It seems we spend a lot of time talking about the negative
side of project management: why it's there, how to fix it, how to prevent it.
Projects are a good thing in an organization. Here are 10 good things about
- Projects have a beginning,
a middle and an end.
Well, they should always have! It's motivating to work towards a goal, to start and to finish things.
- Projects give a sense of
Most projects are about building something or completing something.
Whether it's a customer installation or a new software release, when the
project is done, it feels like we've brought something new to the world.
- Projects give perspective.
Seeing a whole project planned out in a Gantt chart will let anyone on the
team understand what's ahead. Seeing the project's task list also helps
cut the project in manageable chunks.
- Projects are great for
Each project is different, but what one learns from one project can be
applied to the next. It can be time management or more accurate estimates
or even a better understanding of a task.
- Projects help manage time.
When the project is spread out over several tasks, estimates can be put in
for each task. With realistic
estimates, it's easier to plan a project's timeline with reality in
- Projects help build
Most projects require a team to make it a success. This is a great
opportunity to strengthen the team and improve the group's efficiency.
- Projects make a great
Whether you are a project manager or a team member, each completed project
becomes part of your track record. It's nicer to see a list of successful
projects than just "5 years working as a developer."
- Projects provide metrics.
Good project managers will keep data on
their projects, usually via project management software. Metrics are
unbiased data that help understand how well (or how bad) a project is
doing. It's not longer about gut feelings and impressions. It's about
objective things like time, assignments and task progress.
- Projects can have
A lot of teams like to give funny names to their projects (like movie
titles or cartoon characters). It makes working on the project more fun:
"I'm working on the Donald Duck project!" sound more fun than
"I'm working on project 50289-4."
- Projects make expectations
Well-defined projects make it easy for everyone on the team (including the
project manager) to know what is expected. From description to deliverables,
when it's all there, everyone knows what their goal is.