Beyond the Sign: The Challenges Facing Project Management
Project management often focuses on process. As consumers, our biggest concern lies with the finished product. We place an order, wait patiently, and rejoice at its arrival. In the sign industry, this process is a little more complicated. Today we are going to focus on one in particular component that happens during the “patiently waiting” phase – Project Management.
Can a basic understanding of project management be useful to someone who is not a Project Manager? Most importantly, are Project Managers facing problems that affect the end results of your services, or products? First, we address issues Project Managers face to determine what actions eliminate complications within the process.
Goals, when not clearly defined by all parties can cause delays, miscommunications, and inefficient planning. It is the responsibility of the project manager to establish and communicate clear goals from the conception of the project.
Changes in Scope
In some cases a project can be moving along smoothly and all of the sudden, BAM, POW, WHAM! The whole scope has changed, and all previous planning has been thrown out the window. It’s time to start from scratch with a deadline that is now right around the corner. What do you do? It is important to have a disaster/contingency plan for this situation. As a company, you hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Training your project management team to know what direction needs to be taken in such situations will keep you one step ahead at all times.
Communication is the key to success. If we cannot effectively communicate our goals to a client or vendor the likelihood of their achievability is dramatically lowered. It is the responsibility of the Project Manager to provide direction at every step of the way. If direction cannot be provided it is up to the Project Manager to request any needed information from vendors, or clients so they can reassess the goals of the project, and provide clear direction.
Managing the expectations of your customers can at times prove itself to be difficult. Limited resources such as time can create a negative strain on the relationship if left unchecked. Complete transparency and honesty is the best way to combat this creating a healthy space for the client/vendor relationship to grow in a positive way.
This situation is unique, as not all projects will fall into this category. The importance of the above mentioned is even more crucial when dealing with projects that will yield low-profit margins. The room for error on this type of project decreases to nothing. Early identification of your goals and creating a proper timeline is the best way to avoid any possible issues that may arise.
It goes without saying that the role of project manager in the sign industry is one that is most important. A basic understanding of this role can be beneficial to all who work directly with project management teams. With understanding comes patience creating stronger relationships with vendors and clients.
As a company, if you can identify the issues your project management team faces up front. You can begin to address them in a more efficient and effective manner.