What is Project Management?
The term project management refers to the planning and organization of business resources in order to move a certain duty, event, and specific task. Project management is regarded as the core of all the daily business operations. At one time or the other, you are going to carry out a business management project, and you need to be conversant with how a project management works.
There are five main stages of a project lifecycle. To start with, the initiation stage is the start of the project. This is the conception of an idea, and the idea is developed. A project charter guides the project on what is going to be achieved and how. The kick off meeting defines the goals of the project and the schedule.
The planning stage defines where you intend to carry out the project and break down the work into manageable chunks. In other words, it’s a road map for the work from the beginning to the conclusion. The Gantt Chart gives an example of breaking down the project from the overall picture to manageable tasks.
The heart of project management is in execution. It is an execution of the plan. There is monitoring and controlling of the work in order to meet the objectives in time. At this stage, you have to carry out tracking in order to ensure that you are on time in both the resources and the schedule. Closely connected to this is the need to control risks and manage the problems that arise in the course of running the project.
Lastly, it is important that a project is closed in an organized way. At this stage, the company makes an audit of the project, the mistakes made, and the points of improvement in the next project. It should be noted that projects offer a strong learning opportunity. Again, at this stage, the company evaluates the amount of resources it used and the time that was taken to carry out the project, and it compares it with the initial plans made.
There are several ways on how to manage a project. The business case is a justification that a project carried out is worth and carries a high rate of return on investment. Bear in mind that you cannot start a project without consulting with the stakeholders. Here, stakeholders are the people, or group of people, who are going to be affected by the project. For example, you may ask your loyal clients what they think about your expansion. You might be surprised to learn that they support your long-term plans.
Every project must exist within certain goals and objectives. For example, a business could be seeking to roll out an electronic method of handling data. In such a case, then, the goals and objectives are set out from the word go, and a timeline is given. Professionals in project management advise the business owners to avoid veering off from the initial goals and projects.
Another critical thing to consider is that the project must adhere to the authorities. Working within the confines of the law is going to ensure that you get licensing and certification. In addition to that, you are going to avoid going into conflict with the authorities in the future. The US has very strict business laws, and if you are to do business in the state. Breaking the law will limit you in future business and career opportunities.
Why should every California business consider hiring a project manager?
California (the Golden State) is an ideal business destination for numerous business projects. The major conferences and trade shows are a testimony of the state as an ideal destination. The state is home to one of the largest tech companies in the world. The agricultural sector contributes an impressive contribution of the national agricultural activities.
California has a high purchasing power and this is good for your business. In addition to that, if you start a business in the state, you will have a big pool of talent to choose from. The fact that the state is big translates to better and more diverse business opportunities. If you decide to stay in California in the long-run, you will benefit from a good infrastructure, a favorable weather year-round, and a mix of cultures not just from the US, but from the world too.
When you plan on doing a business in California, you need to consider hiring a project manager. The good thing is that there are ample opportunities for hiring such a professional. With California Project Management, you are going to realize a stream of project management possibilities.
A project manager defines the scope of the project. Professionals know that trying to achieve everything in a short time is an act of futility. By defining the scope, the project manager is going to assess the time needed to achieve a certain objective and the cost of the project, at least an estimate of the cost.
Closely connected to this is the need to appreciate the role of the project manager in attaining the deliverables required. A deliverable could either be tangible or intangible. An example of a tangible deliverable is the development of a new computer. An example of an intangible deliverable is improving the computational efficiency of a company.
A project manager enhances team work and collaboration. Employees are assigned certain roles and responsibilities, and encouraged to work in co-ordination. In connection to this, some projects are going to warrant the input of multiple departments. In such a case, then, the project manager comes in handy in ensuring that different departments work together in harmony, and without over-lapping of duties.
The schedule of a business project is very important, and project managers ensure that this is enhanced. In some cases, the business could be vulnerable to harsh consequences because of missing the deadlines. Again, missing deadlines could come with a higher cost of running the project, both in terms of money, and in terms of time.
