Keeping the project running smoothly — from start to finish
- Being flexible: No project ever goes 100% as planned.
In this blog post, we’ll start with the benefits of project management services, cover the 5 steps of project management, and close with why monday.com helps with all of the above.
The (many) benefits of project management services
Generally speaking, a good project management solution means that more projects are completed on time and within budget. It also means projects fail less often.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s go a bit deeper.
Benefit #1: Increased efficiency
Reducing wasted time and resources. That’s really what efficiency is all about.
Time is of the essence and resources are often limited. Any opportunity to increase efficiency can result in reduced costs, happier stakeholders, and a better overall product. Win. Win. Win.
Leveraging a reliable project management service means you can speed up the project initiation phase and reduce the overall project timeline and budget. Additionally, any lessons learned from previous projects (the good and the not so good) can be weaved into this product, thus increasing the chance of project success.
Benefit #2: Better collaboration
The most seasoned project managers know that effective collaboration is at the heart of every successful project.
Using a project management solution often leads to better collaboration. This is especially true when working on larger projects that involve team members from various locations across the world, many likely working from home.
Collaboration software is your answer. Most project management solutions have built-in collaboration tools such as:
- Instant messaging
- Video software
- Document/file sharing
- Project planning and tracking tools – like Kanban boards, Gantt charts, Timelines, Calendars, and Tables
- Reporting and dashboards
- Sharing permissions
Benefit #3: Happier stakeholders
Stakeholder happiness is everything.
And stakeholders are happiest when projects are completed on time, within budget, and with all deliverables completed to spec.
A project management solution helps ensure all of the above by keeping everyone on the same page at all times. Transparency wins the day.
Benefit #4: Fewer fires to put out
(Metaphoric) fires can delay any well-intentioned project. These flare-ups (or full blows blazes) can derail a project if not identified early on.
Nearly all project management solutions include ways for teams to get alerted about upcoming deadlines and possible delays.
These reminders mean teams can address all possible issues before they turn into major problems.
Benefit #5: Higher employee retention
Projects that are not well-organized, lack transparency, and are constantly missing deadlines can cause serious stress. This stress can lead to in-team bickering and eventually employees leaving for greener pastures.
Project management software can help to keep teams together — happier, more satisfied, more recognized, more appreciated. All of this leads to higher employee retention numbers.
Benefit #6: Better chance of finishing project on time
Finishing a project on time is super-important, especially for those projects with many stakeholders.
In addition to the additional financial costs associated with delayed projects, missing deadlines can impact trust — both internally and externally. This can have a downstream impact on existing — and future — business.
Using project management services helps keeps teams on track giving them a better chance of finishing projects on time.
5 steps of project management
Nearly all projects follow a similar, 5-step process taking a project from start to finish.
Step 1: Initiating
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” Alexander Graham Bell is credited with this saying and it could not be accurate when it comes to project management and success.
Preparation is vital. In this phase, the project scope is determined and the project foundation is established. A high-level overview (or “pre-plan”) of the project is created. Project phases and overall budgets are also determined and the project team is created.
Step 2: Planning
Planning, like initiating is all about doing the hard work up front to set your team up for success.
During this phase of project management, key milestone dates, as well as a final project completion date, should be agreed upon. While nothing is set in stone, clear and intentional project timing helps guide the entire project.
Roadblocks, bumps in the road, curveballs — whatever you want to call them — WILL HAPPEN. Dates and times may move around a bit due to unforeseen circumstances, but setting deadlines helps to ensure all team members are aiming towards the same goal.
Other key parts during the planning phase include:
- Determining which project management methodology your team will implement: Some options include Agile, Waterfall, PRINCE2, PMBOK, Scrum, Lean, and Kanban.
- Selecting your team members
- Outlining deliverables
- Estimating resources
- Determining associated activities and setting/managing the project scope.
Step 3: Executing
This is the “get stuff done” phase of any project. It’s where the rubber hits the road. During the executing stage, you see if your hard work during steps #1 and #2 paid off.
Did you plan appropriately? Did you set realistic deadlines? Did you record all deliverables and tasks (and subtasks) in your project management software?
This is where the bulk of the work happens.
Step 4: Monitoring/Controlling
All projects require constant check-in points along the way.
During the monitoring/controlling phase, it’s about asking (and answering): Are we where we said we’d be according to our predetermined project plan?
The most successful teams (and projects) have regular “systematic” project check-ins — often weekly standups to track progress. As major milestones approach, these meetings may happen more frequently.
A key component in the monitor/control step is having proper project documentation and tracking. This can be accomplished through Kanban boards, Gantt charts, team stand-ups, and many other means.
Step 5: Closing
Not surprisingly, “closing” (often called “project delivery”) is the final step for all projects.
Activities, tasks, subtasks, deliverables — done and done. The final product is delivered to the client and all associated stakeholders.
This final step often includes a full review of what was successful, what did not go so well (opportunity for improvement), and other lessons learned. This post-mortem review is critical to help future teams and projects have a better chance of being successful.
While there can be some variability in the details, the 5 steps outlined above are generally agreed upon in the product management world. More details are in this blog post.
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