Project Management as a Management Tool
When most managers talk about project management it’s normally associated with a major event like a building construction project or a new business system design. These projects require a high level of project management expertise such as those acquired through a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) designation. And there are, of course, times when a depth of knowledge and years of experience can prove critical to the ultimate success of the project.
The Bad News
Unfortunately for many of us, when we have been exposed to project management training, we are quickly overwhelmed with impenetrable technical jargon and a multitude of tools and templates to properly “do” project management. We spend our study time searching for a PMBOK Rosetta Stone!
Therefore, many managers overlook the value of integrating the basic principles of good project management into their work environment:
- setting measurable objectives;
- developing a work plan;
- tracking and communicating progress against milestones;
- and evaluating results.
These steps are all directly related to an effective employee performance and/or work management process.
The Good News
You can successfully manage a project without being an expert on the subtleties of project management (PM) - you just need some basic tools and procedures, and the confidence to apply them properly. You need to build your PM toolbox.
Do I need Project Management training?
If any of these apply to you, then you probably need some project management training:
- You’ve just been assigned a project and do not know how to start.
- You’ve been chosen as the project sponsor and don’t know what you should expect from your project manager.
- Your projects are often falling off track.
- You don’t know if your projects are on track or not.
- You have too many projects on your to-do-list and don’t know how to prioritize them.
All that you may need is a one-day workshop designed for the business person that will lead you through the project process from initiation to closure.
There are many courses and training tools available to anyone who is interested in developing this skill set. And, these development activities provide an excellent example for those who are looking to implement the Public Service renewal objective of moving learning closer to the workplace.
A Dash of Discipline
The point of adopting project management discipline in the work environment?
It allows managers to:
- effectively communicate what is required;
- emphasize the behaviours expected of employees;
- identify the competencies employees need to develop.
These PM abilities can be applied easily and will develop naturally as experience is acquired.
Project management may seem complex when you’re starting out. But - after a little practice - you will likely come to realize that it is really about common sense salted with a dash of discipline.
PM is People!
Maybe you have had experiences working with professional project managers who have turned you off by focusing too much on tools and techniques, and not enough on the “people” side of project management.
PM is, after all, about working effectively with people. Once you have learned its fundamental principles, you can adapt your approach to any size, type, or complexity of project.
But at its core, PM provides a framework for effective communication between people – and this is a capability that every successful manager requires.