Cutting unnecessary expenses is an important part of a successful business strategy. So… it seems simple – why don’t we cut project management? Can’t we project manage ourselves?
Yes, the addition of project management can affect the budget; however, a lack of project management will affect the overall project outcome, brand reputation, timeline, and associated budget. Without a designated person or team to help study the need, assess risk management, conduct quality control oversight, and navigate the ups and downs, a project’s outcome may yield greater cost, increased stress on the workforce, sub-optimal efficiency, and less profitability (in lieu of: can end up more costly, more stressful, less efficient, and less profitable.
Find out five ways project management can affect your reputation and your overall bottom line:
Every project needs a dedicated leader to help guide the cohesive direction and timing of projects. Without clear communication and lines of accountability, doors are opened for missed steps, duplication of efforts, and in-efficiencies. Not to mention, every team needs someone to help motivate and inspire team members through unexpected complications in a timely, prioritized manner. The Digital Project Manager states, “Without project management, a team can be like a ship without a rudder; moving but without direction, control, or purpose. Leadership allows and enables team members to do their best work.”
2. Subject Matter Expertise
A project manager cannot assist in streamlining the next steps and providing guidance for timing and strategy unless they are well-versed in the knowledge of the project. It is crucial that project managers know a little about every aspect of a project so that in the instance that there is an issue, question, or challenge, they are ready to jump in with the most effective, budget and timing-friendly solution. “Without subject matter expertise through project management, you can find a project becomes unbalanced – the creatives ignore the limitations of technology or the developers forget the creative vision of the project. Project management keeps the team focused on the overarching vision and brings everyone together, forcing the right compromises to make the project a success.” (The Digital Project Manager).
3. Realistic Expectations
Realistic expectations are essential to making sure that a project is delivered in a way that keeps both the client and marketing teams happy. Without project management input about realistic budget, timeline, and execution, clients and team members can create over-ambitious or unreasonable standards that can cause stressful and unmotivated outcomes. Another component of setting realistic expectations is making sure that the project manager is well equipped with alternate routes and resources to combat roadblocks that may prolong the project’s estimated deadline. Therefore, the project manager is always engaged, prepared, and planned. “Without proper project management and a solid project plan, budget estimates and project delivery timelines can be set that are over-ambitious or lacking in analogous estimating insight from similar projects. Ultimately this means without good project management, projects get delivered late and over budget.” (The Digital Project Manager).
4. Risk Management
“Good project management practice requires project managers to carefully analyze all potential risks to the project, quantify them, develop a risk mitigation plan and a contingency plan should any of them materialize. It requires knowing the right questions to ask in order to uncover risks early.” (The Digital Project Manager). Research is another important component of project management. A team needs a dedicated person to understand the client’s needs or asks so entirely that all potential risks can be addressed upfront so that if/ when an issue arises, a plan is already in place and the team is ready to execute it. Leading a team in this manner will help the project be delivered on time, on budget, and keep the client happy. Without a plan in place, brainstorming and discussion will need to take place in the middle of a project, which can cause delays, additional costs, and create a tense atmosphere between the client and the team.
5. Quality Control
Marketing teams can be put under pressure to get projects completed and completed on time. So often, the biggest issue that can arise is the quality of work. Therefore, project management is needed as a point of intervention to ensure that speed does not affect the output of the work being produced. Without someone to create checkpoints to review and ensure the results are evident with what is expected, it is very easy for projects to be rushed due to pressure. “Good project management demands gated phases where teams can assess the output for quality, applicability, and ROI. Project management is important to quality because it allows for a staggered and phased process, creating time for teams to examine and test their outputs at every step along the way.” (The Digital Project Manager). This also ties into setting realistic expectations for deadlines and making sure that everyone is on the same page about budget and timeline so that this pressure is non-existent in the first place.
So, while project management is an added expense, it is a justified expense since removing it opens the doors for unclear objectives, unrealistic expectations, poor quality of work, and potential lack of resources.
“Project management creates and enables happy, motivated teams who know their work matters, so do their best work. And that project management enabled team ensures the right stuff is delivered; stuff that delivers real return on investment, and that makes happy clients.” (The Digital Project Manager).
Aston, B. (n.d.). [web log]. Retrieved April 25, 2022. Link.