In a survey from KPMG, 50 per cent of respondents indicated that their project failed to consistently achieve their intended business goals. These goals have traditionally been measured by the amount of time taken, and whether the project stuck to its budget. However, in order to achieve project success and the intended business goals, project managers should instead be focussing on the delivery of business value.
This value is measured by the benefits a project creates for its key stakeholders, in both a monetary and non-monetary way. This can include:
- time efficiency – freeing up employees to play to their strengths
- organisation – reduces cognitive strain, leading to less stress.
These can ensure improved team morale, which contributes to less turnover and expensive rehiring processes. This translates into a net benefit for customers, showing that effective project management can lead to business and customer satisfaction. Without this perspective, a business can become complacent, leading to a lack of innovation and the prospect of being left behind.
With project management driving business value, employees can be empowered to provide benefits to their business, such as:
- competitive advantages with new technology
- new products or services
- updated approaches to work
- increased brand awareness
- digital assets e.g. data
A successful project manager can help generate business value by meeting strategic objectives through specific projects. Through an IT team’s use of data modelling and analysis, project managers can measure value with data mining, instrumentation and surveying customers. This information helps articulate business results to clients.
What steps can a project manager take to deliver business value?
A project manager can take these key steps to help deliver benefits to both their business and customers.
- Understand the project vision
It’s important to firstly choose the right project to undertake. By understanding a project’s vision, a project manager should know the reason behind the project and obtain clarity with the project sponsor.
Comprehending the project and its purpose helps to learn what benefits will come as a result. Identify this value and understand how you will measure it, before beginning the project with your team.
- Have open communication with your team
A project manager can share the vision, goals, ideas and potential issues of a project with their team. Running a successful kick-off meeting or pitching to key stakeholders is vital to get smoother results.
Empowering a team and instilling belief in the project leads to a larger contribution to business value.
- Foster an environment that helps your team deliver on the value
Remove any potential roadblocks and work on making your team’s environment a comfortable one. A comfortable environment for your project team could include designated huddle spots, brainstorm areas or a more open workplace. This helps team members focus on their project work, motivated by the interactive environment and the skills of their project manager.
- Measure how the value will be delivered throughout the project
It’s key for a project manager to continually measure the value of a project, rather than worrying solely about the final result. For some projects, the final realisation of added business value may not be immediately available, taking some time after completion to measure success based on stakeholder feedback.
Continued professional development for project managers
Project managers are able to develop their efficiency by continual learning. This helps them build communication and leadership skills in the workplace. By continually monitoring and empowering your team, project goals can be achieved which lead to increased business value.
If you’re interested in developing more responsive and less reactive project management skills, consider studying the online Graduate Diploma in Project Management and specialise in IT