Can good project management and best practices save a project?
Yes. Good, focused project management can save a troubled project engagement – there’s little question about that. Best practices applied well by an experienced project manager and team, will nearly always have a favorable impact and more often than not, outcome. But can it save a company? Well…that’s an entirely different question. A whole company – beyond just the project issues? Let’s consider…
Best practices for a stable organization
It goes without saying that implementing sound project management principles based upon the industry’s best PM practices along with an injection of good project management experience will likely get your company off on the right foot. A setup like this will help an organization do a good job of managing projects, providing consistent project outcomes to customers, retain good project professionals, and maintain higher levels of customer satisfaction. And that’s great for the organization that is not yet in trouble. For a stable organization, setting up a good, repeatable PM practice is likely a good use of some targeted dollars.
Will it work for the troubled company?
But what about a troubled organization? Can a group that is already experiencing severe financial drain due to poor customer performance and is near the end of its rope find any hope in implementing project management best practices? Or is it just a waste of dollars or at least not the right injection of money where it is most needed?
I think the answer is somewhere in between yes and no. Good project management breeds good customer service and usually increased customer satisfaction. It’s never the wrong time to try to serve your customer better. It’s never the wrong time to work hard to improve your overall customer satisfaction levels.
One study indicated that troubled companies fail for one of three significant reasons…
- Poor leadership (52%)
- Inadequate customer care and satisfaction (38%)
- Bad investments, fraud, or poor cash management (10%)
These are very broad, general categories. However, as you can see, the failure rate indicated in this study is quite high for customer satisfaction. That backs up my reasoning that it’s never too late to inject good customer service and good customer management into an organization. It may not save your company, but it won’t be the reason it does go under if that scenario plays out. At least your business will go down trying.
And a late turnaround due to good project management practices may be enough to make the difference between another company purchasing the troubled organization or the failing organization just closing their doors.
Summary / Call for Input
So, I’m going to say yes…in some cases good project management can save a company in trouble. It’s not a catch-all for everything, but logically whenever you apply the right processes to a troubled situation, things can often get better.
Readers – what are your thoughts on this? Can good PM save an organization? How?