Letting Your Company Know How Important A PM Is
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You know how important your job role is to the organisation you work for but do they? Here we look at how to effectively raise the profile of project management in your company.
You've been through the project management training and you know full well how important your job position is - but does your organisation?
Project management as a job is fairly new to the professional world so, as surprising as it may be to you, whose working day revolves around schedules, controls and risk management, a lot of people still don't really understand what the job entails and, more importantly, why it is so essential to companies in our project-centric business environment.
A doctor, lawyer, accountant, team leader or sales representative have clearly defined roles everyone understands. But your job to many is a bit of an anomaly. Recognising this fact is a really good thing to do, because it means you won't spend your time losing more steam out of your ears than a cartoon and instead you can put some energy into educating those in your organisation about your job role.
Why Project Management Matters
The world would be a fantastic place if people simply just recognised you were performing well, but that's just not how the world works unfortunately. If you want people to know about how well you're doing, you're going to forget being humble and learn how to self promote. Senior management may well not notice how well you're doing if you don't let them know. That's not to say you need to get a megaphone out, but it does mean you need to raise the credibility of your job role in general and how it is helping the business you work for. Doing this will enable you to more easily gain additional resources when you need them and to build positive engagement in the processes involved. Shouting about project management helps the company and you - it is win-win.
So How Do I Let Them Know?
There are lots of ways to raise the profile of project management in your company. Here are just a few:
Drop The Ego
When you've been immersed in project management, it can be easy to speak using PM jargon all the time and forget other people don't have the slightest clue what you're talking about. Drop the ego and strip it back, and feel comfortable talking about how you do your job to other people without the jargon. Don't be precious and keep your 'skills' to yourself, you're not Harry Potter, your processes aren't dangerous in the wrong hands. Keeping knowledge to yourself isn't the way to build strong collaborative relationships. Be open about what you do and how you do it, and then expect the same from others.
Make it easy for your results to be viewed by senior management and key members of the business. Make the data extremely easy to access by top executives so they can review it themselves without your help.
The only way people are going to know that you're worth your salt is by keeping your promises and delivering. You can talk the talk but no one is going to believe in you if you don't walk the walk. And this doesn't just mean project completion either. This is everything from a networking phone call, to an update email, to a lunchtime meeting. If you've said you'll do something in person, on the phone, by email or even smoke signals - get it done.
Let People Know How You're Adding Value
You might explain how you add value but you must be able to demonstrate this, otherwise it's pretty meaningless. Use data, software and any other evidence you have to show how you've made a difference. Don't just throw facts and figures out there unless you can actively prove and demonstrate what you're trying to say.
It's Not All About You!
The final tip is to remember that project management is not all about you. Project management training teaches us about teamwork - so don't forget that when you're trying to raise the project management profile in your organisation. Your team needs to know what you're trying to achieve and they also need to know what promises you have made. Communication is key, and it really isn't all about you - it's all about effective collaboration to let everyone and anyone know how important the jobs all of you are doing in relation to the organisation.