What is project management? Who is a project manager?
We will speak today about some of the main questions related to project management. We will not go into deep theory, as there are many good books and articles out there which explain you the fundamentals of how to manage a project. But we do believe that question Why project management is needed? has not been discussed enough.
Let’s start with the main question: What is project management?
Project management is the process of organizing the producing and completion of a project. Drawing a scheme of steps, calculating risks and potential changes or outcomes for each step – are some of the fundamental tasks of a project manager.
Who is a project manager?
Project manager is the person responsible for leading a project which should result with a splendid product. And in case it does not turn out like this, he is also the one to be blamed for it.
Now that we are clear with the first 2 questions, we should talk about why somebody would need a project manager or for your business idea to be presented under a project?
Imagine that you have a great business idea which will turn out with profits of millions (at least that’s what you believe). Before starting anything, you want to have the guarantee that your business won’t fall. You know, nowadays a great idea can fall easily due to competition, so planning is important.
What you will need to plan?
You need to plan how you will accomplish your perfect product. And this goes by answering to the following questions:
- What is your product? Make a full description and note down the technical specifications.
- When do you want it ready for the market? Set a deadline. This timeframe will help you later figure out the costs and expenses.
- Who will participate in the production process? Which type of specialists you will need and how many of them? Based on your deadline and the average salary on the market for these specialists, you can figure out what will be the team’s expenses.
- What tools(materials, platforms etc – anything that will contribute at the production process) will be needed? Calculate their cost.
Then, once you did it all, think about: How much do the clients need you product? Do you have any competition? How much profit it will bring in first months? How about in first years? How much the maintenance of the product cost? etc.
Balance the potential costs and the potential profits. You will easily understand if your brilliant business idea is worth a try or not.
Before you start, of course all the answers to above questions will be just estimations. But let’s make it clear: you are to make these estimations, only when you are aware about the market’s needs, product specifications and the process to create it.
Hiring a project manager
If you choose to hire somebody to run the management of your product, then make sure that the person is:
- 100% into your product and its development
- Posses relevant studies and previous experience to your filed of activity
- Has strong IT background (if we speak about software development)
- It is responsible and has a strong logic
- Has a good reaction. You won’t believe how useful is to have a project manager with a good reaction, that can forecast bad movements before they happen and knows what measures to apply to avoid the worst.
- Has that thing with people when communication. We’d call it the hypnotization skill, but is not really a hypnotization, these are just admirable communication skills and ability to influence/motivate the team.
As a conclusion: you need project management for running a healthy business and a obtain a successful product. Without it, your business will be a chaos – will be full of errors and fatal mistakes – will be an unpleasant work process for your people – will be a constant worry for you and won’t let you sleep at night.