Depending on your industry, the type of projects and your definition of tangible benefits, Project Management might bring only some tangible benefits to your organisation.
Some tangible benefits might take time, but can you not consider them?
Potential to increase revenue: Good project management could bring in new projects and improve customer experience and retention. Do you spend more money on getting customers or retaining them?
Better risk management equates to cost savings: Effective risk management helps to mitigate your risk exposure and increase your final project budget baseline. The amount you save or do not spend goes back to the project. How do you even quantify the cost of your reputation or business brand?
Focus on quality: A project that does not focus on quality could spend more time and effort doing rectification and post-delivery corrections. This reduced your capacity and customer satisfaction. Do you consider the time and effort spent on quality to be time wasted
Increased safety and compliance: A well-governed project that has safety and compliance enforced can result in tangible benefits in the form of reduced risk and liability. How much time is lost if we are calculative on time spent on inculcating safety?
More than Triple Constraints
Project Management isn't about Cost, Scope, and Time. While this is recognized as the Triple Constraint of Project Management, we need to include at least three more: Risk, Procurement, and Quality.
In this article, I am limiting myself to the project management methodology. However, to be comprehensive, we need to include the project manager's competence in utilizing the tools to execute the project. I will save that for another article in the future.
I have previously written about this in one of my articles, How can we give more depth to Risk Management?
Can Risk Management bring tangible benefits to a project, such as more profits? The simple answer is 'Yes', but it takes intentional effort to realize this. For example, imagine if you implement risk management solely for compliance and not taking it seriously; what would you lose if that risk event happened?
We might spend additional time and money to manage those risks, but those are elements within our control. If a risk event occurred and we did not actively manage it, the time and cost could run beyond what the project could handle. If the team spend time running through those risk and managing them throughout the project, the time and cost spent go back to the project in the form of “investment returns”.
Procurement Management is not simply buying what the project needs, it goes beyond this.
Procurement Management includes, and is not limited to, the following:
Working with different project teams to buy as a company to keep the SKU to the minimum, reducing the inventory cost and increasing negotiation power.
Building the capability to perform alternative sourcing shall there be disruptions to the source of purchase. This might include getting from sources that might be more expensive but saving in time and cost of transportation.
If the company believes in Green & Sustainability, buying from sources that optimized the carbon footprint and using responsible sourcing helps to sustain the green ecosystem.
Planning for Product End of Life starts immediately when planning for the product. Considering how to reduce, dispose of, and recycle materials begins with product development. This is not an afterthought, and the end starts from the beginning.
Besides ensuring that what we deliver to the customer is fit for purpose with the intended specifications, it also deals with Repeatability and Reproducibility. A project is a temporary endeavor that works with something new or an improved variation of something. However, if the outcome of a project determines how a product can be produced, such aspects and considerations become critical.
Imagine delivering a deliverable to the production without giving clear instructions on how a particular product can be reproduced repeatably, and there will be chaos. How a project team can have their processes, procedures, and playbook affects how a project is being run and affects the project's quality or executability.
Are you expecting what you expected?
You might be expecting to reinforce your belief that project management does not bring tangible benefits. However, I hope to bring a different perspective to you that it does bring tangible benefit, probably in a longer timespan or in a different form.
If you expect to rebuke the title after reading this, I hope you give some consideration and manage the stakeholders’ expectations. We might be making promises that the project management brings in an oversimplified manner. Different elements are at play, affecting and interacting with the project's outcome.
Project management brings tangible and sustainable benefits to the organisation and its people. However, we must be cautious and manage people’s expectations and recognise that there are many elements that the team need to manage and overcome.
We need Project Management to manage Project Management.