How to decide if it’s time to add project management to your organization

Gantt on Paper

LOS GATOS, Calif. Dec 18th, 2015 -Does this sound familiar?

Your organization is growing. You have new clients, products and/or services. You’ve also just hired additional staff and things are not running as efficiently as they once did. Managing your operations via email, spreadsheets or whiteboards is no longer viable. Every department has their own process for managing projects and there is no synergy or appropriate communication between them.

Now you're wondering: How do I move my company to the next level and increase profitability, productivity with the least amount of risk?

Here are 5 key indicators that it may be time for you to invest in Project Management:

1. There are multiple concurrent projects in progress but very few are delivered on time.
There could be many reasons for this. One example is that team members are managing their own individual tasks but no one is overseeing the project as a whole. This becomes even more challenging when a project includes team members from various departments within the company. If all departments are working in silos, how do you know the overall status or health of a project?

Project Managers oversee all tasks, major milestones, dependencies, resource allocations and ensures proper communication and collaboration between cross-functional teams.

2. You have little to no visibility into project status.
You have a meeting with executives or the board to discuss projects but there is no easy way to know the status without asking each team or individual contributor.

A critical part of a Project Manager's job is communication. Having a PM on staff will provide the visibility you need, whether it's a manually generated report, or better yet - provided in a project management software solution, which will enable anyone in the company with access to view project data at any given time.

3. What was originally asked for vs. what was delivered does not match.
Were the project or product goals and objectives properly communicated and understood by all team members? Were there changes made along the way that did not provide value to your customer(s) or align with business objectives? Hallway conversations are sufficient for a start-up, but as your company grows, scope management will become more important.

Project Managers ensure that the team remains focused on completing all deliverables as requested by the customer, sponsor or product owner.

4. Teams are reactive instead of proactive.
Are your teams able to identify potential issues or risks ahead of time or do they investigate and resolve them as they occur?

Another critical skill of a Project Manager is the ability to proactively identify and mitigate issues and risks. Of course, there will always be "unknowns" that arise throughout the project lifecycle but being able to minimize problems as much as possible will help prevent project delays.

5. There is no consistency on how projects are managed.
Each department (or individuals within a department) has their own way of managing projects. Which process is the most effective?

Identifying the right process or methodology for your organization will provide consistent and predictable results, which will help achieve project success. When there is a repeatable process in place, stakeholders and sponsors know exactly what to expect – from project intake and prioritization process to project documentation and closure.

So what’s the value of Project Management? More projects delivered on time and within budget, lower project failure rate, better allocation of resources, improved productivity, and overall improved customer satisfaction.
Is it time to add project management to your organization?

About The Author

Veronica Thraen is the Owner and Principal Consultant at Maven Project Management, a technology project management consulting firm in Phoenix, Arizona that helps growing organizations put processes and tools in place to keep projects on track for long-term growth and success. Visit Veronica's site at .