PMI® Switzerland Chapter

The Importance of Projects

The Importance of Projects

Author: Agustin Diaz Salvadores, PMP

Agustin Salvadores

In this article I address the importance of projects in organizations. How to address them is key to providing many products and services, to deploying strategy and innovation , and therefore to their competitiveness and survival.

In many cases, the classic form of organization through a hierarchical and departmental structure is not the most appropriate to respond to the speed of changes that are taking place in the market and in the social environment, and to achieve business objectives.

Increasingly, organizations tend towards flatter organizational charts organized by teams that are highly focused on the client, and on specific objectives, rather than functional structures oriented towards the mere performance of individual tasks within operational processes.

In fact, many of the activities carried out in organizations are framed within projects, understanding as such " an effort of a temporary nature carried out in order to create a unique product or service".

For example, projects are at the core of many strategic initiatives. It is a way of deploying strategies and achieving established strategic objectives.

As Mark A. Langley explains in the latest "Pulse of the Profession 2018" report issued by PMI (Project Management Institute) "Project managers are increasingly essential as organizations continue to recognize that strategy is implemented through projects and programs".

Likewise, companies also develop projects to meet demand and provide many specific products (eg turnkey projects) for their clients (Engineering, ICTs, Construction, etc.). Also, the deployment of innovation , such as the development of new products and services, and carrying out business and digital transformation , are carried out and managed through projects. In other words, projects are a practical way to implement Advanced Management in many organizations.

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This way of organizing and working by projects has been shown to be effective in achieving objectives over time, and provides greater flexibility to organizations. In addition, by promoting teamwork, it allows the incorporation of motivational elements for people, such as Self-management (empowerment) and the Sense of Belonging.

Cultural change and work processes.

To ensure the performance and efficiency of projects, there are good work practices, both to organize themselves by teams, and to address the phases and areas of knowledge (scope, planning, time management, risk management, communication) that have proven their worth. effectiveness (Example the PMBOK guide  ) and that both team members and leaders should incorporate into their management.

Changing the way of working in organizations is not always easy. This implies a change that not only implies training and acquiring the necessary skills to manage/participate in projects, but also a cultural change in the approach to projects, using the same language (homogenization), which allows not only knowing the appropriate techniques and tools, but also have criteria to adjust and use them in each specific project.

Quantitative and qualitative improvements

The studies carried out (PMI:Pulse of the profession-2018), as well as my own experience, indicate that organizations with a high maturity/culture in Project Management significantly improve project management and project success rates. themselves, comparing with companies with low levels of knowledge:

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PMI-Pulse of the Profession 2018

Tangible benefits are achieved in several aspects:

  • Greater visibility on the status of the project,
  • Greater involvement of the Interest Groups (Stakeholders),
  • Projects more aligned with the company's strategy,
  • Project teams aligned with the project objectives,
  • Almost 30% more projects completed on time,
  • More than 20% of projects within the budget,

More than 20% of projects that achieve the stated objectives