It is sometimes hard to understand the quantifiable value that strong, technical project managers bring to organizations. I would go one step further and say that some people question the value (of any kind) that project managers bring to the table. Like many in operational roles, project managers are blamed for project challenges, but are often overlooked after project successes.
I searched Google for articles on how project managers deliver quantifiable value. Mostly I found articles that were more conceptual in nature about why you need a project manager or project management office (PMO) or how to get the most value out of your PMs. I didn’t find tangible ways project managers actually improve the bottom line of the organization. In an age where every function needs to be delivering quantifiable value, I was a bit surprised. I know that strong, technical project managers are invaluable to organizations, and worth every penny of their cost.
Project managers deliver Quantifiable Business Value by:
- Reducing busy work & obstacles for the project team – It has been proven that focused, dedicated time improves the quality and reduces delivery time of technical solutions. A strong PM will handle the busy work, allowing the team to do just that. Cost savings: Reduced hours worked for project delivery & reduced hours of non-billable rework.
- Managing the analysis & artifacts – This is an often overlooked function of a PM. A good PM will understand the business requirements and can help facilitate troubleshooting & testing. Additionally, the PM will also be able to write & manage the artifacts (project plans, requirements, implementation documentation), which become most critical during testing & supporting the development post-implementation. Cost savings: Reduced costs for testing, support & maintenance and facilitation of support functions away from high cost developers to less expensive support resources.
- Reducing risk – A project manager will feel comfortable managing the scope, and making decisions. The PM is willing to have those tough conversations for prioritization. Cost savings: Reduction or elimination of unanticipated costs associated with scope creep. Additional cost savings come from keeping project on schedule.
- Improving project delivery & allows for new work – Lastly, and arguably most important, a good PM will deliver! Often organizations get bogged down by lack of prioritization resulting in all resources making their own decisions. This chaos slows the progress of project delivery. For all the reasons outlined above, a PM will delivery projects, which will open the window for new work from customers. Incremental revenue: When PMs deliver, customers deliver too! In this case, it’s in the form of new work.
Don’t under estimate the power of a strong, technical project manager for the success of your business. While you may wonder if you can afford the cost, I would argue that a PM can pay for themselves in what he/she delivers in return.