The Cost-Conscious Mindset

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

In the economic climate that the world has been dealing with recently, we have all had to become even more cost conscious. As PMs, we are being asked to account for every dollar and every day of effort; we are under constant pressure to deliver more with less. To be successful in achieving these goals we need to build a culture of efficiency within our project teams. In this article, I want to explore how we build that culture of efficiency without sacrificing project quality.

Efficient thinking
As project managers we only have so much control over our team members—ultimately, they are the people who are completing the work and they need to be given the freedom to perform without feeling that the PM is constantly looking over their shoulder (that just leads to a culture of distrust and hurts efficiency). To ensure that team members are making decisions that are geared around efficiency, we need to provide them with the tools that they need--and then trust them to make the right choices.

The first step here is to ensure that everyone has a common understanding of efficiency. It might seem obvious, but if you don’t take the time to establish what is expected then people will end up making the wrong decisions for the right reasons. I always try to begin by providing some kind of measure of how efficient we need to be with this project--in other words, how …

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