The Importance of Project Management: Part 3
“Time is money.”
~ Benjamin Franklin
One of the most important functions of a project manager is to keep the client informed, particularly if there are issues that affect timing, costs or specifications. This means that a good project manager has excellent written and verbal communications skills, is intensely focused on detail and delivers high levels of service.
Two of the primary areas that lead to client frustration are being over budget and not on schedule. On any Sensory Six project, for example, there is a specific schedule with deadlines for the various components that must be completed. Additionally, we spend a significant amount of time on accurate cost estimating to reduce budget overruns.
In terms of timing issues, reviewing work on a daily basis helps ensure that it is progressing. If there's a slowdown - whether because of weather or any variety of other factors, the project manager works to get a project back on schedule.
Staying within a budget is best accomplished by establishing a realistic budget and by putting in the processes that monitor the budget on a daily or at least weekly basis.
But even the best planning does not alleviate potential problems that can affect a project. Another important function of project managers is managing disputes. A good project manager works hard to nip disagreements in the bud through preventive measures and clear communication.
Because project managers have experience, they have learned from other design-build projects. This means that they can anticipate problems that can affect quality, budget and schedules. After every project, good project managers analyze what went well and what could have been improved. Then, they bring this important knowledge to their next project.