This is a timely blog post given the great feedback we’ve gotten to the two-part webinar series we’re hosting with Bob Gillcrist: Do you have PMs or job captains?
Historically, job captains managed projects, ensuring that deliverables and timelines were met. The problem comes when there’s zero consideration of the budget. The best Project Managers not only manage the production aspect of projects flawlessly but they also consider client relationships and project profitability. Firms that focus on the latter will profit more.
Progressive A/E firms invest in their project managers because they realize they are essential to companywide financial success. The following elements are present in organizations with strong project management.
- Focus project managers on clients’ needs. Technical excellence is part of the equation, but solving client problems is the most important consideration.
- Ensure accounting group supports project managers. Accounting groups can provide assistance and training of project managers on contract management and financial concepts.
- Provide streamlined tools for project planning. Using a consistent planning tool provides a framework for project managers to gain experience and be more successful. Create easy-to-understand reports.
- Provide comprehensive project management training. Make sure project managers are prepared for this important role by understanding the business concepts.
- Develop a strong mentoring system. Utilize experienced staff to develop new project managers.
- Make an exception reporting a standard approach.
- Have senior management review projects monthly to assist project managers in determining progress.
- Require frequent staff communication on scope.
- Require feedback to staff on performance.
- Provide flexible project management control systems based on the complexity and scope of the project.
By investing in project managers to develop their business management skills, the pay back can be significant. Better financial performance, client satisfaction, and leaders to participate in company management are significant benefits of this investment.
AE firms live and breathe projects yet project management is very difficult to do well. Interested in best practices? Take a look at last week’s webcast and sign up for Part 2 being held this Thursday, June 21 at 1PM EST.