The ManageForce Blog

What's The Value of Project Management?

Posted by John Hughes | 6/24/16 7:17 AM

Project Management, of course, is not new; but it’s finding its way into more and more businesses as several industries have learned to embrace its role. Indeed, to stay ahead of the competition in today’s complex and volatile global economy, companies are using Project Management to help deliver more consistent and reliable business results. And it’s paying off.

With an increased recognition of how it can positively impact profits, Project Management has become an integral part of the business process in all sorts of industries. Whether in manufacturing, engineering, consumer-packaged goods, or even tech startups, Project Management is playing a significant role within teams responsible for executing key tasks.

Consequently, over the last couple of years, researchers and professional consultants have been moved to analyze Project Management in order to find out what the actual benefits are for businesses and executives.

Their findings have only confirmed that when Project Managers answer to executive level leadership, companies are almost twice as likely to bring projects in on time. In fact, when structured through a Project Manager, projects even end up meeting or exceeding budget expectations twice as often.

So, what exactly is Project Management? And why is it something that your company should embrace?


What is Project Management?

Generally, Project Management is an all-encompassing term for project, program, and portfolio management.

But this role entails more than just identifying a point person who  always knows what’s going on with a project. Put another way, Project and Program Managers do more than just tell the resources on staff what needs to get done, or just reporting back to the executive team on ‘how things are going.’ Rather, a properly structured project strategy involves the entire organization.

As such, Project Managers dictate project execution at every level—they carefully look at how all the small details interact, in order to provide their team with direction/changes/value along each step of the process.

In other words, this role does not merely serve as a middle-man between the executive team and the staff on each project. Instead, Project and Program Managers are the leaders of a project—capable of understanding high-level business goals, as well as the necessary steps that need to be executed so as to meet all of those goals.

Program Management in The World of IT Managed Services

In the area of Managed Services, project management programs/activities are generally referred to as “Program Management.”  The impact of Program Management in our industry depends on how one first assembles a leadership team that understands how to support the required project methodology. Certainly, when starting an engagement with a client, executives have to build teams with the right personnel—the people that have the right skills sets to carry out the project plan. But in the world of IT managed services, it’s critical to build a strong foundation for client projects—and that’s why the first step in the process involves assembling the right Project Managers.

Program Managers in managed services companies are unique talents who are well-versed and trained in many different areas. They understand the interconnectedness between infrastructure, databases, and applications. They know the necessary steps, tools, and talent needed to get a project optimally executed.

As such, we start with a  Program Manager, because they will know what resources are needed, and can consequently create a project plan, communication plan, and risk management plan to help structure the leadership structure and engage their clients the right way.

Indeed, in application and database management, the Program Manager is not merely a resource that assists—they are the leader responsible for keeping their project’s execution smooth and on-budget.

Keeping a project on track in our complex industry requires strict management of metrics, SOPs, SLAs, and goals. This has to include every member of the project team—even the clients. After all, to succeed as an application and database managed service provider, project management strategies need to be aligned directly to the client’s specific business goals. That’s what separates the best from the rest. And the Program Manager holds the key role to ensuring that management is done right.

By helping reduce the failure rate of projects, Program Management has enabled  companies from all industries to get the most out of their IT departments.

The Economic Value of Program Management

More companies are seeing both immediate and long-term payoff from investing time, money, and resources into a comprehensive Program Management System. To that end, you could say it’s not really a cost; it’s an investment.

Like an ITSM platform, a talented Program Manager and a structured Program Management system will lead to lower project costs, increased efficiency, improved customer satisfaction and retention, and consistently high-quality service delivery. These factors are crucial, as delivering projects on time and within budget will often determine whether managed service providers are offered a subsequent project.

Furthermore, the economic crisis of the last ten years has only heightened the value of Program Managers. An Economist Intelligence study found that 80% of global executives thought designating project management as a core competency helped them remain competitive during the recession. That’s because comprehensive Program Management systems consistently deliver more successful projects, therefore directly impacting the bottom line.

A streamlined Program Management system sets standards for project deliverables, SOPs, SLAs, communicating schedules, and measurable delivery goals, thereby leading to quality results and successfully executed projects.  

Our Approach to Program Management

We provide a thorough Program Management system, complete with a dedicated Senior Technical Program Manager, that assures strategic and consistent service delivery. Your Program Manager will have the right experience to learn the nuts and bolts of your IT environment in order to guide your dedicated team to maximize its use and value.

Benefits of Using the ManageForce Method

The Critical Path Method (CPM) is a ManageForce method intended to assist Project Managers with  scheduling  projects and making decisions. CPM encourages planning ahead, allocating resources properly, and continuous monitoring of the timeline and schedule. Consequently, CPM can help increase efficiency, improve productivity, reduce uncertainty, and increase instances of deadlines being met.

Using CPM identifies all the necessary activities and resources during the planning process. Based on this information, your team determines the most efficient plan of execution and the timeline needed before beginning the project. Resources are allocated accordingly, and each activity has the appropriate number and quality of assets. You will understand the connections of interdependent tasks and minimize the project duration. Sub-critical tasks are performed in parallel, which reduces the overall timeline of the project. Efficiency is optimized. Our unique methodology, led by a Senior Technical Program Manager, improves the success rate of your application and database management projects. Your team is freed up to focus on core projects that grow the business, and exponentially improve the performance of your IT department.


Managing the Modern Database

Topics: Managed Services, Project Management

Written by John Hughes


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