I often hear people say, especially while budgeting, that project management is overhead. I also hear this about other organizations such as human resources and even finance. However project management adds value to your projects, to your organization and to your company as a whole.
Let’s start with portfolio management which is one part of project management. Good portfolio management will reduce waste by weeding out projects that should never be started. Often we start these projects and later cancel them after wasting effort and money.
Practicing good project management in the area of initiation, planning and execution will increase the performance of your project execution. Resources will be better utilized and the team will be more motivated and organized. This will reduce any duplication of effort and ensure that dependencies are dealt with in an optimal manor.
Performing proper project closure, and learning from our past successes and mistakes, will improve the performance of future projects.
Finally we need to monitor and control our projects. We learn in six sigma that you do not improve what you do not measure. Taking metrics during each phase of your product development process is key to learning and improving your future performance. You can start taking these measurements at any time. As you improve your implementation of project management you will also see an improvement in the performance of your projects. These project improvements will far outweigh the amount of effort that you put in to project management.
In everything you do you should follow Vaughan’s Equation: VO > EI. That is “Value Out is greater than Effort In.” You will find that project management follows this equation and therefore is well worth your time and effort. No, project management is not overhead. Project management adds value by reducing waste and improving performance. Therefore project management is a value add.