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Impact of Project Management on Business Goals

Businesses of all sizes undertake projects of all scales to achieve strategic objectives, optimize operations, reduce costs and risks, increase productivity, improve customer relations, ensure compliance, adjust to external factors and support innovation.

Yet, while identifying high-ROI projects and guiding them through completion is critical, the Project Management Institute (PMI) found only 55% of all business projects undertaken globally in 2021 finished on time; more than 25% missed objectives; nearly 40% exceeded budget; 35% failed altogether.

According to PMI, those metrics showed improvements from past years’ data, although that may be partly attributable to project cancellations forced by the disruptions of government-mandated COVID-19 lockdowns.

Still, the cost of poorly managed projects is substantial, PMI reported in its Pulse of the Profession: companies waste 12% of every $1 billion in project investment worldwide. On the other hand, the report notes that the organizational value of competent project management “drives more success, lowers the risk, and increases the chance of success for delivering the economic value of the project.”

What Skills and Expertise Do Successful Project Managers (PMs) Have?

PMs are key players in every project phase, from identifying the business challenge it will solve through the planning, execution, documentation and post-completion assessment.

Beyond technical expertise relevant to the project, effective PMs also have the analytical skills to identify business challenges, lead the development and execution of solutions and facilitate communication among stakeholders, management and project teams.

“But to be a highly effective project manager, you must be a strategic business partner fully vested in organizational success,” according to CIO.

Business professionals with a general Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree that explores the fundamentals of project management gain an edge in the competition for high-demand senior management and executive roles.

For instance, the general MBA program offered online by Arkansas State University (A-State) not only covers strategic management and marketing, business analytics, accounting for planning and control and more. It also covers project management practices and principles such as:

  • Identifying and selecting projects
  • Developing project proposals
  • Sequencing workflows
  • Estimating project duration
  • Budgeting

“Project management success is crucial for an organization to survive in the market because project management ensures completing projects on-time and on-budget,” according to Master of Project Academy.

What Impact Do Effective PMs Have on Business Goals?

Just as poor project management often results in missed deadlines, cost overruns, wasted resources and sometimes outright failure, effective PMs deliver success, according to project-management software supplier Wrike.

A survey of its customers found that certified PMs led 80% of all successful projects with ROI on training and salary ranging from 360% for senior-level PMs to 501% for entry-level. It also found that the demand for effective project managers far exceeds the supply: More than eight in 10 reported understaffing at some level and 40% were unable to find senior-level PM professionals.

The talent shortage will continue to grow as businesses try to keep pace with COVID-19 market disruptions caused by everything from war and globalization to artificial intelligence and the gig economy.

Learn more about Arkansas State University’s online Master of Business Administration program.

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