Why Project Management is Critical to Your Organization

Why Project Management is Critical to Your Organization
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Christina Lee

Last updated October 12, 2017


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In order for businesses to successfully initiate, develop and complete projects, they need to recruit, hire and train people with solid project management skills. The business world is speeding up and product lifecycles are much shorter. This is forcing organizations to start new projects at an increasing rate. However, as projects become more complex, project failures, delays, and missed deadlines are becoming increasingly common. 

One of the main factors leading to the increasing complexity of projects is the rise of globalization. It is a challenging task for organizations to operate and coordinate projects in different countries around the world due to differences in time zones, language, culture, distributed teams, and distance. For instance, if project teams are located in different geographies, communication must happen through conference calls at times that work for everyone. This slows down the process of communication, as issues cannot always be resolved immediately as they arise in person. Communication can also become muddled when people are using a language that is not their native tongue. For instance, it is easy to misinterpret colloquialisms that can be very specific to a culture. It is key to have a leader who can coordinate and convey ideas despite these differences.  

Another challenge that organizations face is a lack of clearly defined project goals. This challenge requires project leaders who can ask the right questions to establish and communicate clear goals from the outset. Not having clear goals from the beginning of a project can also impact the scope of a project later; effects on budget and deadlines will need to be communicated to all team members. Successful managers need the knowledge and experience to evaluate each change request and decide how and if to implement it. It can be extremely difficult to find the right leader to handle making decisions and communicating them well to the team. 

The real risk of failure

If an organization does not have the right people leading important projects, the risk of projects failing is real.

According to the Standish Group, less than a third of all projects were successfully completed on time and on budget. Breaking this down, we learn that 28 percent of projects are successful, 23 percent are failures and 49 percent are only partially successful. In other studies, it was shown that 85 percent of the projects fall short of time and budget goals, with an average overrun of 70 percent in time and 60 percent in budget. 

Projects fail for a variety of reasons.

Source: PMI, Pulse of the Profession, 2017 

However, research shows that high-performing organizations successfully complete 89 percent of their projects, while low performers complete only 36 percent. In fact, 97 percent of organizations believe project management is critical to business performance and organizational success, yet barely over half of project managers are certified.

The value of project management training and certification

Project management is a problem-driven discipline. In order to be effective, a project manager needs to possess a wide range of competencies, be able to meet challenges and solve problems in many areas.

For example, a particular project might require skills that the individual members of the team lack. Project management training can help a project leader determine which competencies are needed, assess the available workers and recommend training, outsourcing or hiring additional staff. The right training and certification is an essential step for managing the unexpected obstacles project managers can face on a daily basis.

Project management training teaches leaders how to mitigate risk, plan for the unexpected and reduce ambiguity. Risk tolerance is desirable in an effective project manager because projects rarely go exactly according to plan. Knowing which parts of a project are most likely to cause problems and put the results in jeopardy is an important skill for a  project manager to have. This is also applicable in dealing with ambiguity. If options are not identified and clarified, the entire project can be delayed by unexpected problems. Project managers provide direction at every stage and then clearly communicate it, so each team member is aware of how to proceed. Proper training can increase communication skills and awareness of risks.

How organizations can overcome project management challenges

With the increased need for project managers, certified professionals are in great demand. Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification is the global gold standard of project management offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Certified PMPs lead projects around the world and, unlike other certifications that focus on a particular geography or domain, the PMP is truly global. As previously mentioned, businesses are becoming increasingly globalized, so having a certification that matches this trend and enables one to work anywhere is a wise investment. 

Certified Project Managers add value to organizations. According to the PMI Pulse of the Profession study, organizations with more than 35 percent of PMP certified project managers achieved better project performance. 

There are a growing number of training opportunities available for employees to acquire the appropriate project management skills. While no single training delivery model works best for every learner, a learner-centric model must be utilized. At Simplilearn, we have found that a “blended learning delivery model”, 24/7 access to teaching assistance, project-based learning opportunities and quizzes/assessments increase competency and proficiency. 

Designed by expert authors, our Project management courses offer high-quality training in both technical and business skills to ensure professional success. Specifically, the Simplilearn PMP certification training course is designed to ensure that you pass the PMP exam on the first try. Our hands-on training approach, delivered to over 52,000 students, will help you to understand the knowledge areas defined by the PMBOK® Guide—Fifth Edition. We guarantee you’ll walk away with all the preparation and confidence you need to conquer the exam, earn your PMP certification and become a problem-solving project manager.

PMP, PMBOK are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

About the Author

Christina is a marketing communications and project management leader with over a decade of demonstrated experience and expertise. As a certified Pragmatic Marketer and Project Management Professional, Christina brings together the art and science behind these two disciplines to drive awareness and visibility to brands, while creating a functional environment that fosters creativity, operational effectiveness and high performance within teams. Her enthusiasm to work on strategic marketing initiatives and develop integrated campaigns really brings to life the creativity and interdisciplinary skills required to engage customers, prospects and business partners.


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