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It’s not trying to optimize resource utilization, manage customer expectations or handle change requests; although these are certainly thorny issues. No, the number one challenge in project management is — always has been, and always will be — getting the project plan right the first time.

As such, enterprises that want to improve project performance or overall portfolio health (or likely both) are well served to take a step back, and ask a pivotal question: is our project planning an asset or a liability? It’s the former when all of the following pieces are part of the ecosystem:  

  • Collaborative Work Management

Project planning cannot be done on an island or in a vacuum. Collaborative work management enables relevant planning stakeholders to efficiently and effectively contribute through easy-to-use tools, dashboards and apps. Not only does this dramatically improve the robustness and reliability of all plan elements (e.g. scope, size, budget, scheduling, staffing, etc.), but it generates awareness, engagement and buy-in — which is critical for project success.

  • Automated Demand Management

 

Project planning is often bogged down by administration, administration and yet more administration — which inevitably leads to troubled implementations and plenty of double work (or sometimes triple and quadruple work). Through automated demand management, enterprises automate repeatable tasks related to creating projects, planning initiatives and capturing ideas. The result is that project managers and other team members spend much less time on administration, and more time on strategy and analysis.  

  • Advanced Resource Planning Tools

 

Advanced resource planning tools deliver full visibility into all available resources, schedules and tasks, and makes it simple to deploy resources based on desired parameters (e.g. skills, availability, location, cost, etc.). In addition, project managers can access a roll-up of all assigned tasks, in order to optimize resource utilization before and after a project starts.

The Bottom Line

There are many factors that contribute to project underperformance — or outright failure. But the overwhelming majority of bad initiatives can be traced back to flawed planning. Conversely, most projects that reach the finish line on time, on schedule and in budget can largely credit a robust, reliable plan built by collaborative work management, automated demand management, and advanced resource planning tools.

Clarizen: Plan to Succeed

Clarizen’s award winning cloud-based portfolio and project management (PPM) solution turns project planning from a risky, costly and tedious challenge into a core competence and competitive advantage. Discover the measurable rewards of collaborative work management, automated demand management, and advanced resource planning tools in your enterprise. Launch you fully-fledged 30-days trial of Clarizen today, or schedule your live guided demo.