by Greg Evans

PM: a necessity in any industry?

PM Careers

Project management: a necessity in any industry?
Project management: a necessity in any industry?
In today’s tough market conditions, ensuring that a company’s resources are utilised in a way that maximises efficiency is critical to its success and profitability. The increasing complexity of the modern manufacturing and service industries has meant that a specialised approach to project planning, resource allocation and cost management is necessary to avoid waste and to minimise risk. It is for this reason that the discipline of project management has become progressively valuable as a tool for managing the business operations of a wide cross-section of industries. Without effective leadership, the team as a whole will find itself unable to meet costs and project goals. It is therefore essential that your project managers receive the best training available in order to implement the necessary adjustments in order to allow the project to meet both client and company expectations.


Marketing

More that anywhere else, the effective management of soft skills is needed to ensure success in a marketing environment. The collaborative process of managing a team of sales people requires many inputs, and the approach to project management needs to factor in this aspect. Drafting a timeline, revising it to fit shifting staff commitments, and at the same time keeping the project on track and focused on meeting key aims is the task of the project manager. Ensuring that all liaisons between staff and branding partners, clients, and suppliers are streamlined, while ensuring effective media relations, are all equally vital to the running of a marketing department. Getting a handle on these varied processes through effective project management will allow the team to make the most of their available resources and maximise results. The proper management of follow-up sessions and the production of meaningful reports will add further value to the process.
 
Construction
Project management originates from the construction industry’s need for a means to regulate the processes and resources of large-scale building projects, and this remains just as relevant today. Change is a normal and expected part of the construction process. Whether this is due to design modifications, differing site conditions or material availability, these all represent risks that need to be planned for and managed. The cost and scheduling constraints involved in such projects are critical factors that can result in massive overruns if managed incorrectly. By implementing careful design and planning processes, and integrating these with coordinated management of resource procurement and work schedules, construction projects can maintain a careful check on budgeting and efficiency. Effective project management will provide for an adaptable means of dealing with these variables and will keep the project on task and in line with its resource allocations.


Information Technology

Due to the highly specialised nature of the IT industry, and the demand for constant modification and revision of its products, the need for effective project management is self-evident. It is important that clear parameters and goals are defined prior to product development. The role of the project leader is vital to the successful management and rollout of deliverables. Some common problems in the IT field can be overcome by the application of a few basic principles of project management. Keeping a check on the scope “creep”, which afflicts many IT projects, will dramatically improve completion rates and will keep cost metrics within acceptable limits. Communication between these two groups is therefore vital to prevent misunderstandings and to achieve a balance, which will ensure that both quality and business value is not compromised.


The University of Cape Town Project Administration short courses are presented online throughout South Africa. For more information contact Nikki on 021 447 7565 or nicole@getsmarter.co.za. Alternatively visit www.getsmarter.co.za.

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