We are living in an age where Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, can plan to temporarily relocate to Africa in 2020 when his company is experiencing a significant decline in its stock value owing to underwhelming earnings. The truth is today’s business environment is more unpredictable than ever before, which leaves business managers no choice but to be constantly ready for the unexpected and make tough decisions on the go.
If business managers are unable to adapt to – or even recognize – potential risks and problematic processes in their business, these issues may escalate and spread over the entire business. One of the ways to address and resolve problematic business processes is to treat them as unique projects and apply project management (PM) methodology and tools to deliver results.
What is Project Management (PM)?
According to Investopedia, Project Management refers to the planning and organization of a company’s resources to move a specific task, event or duty towards completion. It can be a one-time unique project or an ongoing activity, where the resources managed include internal personnel, external stakeholders, finances, technology and intellectual property.
PM Methodology & System
A good business manager should come up with a systematic approach that would allow all the stakeholders to communicate and receive the information on time. According to an HBR article “The Dirty Little Secret of Project Management”, applying a systematic approach to project management methodologies improves project delivery results.
Focusing on Setpoint, a company that builds rollercoasters and factory automation systems, the article found that Setpoint effectively managed multimillion-dollar projects using their own system with just a whiteboard and a calculator. What does this imply? The main purpose of a project management system, even if it’s just a whiteboard and a calculator, is to allow business managers to communicate with the key stakeholders of the project on time. While this is true, what if there are more effective and far less painful ways to manage a project? Should we use those instead?
Modern PM Tools & Accuracy
The main benefit of project management tools is accuracy. According to Finance Online, many businesses use Excel spreadsheets, while others still use pen and paper, to keep track of their team project’s progress. However, using a PM software guarantees more accurately databased documentation. Along with other benefits such as central data storage, quick access and online reporting with KPI dashboards, and insight reports that are vital in monitoring the project’s progress. In other words, using different PM tools helps business managers not only communicate with the key stakeholders, but also guarantee higher efficiency and lower percentage of error.
Modern PM Tools & Team
While many business managers prefer to use simple tools for the primary management of a project, HBR research shows that comprehensive PM software with prioritization features can have positive effects on employees. By helping employees be proactive and disciplined with their time, PM software can help boost their well-being, happiness and productivity. In other words, understanding the business process in combination with easy-to-use software/web application helps workers to manage their time, resulting in higher productivity and job satisfaction, which is the ultimate goal of any successful business.
So, if a manager wants the freedom to relocate to Africa, they need to oversee all the business processes thoroughly and recognize any processes that show signs of failing. But in the situation where it is evident that a process is failing, a business manager should be well equipped with the tools to have his/her team ready to jump in and resolve the issue effectively.
For additional project management tools and applications, you can check out the following resources:
- PM Guide: https://store.hbr.org/product/hbr-guide-to-project-management/11184
- PM Principles: https://hbr.org/2019/11/why-withholding-information-at-work-wont-give-you-an-advantage?referral=03759&cm_vc=rr_item_page.bottom
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