Background photo by Unsplash User Anthony DELANOIX
Our CEOs are very busy individuals. Charged with running a small, medium or large organization, sometimes they are busier than the President of the United States. That said, their focus can never be too broad – or should I say, broad enough. It will always fall short, it can never include everything, and will sometimes overlook some of the most critical facets and success ingredients in their organization. One of those – in my opinion – is the very real, very critical nature of project management.
Seen by some as necessary and by others as optional, the very nature of project management is to deliver products and services to awaiting clients – the very ones that are helping your organization remain viable and profitable – in neat packets of work that would otherwise reek of chaos without sound management principles built into their delivery process.
Given this, here is my list of three things I think you want your CEO to know about project management today…
1. It does increase profits.
Wrapping a good, sound management structure around just about anything – as long as it isn’t overkill – yields better results, increased quality, higher profitability, and great client satisfaction. Those are all positive things – something any CEO should want for his corporation. And that client satisfaction is sort of a bottom line for the others. At least it’s a big success determiner. Without it, you won’t be running projects for very long…and then there goes your steady revenue stream. It’s always easier to keep business than to always be worrying about gaining new business to backfill for the customers you lost due to poor quality and delivery.
2. It needs upper level support to succeed.
Every project management infrastructure, whether you have a full-fledged project management office (PMO) or not, needs support at the top levels to succeed. If your executive management doesn’t buy-in to the project management process you are rolling out to lead your projects with, then no one else in the organization will either. And there goes your funding.
3. Your customers actually want consistent delivery.
Your customers want you to deliver, yes. But much like you go to McDonald’s expecting the burgers to taste about the same every time, your customers should also be able to expect the same professional delivery and basic process every time they come to you for a project and that shouldn’t be completely dependent on getting the same project manager and team each time. I’m not saying everyone needs Project Management Professional (PMP) certification through the Project Management Institute (PMI). Not at all, but I am saying your delivery should be somewhat standardized and it can’t be – it will never be – unless you build a project management infrastructure or PM practice. My recommendations are to build a solid PMO with a director and repeatable processes and templates in place…but how to do that is fodder for another article. Stay tuned.
Summary / call for input
You may have the most PM-supportive CEO in the world. Congratulations if you do. But there are a lot of CEOs and corporate leaders who are not really aware of the values of project management and they could benefit from a little education. If yours needs convincing, send him my way.
How about our readers? What are you thoughts on some of the key things your CEO – or any CEO – should know about project management in order to make it a viable part of yours or any organization?
About the author:
Brad Egeland is a Business Solution Designer and IT/PM consultant and author with over 25 years of software development, management, and project management experience leading initiatives in Software Development, Manufacturing, Government Contracting, Creative Design, Gaming and Hospitality, Retail Operations, Aviation and Airline, Pharmaceutical, Start-ups, Healthcare, Higher Education, Non-profit, High-Tech, Engineering and general IT. Brad is married, a father of 11, and living in sunny Las Vegas, NV.