in Leadership

Adding Value: A Gentle Reminder

Sure, as a project manager / business leader, you:

  • Completed the project in given time frame.
  • Within the budget. With minimum schedule deviation.
  • Utilized your resources optimally.
  • Filled up all the required templates.
  • Did retrospective. Celebrated completion.
  • Shared statistical reports with the top management.

But did you:

  • Think about “value” (remember 102%) you will deliver? Early in the project cycle?
  • Set expectations of your team on what “value” means to you and to the customer?
  • Glad you did that. But did you keep that in perspective constantly while executing?
  • Critically evaluate “earned value” for the stakeholders?
  • Track value delivered, when you tracked through the Gantt Chart?
  • Make stakeholder’s world a bit better in any way?

A Gentle Reminder: It is easy to have a hard-nosed focus on scope, time and budgets (and they are important too) but when you don’t think/plan/understand how the project/initiatives adds value to your customer’s business (or what is customer’s definition of value), you fail to create a positive impact.

Adding value – that is what project management (and all our work as professionals) is all about. Isn’t it?

Have a wonderful Friday!

Bonus: If you are a project manager, reading “5 Goals Every Project Manager Should Aspire to Achieve” at CIO.com by Jason Westland would help. Check out #4 there!

  1. Very rightly said that adding value in the project initiation and then maintaining the value delivery during and at the end of execution is very critical aspect of project success.
    I read something similar to this in a management book related to CRM.

    This was a nice post to share on weekend!Thanks Tanmay and have a great weekend.

    Regards,
    Jay Chhaya

  2. Perfectly said. In the current competitive market we should not only focus on the scope, time and budgets, quality but also needs to provide some value adds to the customer. Giving the things customer expected is an easy task but giving beyond customers expectation is more important (giving 102%).

    Thanks for this post Tanmay and have wonderful weekend.

    Regards,
    Anil Kumar

    • @Anil – Thanks! In my view, even knowing completely what customer expects is difficult – and then the challenge is to do it in a way that customer finds it valuable. Apart from the quality of product, the perception of value has a lot to do with the overall experience of client when dealing with you.

      So in essence, even if you want to exceed customer expectations, you first need to know what customer expects! :)

      Best,
      Tanmay

  3. My first Andersen Consulting project manager signed us up for several additional complex extra reports and processes. I went to have a serious conversation with him about the additional risk (I took myself very seriously back then ;-). He listened attentively and then explained exactly what you just said so eloquently. He said we could do exactly what was in the SOW and have a satisfied customer, but if we focused on creating value we would have an estatic customer. And boy was he right – that project was a model project of teamwork and comeraderie, as well as very successful, because we focused on value. Value will never steer you wrong.
    .-= working girl´s last blog ..Teamwork or Talent =-.

  4. @Laura(working girl)- “Value will never steer you wrong” – that is so true. I have experienced that delivering value doesn’t necessarily require you to always deliver “extra” stuff. Sometimes, simple acts of care, empathy, listening and understanding can alter/impact client’s perception of value.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Best,

    Tanmay

  5. Good insight.

    I think Adding value through your work methodology, communication, timely completion of commitment is required on a professional front. Have I missed something?
    I like this post much, Adding value to your work also gives us a lot of satisfaction

    Megha.

    • @Megha – How can you add value through your work? While that topic demands a separate post, here are a few more on top of what you listed: effective processes, empathetic listening, understanding client’s unique challenges, mapping your solutions accurately with those challenges, effective communication, building relationships with customers, making them look better, making their life easy in some way and ensuring that your solutions really help them with their business outcomes. An organization can either be a “passive order taker” or an “active partner” to the customers. To become the latter, project managers need to constantly think of how they can bring value to the table.

      Best,

      Tanmay

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