Project management can be defined as a secure environment that is created by the line organizations to deliver business values according to a given business case. It can simply be said to be a step by step planning of how a project is achieved. It is used predominantly in line organizations. (A line organization is the organizational chart of a company which trickles down from the topmost member of the establishment to the lowest).
Traditional Project Management
The visualization of a project is the first step to actual achievement. If a plan is not birthed, it would be hard for goals to be met. And if they are ever achieved, the time which could have been used for more productive endeavors would have gone to waste. The traditional project management came in as a savior to salvage time and efficiency.
An example was Henry Ford's mass production of cars. His company created a rigid system whereby a laid-out plan for mass production of cars was carried out. It was vetted to be a solution for meeting future needs. This was called a sales forecast.
In traditional project management, a project manager passes decisions down to team members. The project manager does the thinking while the team members have no say in the matter. They have to carry out the assignments given to them to the letter.
However, various flaws have been identified in the concept of Traditional Project Management.
Here are but a few:
1. Waste of resources: In the example of mass production given above, there is a possibility that the cars might not meet most customers taste or needs. Alternatively, there might be an innovation which cannot adapt to the initial products. These conditions lay waste to resources as well as time used in the production process.
2. Late customer review: The customer is only allowed to view the product after the project is all done. In the advent of the customer making a few changes to the outlook of the product, it might be difficult or impossible for the team to incorporate those changes.
3. Unnecessary strains on team members: In traditional project management, a schedule baseline contains the approved timelines for various project tasks. The benchmark is then compared against the actual performance of the teams. For instance, planned task completion dates are compared to actual completion dates, and the focus is on trying to ensure that the expected and actual dates match. If they don't match, team members are pushed to make sure they do.
4. Developing the wrong product: There is a chance that the consumer's preferences are misunderstood by the project manager and the project team. A wrong product is developed, and resources are wasted.
Alternative to Traditional Project management
While Henry Ford was mass-producing cars for future purposes, Taiichi Ohno, one of Toyota's production executives, developed lean concepts to help the company fulfill the demands in the Japanese market. He developed a philosophy of production that emphasizes the minimization of the amount of all the resources (including time) used in the various activities of the enterprise. Non-value-adding activities in design, production, supply chain management, and dealing with the customers were identified and eliminated.
IBQMI® Lean Project Management is the business performance improvement tool that focuses on improving quality, cost, delivery, and people. It discovers waste and makes continuous improvement possible. In lean project management, products are always developed to satisfy customers and the resources are also used optimally. This, therefore, involves the customer's participation in every phase of production.
Why is the IBQMI® Lean Project Management better?
1. The team is part of the decision making: A cross-functional team from different actionable areas is assembled. The team members have different areas and levels of expertise, thereby drawing on each other's strengths to support every member throughout the project. In lean project management, team members know to make decisions themselves, which allows for rapid responses. The team has a good understanding of the project because they're involved from start to end.
2. Customer involvement: Unlike in Traditional project management, the customer is involved in every step of production. After each stage, the customer is called upon, and if there are changes to be made, it would be easier to implement them
3. Continuous improvement: In lean project management, continuous improvement is built into the development process right from the start. The customer provides feedback after each iteration and approves what feature is integrated into the next implementation. The overall product develops over time as features are added or updated. This is useful, especially in environments which require change often.
4. Minimal risk: The risk of developing a wrong product is brought to the barest minimum as the customer is always at hand to give feedback on each stage of the project.
In traditional project management, significant changes, like those that require adjustment to a project's budget or overall deadline, have to be approved again by project sponsors and other stakeholders. Once a change has been formally approved, the relevant baseline, as well as affected project management plans and contracts, have to be updated. This is very time and labor-intensive. IBQMI® Lean project management, however, doesn't focus on baselines. Instead, its focus is on adjusting plans as a project progress. All the modifications are made at the end of each sequence. This is what makes it a better option.
While it is almost impossible to eliminate uncertainty in project management, there are ways to reduce them. One big step is the Certified Lean Project Management certification to get industrial-standard-best-practices and learn the essential tools. Getting used to uncertainty in project management means learning how to manage risks and how to unify agile processes by creating a common language within a standard framework. Enroll now!
Learn how to use Continuous improvement and build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right from the first. Enroll in the Certified Lean Project Manager®