Enterprise Project Management
Enterprise project management (EPM) refers to the practice of managing projects on a companywide scale. It generally involves implementing strategies and processes to streamline and improve the effectiveness of project management on a large scale.
What makes Enterprise Project Management Different?
Traditional project management practices focus on seeing one specific project through with a defined, measurable objective.
Enterprise project management focuses on the organization, prioritizing and highlighting its business goals and managing and grouping projects to ensure they meet those broader company objectives.
The end objective is not necessarily a completed project but a project that effectively provides value to the organization.
Implementation of Enterprise Project Management
Since enterprise project management focuses on the organization’s core mission and strategic objectives, implementation of an EPM system begins with a thorough look at the company’s existing projects and organizational culture. After all, EPM will require adaptability and openness to change.
It is vital to include stakeholders in an EPM system since the end goal is full transparency, wider participation, more project visibility, and increased monitoring. A high level of communication is essential to bring everyone on board and ensure goals and efforts are aligned.
What is Project Management?
Project management is the practice of applying knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to complete a project according to specific requirements. It comes down to identifying the problem, creating a plan to solve the problem, and then executing on that plan until the problem has been solved. That may sound simple, but there is a lot that goes into it at every stage of the process.
The roots of project management can be traced as far back as the building of the Pyramids in Giza and the Great Wall of China. However, the modern development of project management began in the 19th century when railway companies purchased tons of raw material and employed thousands of people to work on the transcontinental railroad.
During World War II, military and industrial leaders were employing even more detailed management strategies, eventually leading to more standardized processes like the critical path method.
By the early 20th century, Frederick Taylor applied concepts of project management to the work day, developing strategies for working smarter and improving inefficiencies, rather than demanding laborers work harder and longer. Henry Gantt, an associate of Taylor’s, took those concepts and used bars and charts to graph when certain tasks, or a series of tasks were completed, creating a new way to visualize project management.
What are the Stages of Project Management?
The five project management process groups are:
- Initiating: The goal for this phase is to define the project.
- Planning: This phase includes developing a roadmap for everyone to follow.
- Executing & Monitoring: In this stage, the project team is built and deliverables are created. Project managers will monitor and measure project performance to ensure it stays on track.
- Closing: The project is completed, a post mortem is held, and the project is transferred to another team who will maintain it.
Why is Project Management Important?
Project managers will help your organization:
- Have a more predictable project planning and execution process
- Adhere to project budgets, schedules, and scope guidelines
- Resolve project roadblocks and escalate issues quicker and easier
- Identify and terminate projects that do not have relevant business value
- Become more efficient
Improve collaboration across and within teams
- Identify and plan for risks
What do Project Managers do?
project managers are responsible for the planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and completion of projects. Here are a few of the main project manager responsibilities:
- Build the plan: Project managers are in charge of plotting out the most realistic course for the project. The plan must include the project scope, timeline, and budget. This can also include identifying the right tools for the job.
- Assemble the team: Identifying the proper team is critical to project success. Every project team will vary depending on the scope of the initiative and the functions needed to complete the project. Finding specialists and subject matter experts for each of the necessary tasks is ideal.
- Assign tasks: Project managers must provide their team with a clear definition of specific tasks and timeline for every part of the project. Although each team member will be responsible for their own assignments, many tasks will require collaboration from both internal and external team members.
- Leading the team: Now that the team has been assembled and their tasks have been assigned, the project manager must keep the machine well-oiled. This will include checking in on individuals for status updates, identifying and clearing roadblocks, negotiating disagreements, keeping team morale high, and providing training and mentoring.
- Managing budget: Most projects will require some expenses, which means understanding how to put together a project budget and managing cost is critical for success. This will involve comparing real-life expenditures to estimates, and adjusting the project plan if necessary.
- Managing timelines: As with the budget, project managers are tasked with keeping everything on schedule so the team is meeting their projected deadlines for completion. This will require setting realistic deadlines throughout the lifecycle of the project, communicating consistently with their team for status updates, and maintaining a detailed schedule.
- Engaging stakeholders: Stakeholders play a large role in your project. They are typically influential people who are affected by the project. Project managers need to maintain a good relationship and an open line of communication with stakeholders who can not only help clear roadblocks and empower your team but also create unnecessary bottlenecks and derail a project if they become unhappy with the direction.
- Handover the project: Just because the project’s objectives have been delivered doesn’t mean a project manager’s job is over. The project manager must now deliver the project to the team who will be managing, maintaining, and operating it moving forward. At this point, the project manager will no longer be the “go to” person and will be assigned to a new project.
- Document the process: Identifying and documenting “lessons learned” is not only a good practice for personal project manager growth, but also for relaying that experience to other teams around the organization for future use. This will help others avoid making the same mistakes or taking advantage of the shortcuts discovered.
Enterprise Project Management - Casestudy