PMs have become an integral part of businesses delivering on strategies & objectives. Some of the most important things they do but are still not fully understood include:
  • increase probability of success for projects
  • package work into projects and categorize based on risk and complexity
  • help clarify priorities in order to make good decisions related to trade-offs
  • develop structure that enables timely and accurate reporting 
  • create lessons learned for the next project
PM is one of the most exciting, challenging and most valuable Professions, but still it is often ranked low in terms of job respect, admiration and value? Studies are commonly showing that PM Experience is key to get into senior leadership roles and also critical if you have entrepreneurial desires (want to start your own business). 

Often, everyone wants a confident, experienced, good PM........... until they get one (then they want to return them, lol).

Today I presented at the Saskatoon Chapter of the Project Management Institute (great organization promoting PM as a Profession, check out their website:  pminorthsask presentations ).  The presentation had many questions and comments at the end, we did not even have enough time to address them all.  So this is a bit of a hot topic.

For a copy of the presentation, email me and I'd be very happy to share

Perception of PM often includes:

  • Meetings
  • Paperwork
  • Reports/documents
  • Lots of acronyms
  • Coordinating people
  • Taking minutes
  • Administration
PMs also face a challenge since everyone can be a project manager and inherently, we all do it.  Often people's perceptions include:

  • it is easy, I do it all the time in personal life (e.g. trips, weddings, building something, etc.)
  • I need to get the work done so just give me the checklist of tools and I'll do it
  • we don’t really have PMs in our office since we dont really focus on large projects
 As discussed at the PMI presentation, these perceptions are not correct and need to be met head on by the PMs that are out there and are ambassadors of the profession.

Sample benefits of a formal project approach include:

  • More efficient (documentation, processes, collaboration, centralized data/reporting, avoid duplication, consistency)
  • Prioritization of resources
  • Project alignment to business strategy
  • Identify and react to issues faster
  • Risk management and change control
  • Break-down complexities
  • Confidence
  • Management and Security of IP
  • On time, on budget results
  • Formal start and end
  • Estimating
  • Monitoring and tracking of KPIs
  • Adapt within a dynamic changing market
  • Better decision making
  • Clarity on role, responsibility, accountability and ownership
  • Higher probability of success (betting)

If looking to integrate Project Management in a professional manner:

  • Don’t look at a quick solution, evolve the organization
  • Track and optimize the organization following a management maturity index 
  • Have a staged plan for the long term and align with the picture.  Jump “low hanging fruit
  • The culture must change along with the systems and there is no silver bullet
  • Ensure you identify the PM title as a formal, professional role, backed by the organization
  • Follow a methodology (leverage ones that already exist and are global leaders, e.g.

Below is an example of a project plan review, but funny since it happens far too often. Try to involve professional PMs as early as possible and get the complete plan (don't find out you are missing things when you are half way through the plan)