Project Management Central

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Practice Areas: Leadership, Organizational Project Management, Talent Management
How to show value of project management to company executives?
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I'm in a smaller company which often has a variety of project sizes, yet they've never really had project managers to utilize. I don't think many of them actually understand the value that can come from having a dedicated project manager (or maybe they just haven't had the opportunity to work with one until I showed up and got my PMP).

How would you recommend slowly showing the value of placing project managers in charge of many of their temporary projects that often lack project organization and proper documentation?

Just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about, they didn't have any project management software until I arrived and had them add one.
What's the best way to sell project management as a whole, towards executives, to show value in the profession and its importance?
Thanks
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Michael. Place a PM approach on a few more projects as you get them. Over the span of the project timelines, show the gap or delta between projects that are being managed with a PM function in place and those that are not. My hunch is projects being managed with a true PM approach will supply leaders with significantly better value (communication, updates, progress reports, next steps, etc) versus projects that are not being managed. When the time is right, prepare a recommendation based on the approaches.
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1 reply by Michael Shanklin, MBA, PMP
Jul 27, 2017 3:17 PM
Michael Shanklin, MBA, PMP
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Agreed, great advice Mikel. Thx
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Jul 27, 2017 3:16 PM
Replying to Mikel Steadman
...
Michael. Place a PM approach on a few more projects as you get them. Over the span of the project timelines, show the gap or delta between projects that are being managed with a PM function in place and those that are not. My hunch is projects being managed with a true PM approach will supply leaders with significantly better value (communication, updates, progress reports, next steps, etc) versus projects that are not being managed. When the time is right, prepare a recommendation based on the approaches.
Agreed, great advice Mikel. Thx
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Agree with Mikel... it has to be incremental and step-by-step.

I think is worth trying to start creating "company assets"on the projects you are managing: lessons learned, project document/templates, metrics, guidelines, etc.

At some point those assets will be considered standards and it will turn into a PM approach naturally I think.

Cheers,
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First of all, remember that value is a subjective matter and you must transform it into objective ones. You can use methods like "Solution Selling" or "SPIN Selling" to do that. Second, project management as other functions to be implemented inside the organization must be created for strategical reasons (remember that strategy is the way the organization responds to environmental stimulus). Third, make them visible that they are performing project management from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed in their personal life. The degree of formality is what varies.
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Agree with Sergio, need to be an organisation strategic choice.
Progressive adoption is likely the way to push the strategy. It should show that PMP would give a more regular update to the organisation using KPIs and other methods.
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I generally agree with the previous responses. Also keep in mind that management responds to certain stimulus'. One is reporting - meaning if you can provide clearer project reporting (status, progress, cost/budgeting, etc), you can gain ground. The second - and probably the most important - is pain. Are they experiencing pain somewhere? While a project charter or a risk plan are good things to have, management has been living without them for this long, so those are obviously not high on their sources of pain. Instead, address their pain, and you can gain acceptance of project management. But, as someone above said, do this slowly, not all in one shot.
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My experience has been that there is a tremendous measurable difference of having a formal PM vs not having one. I think we all know that. We can easily show the difference when it comes to risk/issue management and schedule management. For example, developers are keen, passionate and heads down when it comes to programming, but not at all savvy in identifying or communicating risks. If a PM is not assigned, the risks and issues just keep growing, without closure and the schedule is easily impacted. The PM helps facilitate, follow up, identify mitigation strategies, assign ownership and closes them in a timely fashion, so the impact of having a PM is high and benefits are high.

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