New projects are exciting and new business is necessary for survival. If you don’t take the time to scope the project and price it right, you’ll lose more than profit. Can your firm afford to lose its good reputation, be known for providing poor service and, thus, create low staff morale?
Oh, by the way, I bid 50% under budget to win the job
A lesson I learned early on in my engineering career was the consequences of accepting a project from a partner who knew it was a money loser. “Getting a foot in the door” was the excuse. A year later, with a way over budget project, I had my performance review. “Too bad your project lost so much money.” “What the F!?” Not too much later I changed jobs. I realized I could not obtain a high reputation in a firm like that.
This experience was one of many that supported my extreme discipline of making sure my budgets were adequate and projects were completed with top level profits. Over the course of my career, this performance contributed to me being elected shareholder at two firms and I regularly was the most profitable project manager. I learned that making money led to good things.
Personal gain requires discipline
Howard Birnberg, Executive Director of the Association for Project Managers, touched on several of the skills I mastered that made me successful. His piece in CSNews identified solvable weaknesses in project manager performance. They include failure to adequately assess your firm’s capabilities, to have good contract language and to secure an adequate budget. He recognized that the path to success required more than just learning new techniques. The path was 3 part–learn, apply, and stay disciplined.
Learning that cements new skills into behavior is a win-win
My approach is also 3-fold and takes advantage of the power and flexibility of digital learning.
First, an interactive and engaging on-line business learning program focused on all aspects of profit control. Second, video conference coaching between each of the on-line learning modules. And third, video conference application of learned skills to project and division managers’ real project in real-time.
Participants not only learn, but they become proficient. Their performance and the company’s immediately leap to new heights. The ROI on the program is instant.
What if you and all of your firm’s project managers and principals effectively and consistently applied profit gaining behaviors? Would life be better for all?