THE MAGIC TRIANGLE OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT
For the successful implementation of digitalization projects, a clean project management is crucial. Essentially, a successful project management must master the balancing act between costs, time, and quality. In project management we also speak of the “magic triangle”. All dimensions can never be optimized at the same time. Here, at Limendo, we know this from experience.
For example, you cannot achieve optimal costs with little time. When a project is under pressure due to its deadline, it is almost impossible to achieve optimal costs. No matter what industry. If you think of manufacturing, you will find that little time and not enough planning regarding the production can lead to increased set-up costs. These are the costs of rebuilding a machine for another product. In addition, production will have to react with an early or late shift, which in turn will result in higher labour costs.
However, even in our digitalization projects, we find that less time and not enough planning leads to higher costs. For the same reasons as described for the manufacturing. More software developers have to work simultaneously on a given task and therefore costs will increase. More time is being used by the project manager for coordination. Additionally, the error costs and expenses caused by misunderstandings also increase very quickly.
Each project is different and varies. The magic triangle, however, is the constant that is common to all projects.
THE PROJECT ORGANIZATION IS ESSENTIAL FOR THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT
The project organization is essential for a functional project. This is based on the leading committee, the project management and the project team.
The leading committee is responsible for the decisions within the project. Here, you will usually find the top deciders for the project, such as board directors or the IT director as well as the Limendo management.
The project management management is responsible for the coordination of the various project tasks. Here, you will find the client project manager as well as those from Limendo.
Last, but not least, the project teamis responsible for the project results. These can be varied. From the market research in the initial analysis for a strategy project all the way to the implementation of a digitalization initiative by the software developers.
THE GOALS OF EFFICIENT PROJECT MANAGEMENTS
In the project management our project managers will focus predominantly on two factors:
Digitalization makes it possible for all employees and managers involved in the project to communicate faster and better with each other via the digital means of communication such as Skype or Messenger. As a result, all parties involved are always updated and current, decisions are made faster and they are transparent to all. At Limendo, we work together even on an international level across national borders, so that resources are optimally utilized. In addition to communication tools, we use a professional project management software, which allows us to keep all information together in one central data source. It goes without saying that we have combined our project management software with our ERP system. This ensures that all project participants have the necessary data available at all times.
Top priority of a working project management is to improve the quality of the work and its results. This happens, for example, via digital services, in which users evaluate products and services in the prototype phase or through new possibilities of controlling. At Limendo, we always recommend the use of a Project Management Office, PMO for short, which initially assumes the tasks of controlling and keeps all project activities together in one place. This ensures that all involved parties adhere to specified project management processes and standards. Important are the inclusion and the support of the leading committee. The leading committee is able to take action if problems arise, which could prevent a successful project completion.
A PMO can later be continued very well through controlling. Only when processes are monitored regularly, they are also adhered to.
HOW CAN PROJECT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE SUPPORT?
The project management software is a small all-rounder in your business. In order for the software to deliver the expected performance, it is important that you choose the right project management software from the large selection that is currently available on the market. It’s best to draw up a catalogue of expectations – and also ask all employees which work areas could be made more efficient. Properly selected, software for project management brings decisive advantages:
- More control and transparency for your projects
- Efficient application of all resources
- Better cost control
- Faster error-reaction possibilities
- Better communication throughout the entire team
- Faster implementation of the projects
- Management of multiple projects simultaneously
- Visualization of results
Many standardized processes can be made more efficient by such software. With just one click, you will be able to see the actual status of a project without having to spend a lot of time with calling 10 different departments. Overall, project management software will ensure a better workflow.
When selecting a project management software, it is important to look at the integration into your other systems, especially the ERP. Also, remember that you need to master the project management methodology before thinking of any software. In principle, you can do a project without any software. The efficiency is then simply lower.
THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PROCESS CAN VARY GREATLY
The classic project processes
In principle, any project process is made up of various different phases.
There is the project definition phase, where the goals of the projects are defined, as well as the methods used and the process. Often you will receive a suggestion from outsiders about the project definition as well as a project budget. Of course, you can also develop such documentation internally. The project definition leads to a clear project assignment with a clear project sponsor.
Basically, the project planning defines a more precise timetable with regards to detailed planning. Normally, at the beginning of a project you will have a meeting with the leading committee, a so-called kick-off. In between, several leading committees with partial results may exist. The project ends in a final meeting with the leading committee, in which the results of the project are presented.
For the conclusion of the project, all of the experience of the project manager is collectedand recorded. These serve as a basis for future projects. Most people write down these points regarding “What went well” and “What could we improve?”
If you carry out several projects, it makes sense to think of a knowledge management software. It helps you to anchor the experiences of past projects in a structured manner within your company and helps to easily identify topics and experts.
This classic project approach is used whenever you implement classic implementations. For example, you decide to introduce a Customer Relationship Management Program in your company. Here, we speak of established software that can be easily managed. There are relatively few unknown factors to consider.
In addition to this classic project approach, the development of prototypes is of particular importance. For prototypes, there are various unknown factors to consider, which you may not have been aware of at the beginning of the project, or the project goals are changing during the prototype development.
For example, think about the development of a specific Customer App.. In the run-up to the implementation, all homework was done. The usage and meaning of the Customer App has been strategically confirmed. The planned process workflow was defined and recorded. There was a kick-off with the software developers.
Experience has shown that during this development it will be necessary to do this development in several steps and to develop a modular design. This way, there is much more feedback between software development and project managers than in classic projects. This does not mean that the leading committee needs to be involved more often. However, if it comes to changes, which were not incorporated in the initial planning, it is also necessary to involve the leading committee.
It simply makes a difference, whether you are puttering around a blue ocean with a rough direction in your head or if you are following a paved road. The more innovative a solution is, the more you need to include alternative routes.
WHAT DOES DIGITALIZATION MEAN FOR THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Digitalization and project management: Both factors are already firmly linked and have become a decisive competitive factor. Analog structures are transformed into digital structures. Whether you like it or not, or if you are receiving it with open arms or with scepticism: Digitalization does not stop at project management either.. It can be seen every day, where project managers will boycott the use of software. Behind this is the fear of becoming irrelevant within the company. If a software takes over all important tasks from the coordination over the prioritization to the communication of the individual departments with each other – what will be left to do for a project manager? The good news is: a lot, the tasks are merely shifting to other important places.
These tasks include systematizing the incoming dataand sorting them into important and less important ones. When every employee opens a new project, it quickly becomes confusing. Therefore, the project manager must prioritize and assign tasks to individual employees. For this, he/she needs to know their competencies and strengths. Even the best project management software does not replace good project planning. Especially when several teams and departments work on a project at the same time, someone has to overlook everything. In such a multi-project environment, the know-how of an experienced project manager is still in demand.
In times when processes are becoming more sophisticated, almost no one can survive without a well-functioning project management. It is important to know the possibilities and use them efficiently.
Limendo supports you in the implementation of your projects to be able to achieve results quickly.