When you hire a project manager, you are going to realize that your project will be of high quality. It should be noted that some types of businesses must take quality assurance seriously in order to continue to legally operate in the market. For example, professionals working in the health and construction businesses must operate with high quality standards in order to meet the requirements of the authorities. Similarly, companies which are working in the health industry should understand that the government cannot compromise on the health of its people, and therefore, the business has to set a higher bar in terms of quality.
Clients do mind about the quality of the services that they receive. If the clients are not satisfied, they are going to report a low satisfaction score, which in turn, will lead to fewer chances of referrals as well as fewer business opportunities. Businesses should appreciate that branding comes through years of providing high quality products and services. The business of the future is the business which offers a high product or service today.
Project managers can help you develop quality controls. These are processes which are aimed at making an improvement to the running of the business, and as far as possible, reach the level of perfection. For example, a project manager could help in creating various benchmarks that are going to be used in order to make quality improvement. Such benchmarks can be used to establish a culture of setting standards.
Therefore, if you are to meet a high level of standards, you cannot do this alone. You need to seek the intervention of a project manager who will play an important role in ensuring that a California project is going to stand out in terms of quality.
Businesses should make an informed decision on the style of leadership that they choose to pursue. California project management will look at the structure of your business, and inform you on the best leadership style. The following are three main types of leadership with their characteristics:
Scrum: tasks are completed within a certain timeframe, emphasize on clarity, and prefer stable teams that do not experience changes. However, in scrum, a failure in one thing could lead to a slowing down of the entire process
Kanban: easily customized, visible, ambiguous, and prefers multiple teams that have a variation in priorities.
Agile: responsive to change, prefers continuous change, and is flexible
Whereas the project managers do not concentrate on seeking funding, you can ask such a professional on the best way of seeking funding if you are stuck. Bear in mind that such professionals have worked in many other projects, and they can be of great help in helping you solve problems that come along the way.
Closely connected to this is the need to employ a lean model of operations in order to save on resources. There are ample opportunities of saving resources, and project managers are aware of them.
The project manager will help you in the aesthetics of the project as well as seeking the extras. For example, if you are in the construction industry, you may desire to have a unique architecture which has never been seen in California. Similarly, your project manager could help you look unique. For example, if you are having an art shop, you may depict a hand-woven bag which is made from recycled materials. Thereby, you will be show-casing a green product, and this will be appealing to the business.
How to Hire a Project Manager
California has immense opportunities to hire a project manager; you can hire from the state or outside the state. An ideal project manager should, at the minimum, have a bachelor in management (a master’s degree is an added advantage). A basic degree exposes an individual to critical skills such as human resources and management skills. In addition to that, if one has a bachelor, there is all the likelihood that one has taken an internship, and this is very important for skills development.
As far as possible, choose a project manager who is experienced. Green project managers can also give good results, but they may not have the necessary experience in solving complex problems.
When to Hire a Project Manager
Most of the businesses hire a project manager when it is too late. By then, the company has already suffered for long, and has experienced several setbacks. Such companies see hiring a project manager as an expensive and risky endeavor, only to realize that they should have hired one. When you realize your business has surpassed ten employees, you can as well start looking for a project manager.
The Cost of Hiring a Project Manager
If you hire a project manager, you need to understand a typical project manager salary. This would come to $ 66 k per year. Bear in mind that you may have to pay bonuses as a form of motivation. Other ways of paying for your project include the following:
Flat rate: This is paid upon the completion of the project
Percentage: This is calculated as a percentage of the project
Hourly: Depending with experience, a project manager will ask for $ 45 to $ 60 an hour.
If you are not able to hire an in-house project manager, you can opt for a freelance project manager. The cost of a freelance project manager is lower, and such a person is not influenced by the culture and politics of the company. In addition to that, you can easily hire or fire the professional. However, if you are considering having a long-term commitment to a project manager, a freelance one is not going to have a long-term vision.
A project manager will come at a cost, but he or she will bring you a lot of benefits. What is important is to have your project executed successfully, in a timely manner, and with a reasonable cost. Overall, California project management will play a critical role in ensuring that you realize optimal project outcomes.