Balancing Challenges and Risk with Business Outcomes
May 26, 2021
As companies become ever more reliant on analytics and data to drive sound decision-making, periodic overhauls of their systems, organizations, and processes are inevitable. The project risks involved can be significant, and avoiding them requires full organizational attention.
A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and, therefore, a defined scope and resources. A project is also unique in trying to accomplish deliverables that are not part of the routine operation of an organization. So, a project team often includes people who do not usually work together – sometimes from different organizations, companies, and across multiple geographies.
Types of Project Managers
To hire the right project manager, an organization must understand different project manager types for the expected business outcome.
- Adventurous project managers are skilled at business opportunities that lie within the existing boundaries, but data to describe the expected outcome is lacking. This individual is essential to enable an update of the current strategy by pursuing overlooked growth opportunities.
- Visionary project managers pursue business opportunities outside the existing strategic boundaries, where reliable data concerning the likelihood of success is extremely difficult to obtain. This skillset is needed to challenge the current strategy and to pursue overlooked opportunities.
- Supportive project managers prefer opportunities that lie within well-known strategies and have reliable business cases. There is likely no risk, just a need for execution.
- Expert project managers actively pursue opportunities that lie outside strategic organizational boundaries, but data exists to ensure a tangible business outcome. This role is needed to challenge the existing strategy by seeking well-supported growth opportunities outside the organization’s current strategy.
Partnering with a technical services firm like The Select Group can help your organization leverage qualified, relevant project managers and teams.
Challenges of Project Management
Aligning Resources with Project Management Goals
Traditionally, project management with business involvement occurred at the project’s outset for requirements-gathering and at the end, during testing and rollout. Today, organizations have become more closely intertwined, involving tighter integration with cross-functional teams.
Project management is a complex field of work that requires a unique blend of traits that align perfectly with the project’s goals. While there is no shortage of resources, certifications, and expert advice today, project management continues to be one of the most challenging professions.
Each project is unique concerning the industry knowledge, scope, objectives, or client requirements, and there is no standard template to ease the project development lifecycle. The task of breaking down a project management effort is highlighted, but not limited to the following attributes:
- Teamwork and People: Most of the challenges fall under this category, including challenges with stakeholders and project team members.
- Funding and Resources: This category includes challenges with concerns like budget, deadlines, and resources.
- Organizational and Process: This category included change management and other processes and challenges with Management and executives and a misunderstanding of the project management role within the organization.
- Skills Mismatch: Challenges can exist with an individual project manager’s lack of personal or organizational skills and motivation among the team and themselves—careful consideration to the type of project manager with the needs of a project to ensure success.
Project Delays and Cost Overruns
An estimated 70% of all projects face project delays and have an industry average of 27% cost overruns, with nearly one in six projects reaching almost 200% in cost overruns. Organizations and business executives are under pressure to deliver results in a more agile and seamless manner while striving for operational excellence. Partnering with a technical services firm like The Select Group helps ensure that projects are delivered on time and within budget.
Obstacles to Innovation
Risk management is key to project management. While risk management helps achieve project success, too many restrictions can inhibit the creativity that is key to innovation. Without risk, it is impossible to reach the full potential of a project. Obstacles to innovation include:
- Risk-averse Organizations. Project managers operating in risk-averse organizations face resistance from leadership that values best practices over new ideas.
- Time Restraints. Along with project deliverable deadlines, project managers must find time for creative solutions in between their many managerial tasks.
- Lack of Knowledge. The tools or expertise required to innovate effectively are not understood by the organization.
- Budget. The tools or expertise required to innovate effectively are out of scope.
Balancing Risk and Innovation
Despite these obstacles, project managers – especially the “Visionary” and “Expert” types – must find ways to successfully innovate. Great project managers understand the balance between innovation and risk. They implement tactics such as assessing the organization’s risk acceptance levels, eliminating and/or mitigating large risks, and measuring the potential impact of seemingly small risks.
Learn more about how project managers can mitigate project risks without stifling innovation.
Partnering for Successful Projects
TSG Project Management & Shared Risk
Building project management expertise in-house requires heavy investment in the necessary processes, procedures, and tools. As a more affordable, dependable solution, our clients leverage The Select Group for projects outside the organization’s core competency in order to share project risk and access key resources. Clients have leveraged our expertise for projects such as:
- Software Development for a Mobile Applications
- Large Data Center Migrations
- Global Unified Communications Deployments
- Network Automation Scrum Teams
- Construction Project Management
- Network Deployments for Public Utilities
- Cyber Security Audits
By integrating with a company that specializes in project management and specific technologies, our clients successfully execute projects and change management.