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Key Benefits of a Robust Project Management Approach

Unit 1 Written Assignment – BUS 5611


Student: Anonymous

University of the People


Instructor: Dr. Mukesh Prasad
Unit 1 – Written Assignment 2

Abstract:

Background: A retail software design company is considering to setup a bonafide Project Management

Department. The goal is to help clients with a smooth rollout of the use of their software. A robust

project management approach will offer the company three key benefits including: lower costs, increased

efficiencies, improve customer satisfaction. These benefits ultimately help the business obtain a

competitive advantage, which contributes to the bottom line.


Unit 1 – Written Assignment 3

What is Project Management and why is a PMO needed?

Project Management is a way to achieve predetermined objectives with the application of a disciplined

process in planning and execution, and which adhere to a predetermined schedule, cost, scope and quality

requirements. It is different from traditional management methods although many of the traditional skillsets required

to manage an organization can also be applied to project management. “Projects” have their own unique

characteristics: They are temporary with a defined start and end date, each project is unique (with an unique

objective to develop or to deliver a product/service), and they are not part of the everyday business process (Watt,

2014). Different businesses across different sectors can benefit from applying a project management approach to

obtain specific business objectives. This proposal will examine 3 key benefits of setting up a Project Management

Department and how they can help the business in gaining competitive advantage and increase the bottom line.

Lowering Costs

Project management requires a detailed and careful estimate of all scopes, schedule and costs associated with the

project prior to the start date! A feasibility study is conducted during the initiation phase to determine if the project

should even be put into motion. This prevents businesses from spending money on projects that will ultimately fail

(Project Management Institute Inc., 2010). There are a few ways that a robust project management approach can

help to reduce cost; first off, when project schedule is pre-planned and followed, it would allow the implementation

stage to be carried smoothly, which would avoid costs associated with delayed or off-tracked project scopes.

Furthermore, when the project finishes sooner, the company would be able to benefit from the project sooner (ex.

either in the form of launching the product/service sooner to obtain more revenue, or free up more time to work on

the next project). In order to realize this benefit, the project scope, schedule and costs must be managed with

discipline. Project managers must adhere to the original plan, and approve or decline any changes to the original

plan only after careful consideration of the impact of changes to the project’s overall success are made(Duncan,

2013). A dedicated Project Management Department can help the business to secure these benefits by increasing

consistencies and best practices. They can also help to hold different project teams accountable and share knowledge

across different teams (Davis, 2019).

Increase Efficiencies

Efficiency is achieved when you use less effort to produce something. Productivity, or efficiency, can be achieved

when you are focused on the task assigned and progresses are tracked. Without taking on a strict project
Unit 1 – Written Assignment 4

management approach, it is easy to get side tracked or lost focus on the tasks that are truly important to the success

of the project (Landau, 2017). Managing a project with strict discipline involves composing a detailed list of project

scopes, which outlines all tasks required. Those key tasks that are critical to the success of the project are managed

with greater detail to ensure projects are complete on time. Another key knowledge area of project management is

communication management. When everyone involved in the project is informed of the project status and has a

consistent way to exchange information, greater efficiencies are achieved (Ross, 2018). A dedicated Project

Management Department can help to facilitate communication by bringing everyone together and break down silos.

Every project will have many internal and external stakeholders; the project management department can mediate

different priorities, styles and perspectives and keep all parties focused on achieving the project goal.

Improve customer satisfaction (Stakeholder)

Another key element of successful project management involves managing all stakeholders related to the project.

The identification of all stakeholders should begin at the start of the planning phase so everyone’s interest can be

brought to the table. Project stakeholders are anyone who can become impacted by the outcome of the project, they

can include: project manager, project owner, project team members, sub-contractors, user groups, customers and

many more (Landau, 2017). Customers are key stakeholders of the project, when their interest, priorities and

opinions are considered during the planning phase, customer satisfaction will ultimately improved. Other than the

planning stage, ‘quality control’ discipline in project management also contributes to increase customer satisfaction

when the project is monitored during the development and implementation stage to produce the expected output

(Alby, 2019). If the company invests resources to form a dedicated Project Management Department, they can

accurately capture customer’s level of satisfaction and use the knowledge learned to facilitate cross project learning

and strengthen the overall project management strategy.

Project Management Discipline can create Operational Competitive Advantage

A robust project management approach can ultimately help a business to achieve competitive advantage against its

competitors. According to Michael Porter (an renowned Harvard professor who has published his studies on

Sustainable Competitive Advantage), competitive advantage is attained when a business is able to differentiate its

product/services from its competitor and at a lower cost. Adoption of a strategically management project approach

means projects are focused on achieving its goals within the specified time and budget. A company that can

constantly get the job done well and finish under budget will make itself stand out among competition (Shenhar,
Unit 1 – Written Assignment 5

2000). In today’s highly competitive global market, the ability for a company to gain a competitive edge is vital to

the continued success of the business. A dedicated project management department can help the business in fully

cultivating the benefits of the project management strategy, and to ensure long-term sustainability of the project

management efforts.
Unit 1 – Written Assignment 6

References:

Alby, T. (2019). Customer Satisfaction. Project Management Knowledge.

Retrieved from:

https://project-management-knowledge.com/definitions/c/customer-satisfaction/

Davis, S. (2019). What is Project Management Office (PMO). Tallyfy.

Retrieved from:

https://tallyfy.com/project-management-office-pmo/

Duncan, P. (2013). Gaining competitive advantage through reducing project lead times. Project Management

Institute.

Retrieved from:

https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/rules-critical-chain-reduce-project-cost-5833

Landau, P. (2017). 3 Strategies to Increase Productivity. Project Manager.

Retrieved from:

https://www.projectmanager.com/blog/increase-productivity-strategies

Landau, P. (2017). What is a Stakeholder? Project Manager.

Retrieved from:

https://www.projectmanager.com/blog/what-is-a-stakeholder

Ross, C. (2018). How to be More Efficient in Your Project Management. Best Project Management Software

Reviews.

Retrieved from:

https://project-management.com/how-to-be-more-efficient-in-your-project-management/

Shenhar, A. (2000). Creating Competitive Advantage with Strategic Project Leadership. Project Management

Institute.

Retrieved from:
Unit 1 – Written Assignment 7

https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/competitive-advantage-strategic-project-leadership-554

Watt, A. (2014). Project Management. BCampus Open Textbook project. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

Unported License.

Retrieved from:

https://opentextbc.ca/projectmanagement/