Understanding Project Management

The most basic definition of Project Management is ensuring that work is completed on a defined timeline within a budget.  In Facility Management, this means managing a project through the design-build schedule, meeting operational requirements, and staying within budget.  (Technical terms always make things sound better!)

To manage projects efficiently, it is best to break down the components and prioritize each component to closely match expected outcomes.

Some ways to view, prioritize, and manage Projects are by:

Dollar Value
Available Resources
Level of Effort Required

Good candidates for Project Management techniques:

Capital Projects
Discretionary Annual Projects
Periodic Work
Repair Projects

Inappropriate candidates for Project Management:

Preventive Maintenance
Routine Custodial Work

When dealing with projects, don’t view each task that needs to be completed as a separate project.  This can decrease capital costs, but it will also increase operating and maintenance costs.  This type of thinking places barriers that leave little room for alterations.

Productivity tools such as Facility Maintenance Software help manage projects in a number of ways including prioritization, scheduling, labor management, resource allocation, and budget control.  These tools can also help with routine custodial work, preventive maintenance, and administrative tasks.

There will always be pressure to minimize initial costs due to the visibility of most projects.  Unfortunately, this usually guarantees increasing the life-cycle costs, which can be three times more costly than capital costs throughout the useful life of most equipment.  Keeping things simple through organized project management can help minimize project costs without incurring any downsides, resulting in an opportunity for a great return on investment.