Project management is an essential aspect of industries, which ensures the proper utilization of its resources and in giving the associated tasks to be executed with direction. Projects are becoming more prevalent in industries as their needs continue to expand and become more complex, especially with the tightening competition in the market today.
The Information Technology Industry
Information technology (IT) is basically the use of computers that store, protect, process, transmit, and retrieve information. Computer systems and designs are one of the fast growing industries in the world today, in terms of development and employment. According to Computer World, IT jobs will grow by 22% through 2020. The main growth catalyst here is technology, and its incorporation to existing business infrastructures and backbone. This is done to enhance productivity and efficiency in the workplace and to expand opportunities for market and growth. Its increasing dominance is greatly prevalent in most technological developments like mobile computing, social networking, cloud services, and big data analytics.
Project Management in the IT Industry
Project management in the IT industry consists of a more modern take to the traditional methodologies and processes involved in its former development. IT infrastructures demands high from technology, which includes uncompromisable aspects to deliver like 100% reliability and implementation efficiency. IT project management becomes more complicated because of the shifting needs and behavior of the market that has to be met accordingly. The IT industry’s clients are among the top notch, highly valuable players in the market, so it is a must that projects will be built as the top of its class most of the time.
The deliverables in IT projects are somewhat intangible, which makes it more complex to formulate and manage. But when it comes to resources, there isn’t much to deal, unlike with physical and tangible projects. IT project management focus on people and their skills to process information and turn it into useful programs.
Information Technology projects are becoming of increasing importance, mainly because of its prevalence and manifestation in our daily, practical lives. There are many sectors that IT have been touching, like business, academe, government, financial, military, and nonprofit organizations. Due to modernization, there is a high demand for computerization and information delivery from these sectors, which needed support from IT project management. How to design a project management structure complete with project management strategies to implement is the challenge here.
Many have felt that IT projects are somewhat unique and different; it needs a unique set of project management tools and techniques to use in order to deliver its desired outcome. What makes IT projects unique is not actually the tools, engineering, hardware, or software that it uses, but the following:
- The Risks It Encounters
- Its Rapid Development
- Its Varied and Shifting Needs To Fulfill
- Short Lifespan of Technology
- Rush Demand From Initiation to Deployment
- The Multiple Dependencies of Other Projects to It
Basically, an IT project manager should be able to properly budget, beat deadlines, and meet customer’s requirements according to a specified criteria. The lack of project management skills is a major factor of most IT project failures. Having individuals that has top notch project management skills is proven to positively impact the success of the project. This growing awareness makes skilled IT project managers to become an in demand profession nowadays.
The Manufacturing Industry
The manufacturing industry utilizes labor, tools, and machines, basically to mass produce goods for use or for sale. The manufacturing industry works upon the nature of embedded and sequential processes. Upon finishing a process, the next one is build next, and this continue until such time that the desired output has been produced. Because of this nature, manufacturing should be in a high quality controlled environment.
The manufacturing industry, as with other industries, are experiencing some “stress points” too. These are critical because it lies on budget, time, and quality, which are important aspects in manufacturing. Depending to a specific industry, this can contribute direct or indirect impact over the business’ profits.
Because manufacturing involves sequential and interdependent processes, quality control is a must for every stage and phase of developing a product. Quality is also directly related to customer satisfaction. Most manufactured goods, especially those that are part of the necessities, are regularly used by a customer. Making a difference with the quality it will give can significantly contribute to increased sales because of a customer’s satisfaction over its repetitive satisfaction to the product. This type of customer loyalty is challenging to achieve but is very valuable for companies that operate in a manufacturing setting.
The two challenges in manufacturing involve schedule and quality. This can be directly addressed through the use of project management tools, a robust project management methodology, and a set of wise business strategies.
Project Management in the Manufacturing Industry
In March 2010, Economist Intelligence Unit conducted a study to realize the various benefits of project management in the manufacturing industry. It was found that
- When project managers report directly to senior executives, there is more likelihood that industrial manufacturing projects will be operated with the right budget and finished on time.
- Deploying robust project management methodologies will increase the rate of success of the project.
- Organizations and businesses that are more mature in dealing with project management methodologies and standards are seeing the importance of incorporating risk management.
- Using the right task management software will help minimize risks and reduce errors but cannot take the place of good oversight.
The same study also include the top project management challenges according to project phase:
- In the design phase, 63% of the respondents are challenged with how to clearly define the project scope according to the specifications of the client. 53% find it difficult to accurately forecast timelines, 43% said it is budget that is harder to predict, and 36% point out to changing customer demands.
- In the manufacturing phase, 66% of the respondents finds it difficult to meet goals on time and of required quality. 35% is challenged with controlling scope creep and varying requirements. 32% finds it hard to coordinate with multiple contractors and oversee and control project management processes at once. 31% said that it is challenging to secure cost effective materials and resources.
- In the installation phase, meeting goals on time and of top notch quality remains on top of the challenges faced at 49%. 36% is challenged with varying client requirements and with scope creep. 33% finds it hard to control projects, processes and dealing with multiple contractors at once, while 33% said it is difficult to manage the changing client requirements and expectations.
Aside from the project management tools and techniques, combined with the best practices and project management strategies, plus the skill set and knowledge of a project manager, it is leadership that is also critical in achieving project success in the manufacturing setting. Effective leadership requires skills in the areas of communication, negotiation, people management, decision making, conflict resolution, and diplomacy.
Lessons From Project Management
Project management experts agree on these lessons learned from experience:
- Impose a Sense of Urgency at the Beginning
Setting goals and expectations early on can create an atmosphere of focus and attention towards the desired outcome.
- Conduct More Than Regular Milestone Reviews
Monitoring the task execution more than the usual schedule will help you identify potential challenges before it is fully blown. The more often that the progress is tracked and compared with forecasts, the less one will tolerate discrepancies and pull the problem back on track.
- Strive To Find Balance With Everything
Constant monitoring should be balanced with the time you spend on other important tasks. Balance is still the key to success.
- Look at the Bigger Picture
Project managers should see a wider perspective about the project as a whole, in order to take into consideration a bigger picture when it comes to decision making. This can let project managers take the best solutions that will benefit the majority, and ultimately lead to the project’s success.
- The Reputation of the Project Manager Is at Stake
So it is a must for project managers to focus on accomplishing the projects assigned to them according to budget and in a timely manner. Customer satisfaction is also of utmost importance since their criteria should be met as well.
- Balance Information Overload
Giving the client the information they need, one stage at a time, can make them informed customers without being overwhelmed with many kinds of dealings to consider.
- Prove the Investment on Project Management Services To Be Worthy
Include an ROI for the project investment. Make sure that the company will make a profit, and a project manager pays himself as well.
Benefits of Project Management Tools
Project management tools aim to support industries and its project managers with their project management efforts. It can significantly reduce risk, help in overseeing the day to day operations within the project, assure quality, and ensure that project execution will be on time and according to budget.
Project management services from the top project management software include:
- Reduce Risk
- Minimize Technical Errors
- Control Costs and Budget
- Keep Up With the Project as Scheduled
- Compliance With All Requirements, Expectations, and Standards
See how CrowdReviews.com’s reviews of project management software can help you gain better insight with how to choose the right project management tool to use for your industry specific needs.
Latest posts by John Tovar (see all)
- What Is Catalog Management Software and How It Helps Your Business - January 5, 2017
- What Are the Top Features of the Best Medical Billing Software? - January 4, 2017
- How the Best Hotel Management Software Will Improve Your Business - January 3, 2017