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Project Management Know-How: A Competitive Advantage

Project manager leading a team

Project management today is seen as a core competency, allowing organizations to stay competitive in a fast-paced business environment. Projects and initiatives that fail to use a project management mindset can cost an organization money, time, and effort spent on false starts or projects that don’t align well with company goals. Without project management organizations may suffer from an increase in failed projects that never yield the anticipated outcomes or projects that are completed (often not on time or within budget) that don’t actually meet the real needs of staff or customers!

Project Managers get things done! This is why so many companies and organizations are investing in their workforce, either to build new project management skills from the inside or hire Project Managers to their teams. 

So, how exactly do Project Managers help teams execute plans more effectively? How do they consistently deliver value and results?

They Align Projects with Business Goals

Great project managers take time to understand an organization’s vision and goals and discuss these critical elements with the necessary stakeholders. They listen closely, take stakeholder viewpoints into account, and gain a broad understanding of business goals that allows them to assess each project for the value it can bring to their employer.

Adding value is really what project managers do! One of their goals is to ensure that executives and other leaders who frequently measure key performance indicators know the true status and costs of a project at any point during the project’s execution. This knowledge will allow leadership to make the right judgments when reviewing and making decisions relative to organizational priorities and will help them avoid investing in projects that don’t support the organization’s initiatives and well-being.

Ensuring the selected projects are valuable and tied to business goals also helps project managers and others within an organization gain buy-in at all levels and helps to ensure that resources are allocated correctly to support key projects. Plus, identifying a project as a priority can motivate staff members, allowing them to work on high-impact projects that will directly influence the organization’s bottom-line. This is of critical importance as project success is tied to organizational success.

They Focus on Customer Needs and Satisfaction

Project managers take the time to truly understand customer needs. To do so, they don’t just take what customers say they need at face value, they learn more about the company and look deeper at the problems a department or organization is facing to determine the best solution. Taking this “dig deeper” approach can help project managers add real value to an organization, rather than just delivering the project requirements.

They Implement Standard Procedures Across an Organization

Project managers set standards for all projects, including conducting quality control, determining project deliverables, setting tracking and communication schedules, and determining measurable goals. Creating these standards can spread a project management mindset throughout an organization, creating a consistent and standardized approach that everyone can follow. Without a consistent approach and standard processes, organizations are flying blind and often falling flat regarding project deadlines and outcomes.

Having a standardized process can also increase predictability, which in turn increases a team or organization’s ability to deliver more projects per year. It also allows for better multi-project planning across an organization. All in all, a project manager’s standardization and organization can help an entire organization improve outcomes in all departments.

They Get Results

Project managers are hyper focused on achieving results and spend a lot of time measuring quantitative and qualitative project outcomes. They assess risk, milestones, value to the organization and much more. The results they offer to an organization can include: lower costs, projects that come in on time, greater efficiencies, improved customer and stakeholder satisfaction, greater competitive advantage, reduced risks, improved success rates, streamlined delivery process, better use of resources, higher quality outcomes, and better communication

Project management is a core competency. Mature project teams add even more value over time, as they standardize process and procedure throughout an organization. This means less wasted time and more projects that come in on time and under budget and that is the value of project management!

 

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