No longer a luxury, project managers more than prove their value in ROI
Do I really need a project manager?
With increasing pressure to deliver more, faster, and cheaper, demonstrating return on investment (ROI) for every project is a necessity. We often see IT leaders shying away from adding a project manager to an initiative simply due to cost of the resource and the perception that it will negatively impact ROI. On the contrary…you really can’t afford not to have a PM. Case in point – the top causes of project failure, in order, are:
- Incomplete or lack of requirements
- Lack of end user involvement
- Lack of dedicated resources
- Unrealistic expectations
As it turns out, a dedicated PM mitigates nearly every single one of those risks and reduces the probability of failure. Still not convinced? Read on for the four ways a PM helps your ROI.
On any project, clearly defined goals help ensure everyone understands the purpose of the effort and maintains realistic expectations. Sounds simple, but it often gets lost in the shuffle of launching a new initiative. A project manager should be engaged prior to the start of any project work – this person will ensure goals are well-defined and all activities are aligned to those goals to help prevent scope creep and streamline work, all while reducing waste. Upon project conclusion, the leaders have clear achievement of their goals.
In addition to developing a project plan and assigning resources to tasks, the project manager determines when critical resources need to engage. The right timing is crucial when ROI is on the line. By understanding the competing obligations of all resources, a good PM works to prioritize and optimize resource usage, plus knows when to engage project leaders and executive stakeholders to maximize their project impact while minimizing their time commitment.
Risks, Issues & Rework
An experienced project manager knows key points of failure. By identifying risky areas and behaviors early on in the project, the entire team can work together to avoid them and plan mitigation strategies before full-blown problems emerge. This helps the project stay on-time and on-budget. Good planning and risk mitigation also reduces re-work caused by miscommunication and inadequate documentation. Should any issues slip through the cracks, a good PM ensures it’s resolved in a timely manner with minimal project impact.
Reporting & Metrics Tracking
Quantitative and qualitative metrics are identified and captured throughout the lifecycle of every project – this comes as no surprise to anyone. However, you might not realize that project managers are often the hub for collecting, distributing, and taking action on those project metrics. The PM determines which metrics are shared with the team and executive stakeholders, when the data is in an acceptable range, and any potential indicators of trouble. Utilizing project metrics helps the project manager ensure efficiency and successful output of project deliverables.
The addition of a project manager reduces risks, enables cost optimizations, and improves the success rate on every project to help increase ROI. If you’re interested in getting more out of your initiatives or grow tired of your projects failing…it’s likely you don’t have a skilled project manager leading the way.