How often do you think about walking from, say, the kitchen to the living room? From your car into the office? Up and down the aisles at the grocery store? Probably never. The process of putting one foot in front of the other—as essential as it may be—is not something we need to think about in order for it to work.
Until it doesn’t.
Enter the sprained ankle. Suddenly, walking is an effort. The process has become compromised and this causes discomfort, delays, and difficulty. The process, which was once taken for granted, is now such an obvious part of your progress that you long for the day it once again works as it should—smoothly.
We all want things to run smoothly and move along as they should, especially in business where staying on schedule and on budget are paramount to success. But when processes are compromised, success is compromised. Enter the importance of effective project management.
Project management is an essential part of success that tends to be overlooked. It’s the piece of the puzzle that is often taken for granted because when it works—much like what the ease of walking down the street is for most of us—we don’t think about it. So people may forget how valuable it is. That is, until it no longer works. Suddenly, we feel the dent in our progress and scramble to correct the issue, hoping the project doesn’t go over budget and that deadlines aren’t missed.
Good project management comes from being able to see and plan for issues before they happen. It’s about knowing that there will be hurdles and making sure your team is ready to jump when they come along. And it’s also about being able to dodge potential hurdles altogether. Schedules need to be padded to allow for inevitable delays, communication needs to be clear to prevent misunderstandings, and time needs to be properly managed to keep costs down and progress up.
Take, for example, a new marketing campaign for your business. The right campaign has many parts and pieces that all need to come together in order to effectively deliver your brand and message to your target audience. Having a brilliant concept isn’t enough. You need a strategic media plan, proofing that keeps your message consistent, an accurate schedule that ensures timely delivery, and so much more. You can have the best runners on your relay team, but if you drop the baton, all of that skill, hard work, and dedication is lost.
On your next venture, don’t let project management fall by the wayside. Align yourself with the right team to make sure the process is smooth. After all, you can’t expect your business to run when it has a limp.
About the Author
Angie Moretti is the production manager at The Wendt Agency, a full-service marketing agency located in Great Falls.
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