28. Sep 2022Business

How project management helps and why it is important for clients

Why is project management so important? This question is asked by many clients who are interested in what project management will bring to them or their project. But the question should be whether you can afford not to have project management. Why? This is exactly what I will try to explain to you in this article.

Over the years, I have heard many arguments and questions against project management. You may recognize some of them:

"Project management is a waste of costs!" 
"Shouldn't the agency cover these costs?" 
"I don't think project management will bring me anything worthwhile." 
"It's a waste of time, which we already lack."

What do these statements have in common? Exactly! It is this question:

"Why is project management important and how it they help the client?"

I'll start by stating a few facts about project management.

What is a project management? 

Project management is the process of leading a project team in order to plan and manage the project so that it successfully achieves the project goals and outputs, with the main constraints (inputs) being the assignment, time (delivery date) and budget. Project management covers 5 project phases: initialization, planning, execution, monitoring and control, and project termination.

When we look at it in more detail, we find that the project manager provides the following tasks:

  1. Creates project documentation, completes and maintains it
  2. Brings together all the necessary inputs to start the project (scope of work, team building, plan and gantt chart preparation)
  3. Identifies and manages risks
  4. It sets work processes and also project management methodology
  5. Compiles project goals together with the client or analyst or designer
  6. Checks the progress
  7. Ensures team cooperation and appropriate cooperation
  8. Manages and controls the processes on the project
  9. It helps with team communication
  10. Maintains a good mood in the team and with the client
  11. Motivates the team
  12. Defines priorities together with the analyst and the client
  13. It mitigates and eliminates risks
  14. Reports progress to the client
  15. Manages the appropriate setting of resources on the project
  16. Creates or changes processes to achieve better results
  17. Manages changes in assignments from the client together with the analyst
  18. Monitors and evaluates project goals
  19. He finishes the project and hands over the project documentation together with the team

It is quite enough, and I believe that if a project manager is reading this, he would find a few more tasks that he performs in addition, because with each company, the project manager's responsibilities also change.

Now you can at least partially see why it is important for every project to have its own project manager.

Why is project management important? Because…

  • you will be able to clearly articulate the purpose and direction of your project deliverables, ensuring that all stakeholders agree before spending time or money.
  • you will have a detailed understanding of the requirements, costs, risks, quality standards and team required to make your projects successful.
  • you will be able to monitor the schedule, costs and outputs during the implementation of the project... you will always know how close or far you are from your plan, and you will always be able to communicate the real result of the project to the stakeholders (your customers).
  • you will be able to identify, manage and eliminate risks , which could derail your project from success.
  • you will have a formal learning process where you will find out what works well and what doesn't and then you will be able to apply these findings to the current project and thereby achieve better results or use this process for future projects and you will increase the probability of the success of these projects.
  • you will be able to formulate requirements thoroughly and thereby you drive the "big-picture" for the entire project.
  • you will have a clearly formulated focus and project goals that ensure the right plan to realize your strategic goals and the product will bring real value to users.
  • you will have established and organized processes to ensure that the right people do the right activities at the right time throughout the project cycle.

What are the benefits of project management?

Some advantages are already mentioned above, but I will add a few more:

  • Saves time and money – By increasing efficiency, mitigating risk and optimizing resources. Even with the additional cost of investing in a project manager, organizations can gain much more.
  • Ensures transparent communication with the client - Through regular progress reporting, samples of completed work in parts, explanation of requirements not only from a technical, but also from a business point of view.
  • It helps to make decisions that are supported by data - Data is obtained precisely thanks to project management, such as reports, work results, meeting the plan, error rate during product development, spending the budget and more. These inputs can be used to calculate a more accurate ROI, price a product or feature, create plans and budgets, and more.
  • Promotes cohesion between the team and the client - The client is drawn directly into the development process, in which he provides requirements to the analyst and then accepts these requirements during demonstrations of the completed works with the team.
  • It serves for more professional and thorough risk management - Risks arise regularly throughout the entire project cycle. Risk management is one of the important parts of project management.
  • Optimizes work processes - Through team meetings and discussions about problems, weak points, risks and improvements under the guidance of the project manager, they allow the optimization to take place better and, as a result, improve the processes.
  • It is flexible to changes -  Regular demos and deployments of the product after each functionality, allows to better respond to market and user requirements. Thanks to the established processes, it is very easy to adapt to changes in requirements or the entire plan.

A final thought

If the points mentioned above still haven't convinced you about the benefits of project management, let me conclude with one example that might convince you.

There are two teams developing a crypto mobile application. One team used their ingenuity, intuition and hard work to complete the app. The second team used project management.

The first team had huge highs and huge lows. Some developers even burned out. They never knew when they would finish, if they would submit the application on time, or if they were even on budget. They could only tell the customer what they needed to do next. They faced constant communication problems and mostly felt like things were getting out of control.

Team Two started with a plan. They knew who had a stake in the project. They identified the main assumptions and limitations in advance. They built their deliverables on time, on budget and with few unexpected interruptions. However, it is important to mention that they maintained a focused but steady pace that did not lead to burnout.

Stress remained at a minimum and everyone felt that they were in control of the outcome. This is what project management gives to a project through a project manager. Focused communication, priority work outputs, stable work environment without stress and especially with control over the project and its output.

I hope this article helped you and offered you a new perspective on project management. I am Head of Projects at GoodRequest, with Scrum master, Prince 2 certification and 10 years of experience in project management.

Tomáš VrabčekHead of projects & PMs