Project management system is an exact and intricate methodology that brings together all those involved in the project. The basic, core key objectives of a project implementation undertaking have not changed much over time. The basic mantra being you can save money by meeting deadlines and performing great work.
What is Project Implementation?
Project implementation can be defined as a process where “the inputs in a project become the outputs of a project and the same are visible in the project outline”. The process entails a sequence of activities that have to be designed, driven and managed; this requires resource employment. Effective management of all the undertaken work is essential for project manager for the project can be completed on schedule and within the set budget.
Project Implementations are Categorized as Follows:
- Putting in action the activities of the project
- Putting into practice what was proposed in the project document i.e. transforming the project proposal into the actual project
- Management of the project or executing the project intentions
Project, implementation is carried out following the already laid down timetable or work plan. It leads to the realization of project outputs and immediate objectives.
Project implementation is usually undertaken by the people or business who prepared the project and who have the ability and support for it. The individuals or organization is referred to as the Implementing group. The implementing group creates and devises the project implementation entity, which will ultimately carry out the implementation.
To ensure that the project stays within the confines of an estimated budget and thus save costs and money during project implementation requires that the cost forecasting, scheduling and the earned value systems are complementary and interactive.
Most successful project managers have made a paradigm shift in their thought process and moved away from the tradition or ‘silo thinking’. And this shift involves following the 3 rules that when applied spells ‘success’.
Rule 1- The Team
Identifying and bringing together the right team at the beginning of the project stage by organizing a team meeting. When the right team is identified, the team should comprise of the key people who are representative of their role and functions. And then the SOW which includes project details like start time, costs and budget estimates and other relevant schedules are shared and conveyed to the team.
Rule 2- Preparation for Setbacks
Many a time, we don’t discuss delays or obstacles in project realization. Recognizing and accepting that any project will face issues or roadblocks is the first step wherein we plan ahead for any eventuality. Anticipating ahead, detecting problems and eliminating them can help the cost factor.
Rule 3- End "Silo-Based Thought Process"
A thought process that evolves from a basic silo-level thinking to a more proactive and practical approach is required as this can affect the project’s time and money. At project commencement, ideas are flowing, with a lot of inputs and ideas. But all this required a defining, identifying and positioning so that it moves in the same direction. With constant interactions and meetings all project milestones can be laid and this would include scheduling, forecasting and estimating.
Steps Contributing to Save Money in a Project
There is nothing small in a project management system. Therefore, any mistake in project implementation process, certainly affects funds. Effectual project management diminishes the risk of mistakes and oversight and lessens costs at all junctures of project implementation right from concept stage through project finalization, completion and delivery.
The known recipe for time, ‘Time means Money’ is relevant as always. Meeting project implementation deadlines is of primary importance to accomplishment by and large. Scheduled project management can considerably cut down project execution deadlines as it generates a comprehensible general control system, efficient management handling and a synchronized operational course.
Reducing a lot of time and money can be baseless if the quality of performance or output is not good. The resultant factor would be increased time and money spends in follow-up activities in setting right and trying to meet all quality requisites and systems. Quality work output should be maintained, suiting all project requirements.
Researching and Seeking Employee Inputs
Adopting good employee ideas and developing it from conceptualization to realization requires visualization and detailed planning. Carrying out a research on functionalities and issues is necessary to increase success rate and prevent failure. The same should be shared with all the stakeholders and come to a conclusion.
POA and Costing
Create a fiscal plan and a POA. All projections should be practical, realistic and achievable. Once the research, POA and fiscal plan are accomplished, the project can be started.
If an employee has contributed the idea, then having them take onus of the project implementation is practical and sensible. This along with regular supervision from the management would engender a positive result and better success rate.
Monitoring and Review
Close checking of the project during the initial phase is very crucial. During the early stages, a lot of time, guidance and support are needed. Necessary involvement by those scrutinizing the project can avert errors, reduce expenses and even lead to project cancellation if the prospects are not promising.
Categorizing the Budget
The saying, “Time is Money”, is an apt and fitting quote. Time and money are comparable and connected. To keep our budget parameters lean, we have to spend money judiciously just so we have to save money.
The project budget should contain all costs. This includes actual costs, existing costs, anticipated costs, external costs and a contingency for any unexpected costs or escalations.
Here are a few outlines that would aid in ensuring a well-defined and pragmatic budget:
- Presuming resources may not be delivering their cent percent at all times, productivity could oscillate and it is best to keep it at about 70-80% of their contributed time.
- Individuals working on more than one project would generally take more time to complete and submit their tasks because they are multi-tasking between assigned projects.
- Resources are usually positive and often misjudge the time taken for task completion.
- Consult, confer, ask and meet with people to gather their experiences and also your own when understanding when making the budget.
- Always consult a professional or a specialist to gather their viewpoint.
- All approximations and estimations should comprise of management time.
- Always make a contingency plan for problem addressing, meetings, sudden events and other unanticipated happenings.
- The costing for each task should be highlighted in a Task breakdown configuration to derive the total cost, than trying to make a total project cost.
- Also any unforeseen workload or work should also be factored in and a certain allocation should be made for work that cannot be defined and would only happen in the event or may or may not happen.
- Communicate any hypothesis, eliminations, segregations or limitations that may be there to the customer in advance.
- Present regular budget reports to customers and team members, so all are aware and are on the same page.
Some Common Errors
- Lack of budget ownership.
- Providing funds in an impromptu basis.
- Major expenditure is not clearly identified earlier and the outcome would be project cancellation later because of funds paucity.
- No control or checking the actual expense against planned expenses.
Tools that aid in identifying Project Management Techniques and they are as listed below:
- Devise a cost report. This takes the estimation and converts the same into a coded budget where the assigned and spent funds and time are accounted.
- As cost and schedule are interconnected, scheduling or forecasting is an effective tool. Using and ensuring the schedule as an accurate Critical Path Method (CPM), wherein we calculate when the project would be completed within the stipulated time and not just account for the work is completed.
- The third tool to spot issues is the practice of employing an earned value management used to measure work completion. Here what works best to maximize results is taking the resources and funds allocated and convert it into man-hours with an average rate for different functionalities and then allocating the budget hours to the functionalities. Also keeping a couple checks at every stage helps validation and ensures overemphasizing of progress does not happen.
The tools when implemented for forecasting in a project will show the completion date and costing. If a problem were to arise, then the problem has been identified earlier on and by making amends or changes, it is rectified.
For a suitable project management environment, organizations and individuals should learn to effectively manage the above stated Project Management Techniques to save money during Project Implementation stages. If fitting rules and outlines like proper estimation, forecasting, scheduling and budgeting is undertaken, then it would help to have a better understanding of successful and established best practices in project management, and this can make that key difference between a projects that are barely managing to successfully managed projects.