Many wonder, is Project Management for Engineers or the IT guys within the Organization? Yes it is, however Projects do not generate value unless the Business people get involved, participate and track outputs. In theory, Project Management is an applied approach of mature methodologies to Plan, Execute & Monitor working packages, including initiating and closing. Projects indeed carry on what has been agreed for delivery to the stakeholders (aka, whoever has interest on the results), thus it has portions of technical know-how.
Being the delivery man/woman (Project Manager) is related to satisfying those ordered the work, achieving performance standards. But, how do you actually connect planning and running a project with business strategy? Decisions are taken with business criteria (or society impact considering the NPOs), as such those who make the project order and pay the bill, need to have a clear view of the big picture, as well as the capability to zoom on points of interest.
What can be these points of interest for the business users?
1. People Management
Projects are about engaging assets, and people are the most valuable. Especially, when the business offering is purely services, human capital is costly and should be precisely controlled. Project Management software platforms are lacking of capabilities to search/request/book and create teams according to skillset and special characteristics. Projects are running by People, as such unless you are not able to utilize your best, or those with the exact characteristics needed, being able to share them with other managers effectively, then results are not being backed up properly.
2. Earned Value analytics
Whoo-ha! Stakeholders love numbers, so you better serve numbers 24/7. Successful Project Management means security and safe sail on blue waters. How do you do that, if you cannot present at any point how much each project will cost on completion? Similarly, move on to the next level from on-line PM tools like Gantt charts and Kanban diagrams (much appreciated) to figures like how much value have created on each project running. Get to know a special PM platform, with proven capabilities on EV analytics, getting to know the epitome of managing your stakeholders. Make them never ask about what’s going on, give transparency with numeric accuracy based on real data, like embedded costs of your people at your projects.
3. Flexible management- Bimodal methodology
Working with multi-billion clients worldwide, delivering specially customized solutions with tons of integration with existing Legacy systems, it’s a growing experience that theory differs from practice. Traditional PM methodologies like PMI, Prince2, Agile, etc. must be prior explored, however need effort to be applied horizontally and hard to be maintained properly. Today, it’s rather important to be flexible on your business management style, reflecting Project Management also. Theories evolve and become updated practices, such as the bimodal methodology invented by Gartner in 2014, which is “the practice of managing two separate but coherent styles of work: one focused on situations of greater predictability, the other where exploration is required.”
Summarizing, the business users are your best friends, treat them nice and serve them good. If needed, train them by adopting a software platform that allows them to focus both on the tree and the forest. Business users like to go hunting, run with them rather than avoiding them, or being hunted.