A Fine Balance

  • PDF

Articles of Note, Business Management, Sept. 2008, No. 2

By Lisa Ahn

A happy man is one who maintains equilibrium in time, money, and work. Long hours can lead to idleness and boredom, having too little signifies poor time management or work overload. Organizations are all too familiar with the following objectives when presenting any proposal—“How long will it take? How much is it? What’s the work involved, and what are the results?”

In the same way, projects are constrained by time, cost, and scope. A project finishes successfully when it is completed in time, within budget, and meets all requirements. And what’s the final result? Satisfaction. It all sounds easy, but why do IT projects fail so often? Here’s the truth of the matter—it ain’t easy. For one, IT is always changing to meet the rising needs and standards of users. Combine that with deadlines, fixed budgets, tech and security challenges, and people, you’ve got a meal that carries the risk of a serious heartburn.

Society and businesses today demand full solutions, multiple skills, and flexibility. For this, having basic project management skills has become a requirement for all professionals. And strong PM skills distinguish a smooth successful project from a painful and unsatisfactory one. While project management processes have changed to be more flexible, the core of PM success remains the same—a balance in time, budget, and work.