Project Management

If You’re a PM, You Have a Purpose

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-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 [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

As the monthly theme on focuses on PM with a Purpose, I wanted to interpret this a little differently and simply remind you that, if you are a project manager, you already have a purpose.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not suggesting that PMs shouldn’t be interested in sustainability, social values, educating the next generation or any of those other elements. They’re all essential to the world, and they’re all areas where PMs can add tremendous value.

But simply by being an effective project manager, you’re adding value—you’re contributing to more than just the triple constraint and business outcomes. Sometimes I think we take that for granted, so I want to provide a quick reminder. Let’s start with something that’s just about as fundamental as it gets…

What’s the purpose of project management?
Why does project management exist? How does it support success? These are pretty basic questions that we all kind of know the answer to, but that aren’t always easy to address in words. For me, there are two main categories of purpose:

  • Helping everyone else involved in the project be as effective and efficient as possible
  • Optimizing the value achieved by the application of the various project elements (effort, time and money)

I would also put them in that priority order. …

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"Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric."

- Bertrand Russell