Project Management

The Business-Savvy PM

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

If you are a business person (BP) working with project managers (PM), you probably wish they had more appreciation and a better understanding of business principles. On the other hand, if you are a project manager working with business people, you probably wish they had a more working knowledge of project management processes, concepts and the like.

This disconnect between BPs and PMs is a very common situation--and only made worse if the PM is also from IT. Talking the same language is only part of the disconnect problem; it goes deeper than that. Let’s face it: Today, the project assets of most mid-size and larger organizations represent a material portion of the capital budget. It is therefore incumbent upon BPs and PMs to find a common ground for working together. That common ground starts with broadening functional knowledge of the business, its operational processes and its project-related processes. Success is a two-way street when it comes to being a savvy BP and PM.

But since this article is focusing on the PM, let’s keep the emphasis there. With that in mind, here are some of the core business competencies and capabilities PMs need to work more effectively with business leaders, managers and operations staff. In his article “Power of the Business Analyst/Project Manager Combo,” Eric Bloom identifies some core capabilities project managers…

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Maybe the dingo ate your baby.

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