Imagine that your project management service is a micro
consulting business. Imagine for a moment that you are
principal consultant of YPMC (Your Project Management
What would you need to do to stay in business? You would
need to market your services, network with prospects,
articulate the value of your services and constantly keep an
eye on efficiency to maintain a healthy bottom line for YPMC.
Although most project managers work in large organizations,
you can apply many of your business skills to manage your
projects as if you were the principal consultant of YPMC.
Applying the skills below will set you apart from other
project managers who are merely going through the motions of
updating project plans and facilitating status meetings.
1. Determine what the value of your services are, and
articulate them when you get the opportunity. What would it
cost to deliver the project without your skills? $5 million,
due to missed deadlines and running into avoidable problems?
What would the project cost be if the product was never
delivered? If you can't articulate the value of your
services, then why are you managing the project? Would the
project sponsors have a better ROI (Return On Investment) if
the project was not managed? It could be a hard question to
ask, but it may be the wake-up call for you.
2. Learn how to market yourself and your project. Just as if
you were YPMC, learn the value of telling the world what you
3. Network with prospects. Lunch with more senior project
managers and learn from them. Meet with potential sponsors
for future projects. Ask project sponsors for their view -
what would they like to get from a project manager? If you
were running YPMC, then you would be surveying clients - do
the same for your organizational project sponsors.
4. Create metrics to determine the internal efficiency of
your project management processes. How much does it cost to
produce your weekly status dashboard? What is the value to
your consumers? How can you provide additional value or
reduce the cost of producing your status reports?
5. Take care of you. As principal consultant for YPMC, you
should be scheduling annual vacations and exercising
regularly. You work for money and no-one works for the sake
of working. Make sure to enjoy the fruits of your labors
with vacations and good health.
These tips will get you started as you view your project
management service as a micro-consulting business. There are
many more business tactics to apply once you change your
view from "employee" to YPMC.
Most project managers don't view project management as a
professional service. They view it as a job and go through
the motions for a paycheck. However, you can distinguish
yourself when you identify and articulate the value of your