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Want To Be Valued as a Project Manager?

Learn How to Communicate with the Executives

So many project managers tell me they aren’t valued even with all the good work they do – meeting project deadlines, staying within budget, taking on the seemingly “impossible” projects and keeping a smile on their faces through it all. I say…of course not! That’s all expected of you! And it’s a good job you can do it all. Want to show your value as a project manager? Learn how to communicate “up the ladder!”

Business acumen is a requirement if you want to be of value to an organization. Let’s define business acumen. Per Wikipedia, it is a concept pertaining to a person’s knowledge and ability to make profitable business decisions. Think of it as the ability to view the business from other angles – from every perspective. Think of the successful entrepreneurs you know – they have business acumen. They understand how to view their business from all angles, develop strategy and implement that strategy. That’s what you should be capable of as a project manager.

Most all project managers are involved in many aspects of the business simply by the nature of their role in the organization: managing projects.

So what does all this have to do with communicating with the company executives? The organization’s leaders know the business inside and out! You need to also! You should know the following about your organization:

  • Key products and services and the target audience served by those products and services
  • Long-term strategic goals of the organization
  • Who the competitors are and how your organization compares to them
  • Your organization’s revenue goals and how projects fit into meeting those goals
  • Whether there is growth in your industry or if growth has been stagnant
  • The potential for growth in your organization

By understanding this, you are better positioned to offer advice and suggestions around projects to be selected to meet organizational goals – you become an advisor to the leadership team. Just think how this helps in working with stakeholders and motivating the project team.

Your thoughts? How much of this information do you know? Do you know how to go about learning what you don’t know? Work out your plan today on how you’ll develop your business acumen. Make it your resolution for 2011 and you’ll take great strides toward moving into a leadership role yourself!