The Top 10 Benefits of Having a Project Manager
You know the drill: your Account Manager shows up at your office with a great new solution. They talk about the benefits of updating and how they can support all of your equipment and installation needs. You agree because it is time to update. And you like the idea of not having to lose a week or more of your own team to installation. You go back and forth, fine-tuning all the details, then you get the final proposal. And it includes a section for a Project Manager and your first reaction is “I don’t need this, my project isn’t big enough to warrant a PM.” Then you start to wonder, ‘Do I really need a project manager?’
In short, the answer is yes. The Project Manager (PM) does much more than just sending emails or scheduling calls. The main purpose of a PM is to make sure that projects and programs are delivered in a repeatable, standardized way that results in a successful project. The PM underpins the project delivery mechanisms by ensuring that all business change in an organization is managed in a controlled way. Key among a project manager’s duties is the recognition that risk directly impacts the likelihood of success and that this risk must be both formally and informally measured throughout the lifetime of a project.
Running projects and programs in a standardized way has lots of benefits. For one, it’s cheaper to have everyone doing things the same way. There are economies of scale that come with introducing standardization but it’s also more efficient. When every project has to work out its own way of managing risk, the project suffers from a lot of wasted time. By introducing a project manager to your project, you essentially hand the team a standard approach to managing risk which allows you to capitalize more effectively on organizational knowledge. The lessons learned on one project can be captured and incorporated into new projects so that other projects benefit from that knowledge too. When there is a consistent way of working, managers and their teams become accustomed to what they can expect. This means that starting a project happens more quickly as everyone already shares consistent expectations for working on a project.
Having a project manager increases the likelihood a project will be successful and profitable, enabling your business to grow, by accomplishing the following 10 things:
Project Manager Benefit #1: Provide vision and direction
They identify the aims and vision of the project and give it purpose and direction. They also provide the point of contact for the project. The PM is responsible for all communication between stakeholders, customers, and the project team, which decreases confusion and increases accuracy.
Project Manager Benefit #2: Increase efficiency
The project manager works with the project team to define the tasks which need to be undertaken in order to complete the project and in what order they should occur. This ensures that they are completed efficiently.
Project Manager Benefit #3: Control scope
The scope of the project is comprised of what has to be delivered (the project deliverables) and what work has to be done to deliver these. The project manager will continually address scope management throughout the life of the project through routine monitoring and controlling. This, in turn, saves effort and cost.
Project Manager Benefit #4: Manage costs
Delivering on time and within budget are two constraints of any project. The project manager controls not only monetary costs but also personnel resources, both internal and external, and the equipment costs.
Project Manager Benefit #5: Manage time
Time is arguably the biggest challenge of any project. The project manager must control the project schedule by examining milestones, key dates, and the critical path throughout the project lifecycle.
Project Manager Benefit #6: Schedule the work
The project manager ensures that all the project team members work on their tasks in the appropriate order. This includes calculating the time a task takes and solving any problems which may delay meeting deadlines.
Project Manager Benefit #7: Deal with potential risks
There is always a chance for potential risks in a project no matter how well it’s organized. A project manager will identify potential risks, assess the impact they may have and consequently make a plan to avoid or manage them. The aim of risk management is to reduce the potential undesirable consequences (impact) of a project.
Project Manager Benefit #8: Administer procurement
If your project requires products and services from outside your organization, the project manager manages these contracts and controls the terms of these contracts.
Project Manager Benefit #9: Communicate with stakeholders
Once the project is up and running, it is crucial to communicate the progress of the project to both the operations team and the stakeholders. The project manager communicates the goals and performance to business leaders in a regularly scheduled report.
Project Manager Benefit #10: Close the project
After the project has met the goals and expectations of the project customer, the project manager documents and reviews the project phases with the stakeholders. Evaluation of the project is undertaken with lessons learned duly noted for the next project.
Whether you are new to working with a PM, or have worked with many, the number one thing a PM would like to do is foster a solid working relationship with their customers and their resourcing teams. Ultimately, the project manager becomes and acts as a strategic business partner for you. A good PM will challenge, have the difficult conversations, and champion approaches that lead to greater results. With a supportive PM behind you, your organization can reach your goals more quickly, and with more certainty in the outcome.
Heather joins our team after spending eight years in the radio division at CBS in California. She most recently led a team of managers at VDOT before transitioning into Project Management at ABS.
Being a West Coast transplant, Heather enjoys sightseeing and visiting historical sites in Hampton Roads. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and baking cookies.