I have already talked about the benefits of Standards, Processes, and Procedures, but all those become irrelevant if they are not followed or kept up to date with changes. The focus of project management is to do just that. Maybe more accurately, project management utilizes those tools to ensure the highest efficiency and resiliency for the operations of the business.

Whether the business creates products, buys them to resell, or provides a service, project management is there to help manage the parts that make up the whole. Project Management, as a discreet corporate discipline, has been around for a few decades now. At least 4500 years in fact as the earliest examples of Project Management can be found in hieroglyphs from the building of the Great Pyramid of Giza. More recently, about 100 years ago, the Gantt chart was developed as a standard visual method for tracking task progress, milestones, and dependencies within a project. Along the way, Critical Path and Work Breakdown Structures were coined and became part of modern Project Management. In 1969, the Project Management Institute was formed and to this day creates a curriculum and certifies people as Certified Project Managers. Decades ago I went through this training process and I still send employees of companies I consult for to get their training from PMI because even if certification is not needed, their training provides a baseline education that every good project manager should have.

The best way to describe the benefits of using a project management system is that it is another tool in the CEO and management arsenal to ensure better efficiency and productivity while minimizing the impact of problems along the way. If you were to look back on a past situation where issues arose which affected your ability to deliver to your customers or a problem that affected your business internally, looking back with 20/20 hindsight you are probably able to analyze what happened and how it could have been prevented. Now, imagine being able to see that problem before it had any time to make an impact. Imagine having contingency plans already in place before the problem even arose. Imagine being able to easily prevent the problem from affecting your ability to deliver to the client. That is the ultimate goal and benefit of project management. Greater insight into the process; faster identification when problems arise; and pre-planned avoidance and resolution tactics to minimize impact. In a nutshell, the discipline of project management is all about making obstacles have less impact on your ability to deliver results.

For the last eight years, for every company I have come in to consult, I have started or updated a project management system and sent at least one employee to take the PMI certification classes. Keep in mind that a project management system is not just software. It is also the directions for how people will use project management in the company including procedures for the PM. While certification is not required, having the same understanding of the terminology that all certified project managers use, as well as the rationale for the proper way to set up critical paths for projects, is well worth the price of PMI classes.

One other thing I want to make clear for those new to using project management. A project manager is different than a group manager. The PM is not responsible for HR responsibilities for the group such as performance and reviews. They are also not responsible for the department budgets the way a group manager is. The PM is responsible for monitoring and managing the progress of projects which may include people from multiple groups.


Excerpted From The Original

Beyond Sales: 50 Business Problems Every CEO Needs to Solve

Foreword by Roy H. Williams

Gene isn’t a journalist, but he is most definitely an investigator.
I was talking to a friend who employs about 250 people in 3 different companies when he mentioned that he had hired a specialist to figure out what was wrong with a company that was underperforming.
“Who did you hire?”
“A fellow named Gene Naftulyev.”
“He’s going to figure out what’s holding you back?”
“Yeah. He’s famous for it.”
“How famous?”
“Procter & Gamble. American Express. Kraft Foods. Target. They’re all clients of Gene’s.”
“What does he do, exactly?”
“He improves profits without spending money.”
“But how?”
“Process re-engineering, operational optimization, making business units autonomous, negotiating employee and consultant contracts and a hundred other things like that. It just depends on what you need. He refines the core of your business so that you become more efficient, have fewer frustrations and make more money. Naftulyev can always spot the problems and his fixes are famously quick and easy.”