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Selling The Value of Project Management


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During workforce reductions, corporate leaders must think carefully about which skilled workers they ‘give away’. As budgets tighten, it’s easy to assume that reducing certain functions makes the most sense and will help align the organization with forced spending reductions. However, there are select staff in each firm that are KEY to a firm’s success, no matter what the objectives might be; and, those key staff are PMs. Letting project managers slip away means discarding a scarce, valued resource with the skills and ability to ‘watch over’ company investments and enable the achievement of core objectives.

As you likely know, successful companies consistently aspire to be leaders in market standing, customer focus, and (of course) profitability. However, it takes money, experienced help, and precision projects to become differentiated in these areas–and professional Project Management must be a key part of managing each initiative as the investment it is. If you follow the Cash Management Cycle, projects are a company’s primary way of reinvesting back into the firm and achieving strategic aspriations. So, wouldn’t it be wise then to have those investments well protected and well managed? Project Managers not only effectively orchestrate these endeavors, but also put thresholds in place to ‘proactively’ warn of potential dangers to the project. What’s more, an experienced PM will bring the right team and skills together in order to maximize the success of each project.

As PMI Passport (September, 2008, Volume 3, Issue 4) states, “Project management provides hard value: saving wasted dollars and effort, and mitigating the risk of wasting dollars”, (http://www.pmi.org/passport/sept08/passport_sept08_inthenews.html). Moreover, maturity of Project Management along with Standardized PM Practices equates to Better Project Performance. In other words, by leveraging proven project management tools and techniques, there’s a better chance that projects will be on time, on budget, meet goals, and there is less of a chance that they will have scope creep, (PMI today, May 2009, p. 8).

So, leaders, I beg you, don’t give away your most valuable resources during tough times. Conversely, invest in and develop those resources–they will help get you through those tough times (and help you shine during the good times).

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