How Did Project Management Evolve and Why is it So Important?
Whether it's a question of facing an economic crisis or generating large turnover, project management plays a pivotal role in the growth of a firm. Since time immemorial, man has incorporated the idea of project management in the construction of monuments and various other architecture. However, since the early 1950s, it started to be pursued as a major discipline in the corporate companies. It forms the backbone in the fields of civil engineering, defense, aerospace engineering and infrastructure development.The Genesis of Project ManagementHenry Gantt, known as the father of planning and control techniques. Henri Fayol, famous for his 5-point management theory on project management, are regarded as the two stalwarts in this field. Companies recruit project managers that lead the team in order to timely achieve the targets set by the clients and customers. In management terminology, the duration in which an entire project is carried out, from its inception till the end, is called the project life cycle. The project life cycle can consist of one or multiple approaches. The management approaches are the various methodologies that the team can decide to follow so that the target is achieved in an allotted time.
What're the various management approaches? The most basic analysis of the project is called the initiation stage of a project. After this stage, designing or planning is done to streamline the task and make a flexible strategy to complete the task. Then the execution phase takes the center stage. In this phase, the project is practically tackled with all its pros and cons. The monitoring and controlling of the project is done with the execution stage to check the possible threats and keep an eye on the performance of the team. Once the project is about to finish, it goes into the closing phase, where all the activities are finalized.Vital Role of Project Managers Some of the prime advantages of having a good project management team for a company are as follows.Excellent product qualityConsumers generally look for low cost and high quality, while purchasing a product. Maintaining a high standard of excellence in developing quality products earns the company goodwill amongst its customers. The plans the allocated budget, resources and testing methods that keep the pace of production high, both qualitatively and quantitatively. The project management teams can also undertake six sigma training programs that enhance the quality of the products.So, we can say that project managers indirectly contribute a lot in ensuring that the quality of products is consistently high. In the recent years, a large number of standard corporate training programs have been designed to help project managers understand the intricacies of quality, control and management.Adequate communicationImproper communication among employees can lead to misunderstandings and negatively impact the performance of the firm. A project manager can be a bridge among the diversified branches of project undertaking. A project leader can hold meetings on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and can make sure that everyone is aware about the project plan and his/her responsibilities, both as an individual and as a team. And why only employees? Stakeholders also form a part of the company. Stakeholders prefer investing in those companies that deliver projects on time and keep them informed about updates and progress of the projects. If a client is satisfied with the performance of the firm, it's likely that it'll return with much bigger projects, not to mention huge investments. With the help of human resource management department, project managers can be more effective in communicating the expectations of the clients.Reducing risksThe probability of getting hit by an unwanted or unexpected event has increased manifold in today’s competitive business environment. The project management team can identify the potential risks, take their time to rectify them and help the company save valuable resources. In the case of a worst crisis, this team can opt for change management method to attain the desired goals. Risk management principles can be applied by the project managers to eliminate risks to a larger extent.Strategic objectives and goals Strategic goals are the blueprint of the task undertaken by a company. For instance, a software company aims to prepare software and related programing codes, whereas an infrastructure company has a target of constructing dams, bridges, etc. A project management team helps the company in achieving the strategic goals, as it streamlines the task of a company in taking many important decisions. Strategic planning and strategic thinking are vital management tools for a project management team. Once the task is allotted, the project team is responsible for the goal to be finished in the dedicated time. Innovation is an area in which the project team can invest more and come out with new ideas that can increase the profit margin and also reputation of the firm. Human resource, financial planning, corporate social responsibility and physical resources are other facets of strategic goals. Crisis ManagementCrisis in a project can occur because of several reasons like recession, labor strikes, paucity of funds, etc. In such a situation, it's essential for project managers to display maturity and profound administrative and managerial skills to handle the situation. At times, abandoned project and tasks are completed successfully, under the able guidance of project managers. The power inherent in the abilities of an accomplished project manager makes a huge difference in the outcome of the project. it's an essential segment in every organization. Be it the small scale enterprises or corporate giants, project management has the power to transform the market standing of a company and help it soar high in the sky.