Tuesday, June 5, 2012

5 Ways to Manage Your Principal

PMs often complain that they fail to earn budgeted profits because they can’t control the hours principals charge to their projects. Although this lament may seem overstated, there is no doubt that a few hours of a principal’s time can eat up significant dollars in the fee budget. Here are five excellent ways to control a principal’s time on your projects:

1) At the project’s beginning, establish the responsibilities and functions of any principals involved.

2) Budget activity by each principal, and communicate that budget to the principal in both hours and dollars. Provide your principal with regular updates on the amount of time used.

3) Control project time by breaking down principal involvement into small, specific tasks.

4) When discussing the project, always include a discussion of budget status. Remind principals that their time is the most expensive time available and that they must use it prudently.

5) If your project is in financial trouble, announce to the principal that, due to the circumstances, no one (including the principal) is allowed to charge time without specific, written authorization from you.

The longest time sheets in the office should be those belonging to principals who work on projects. These individuals should be spending small increments of time on the largest number of projects – quickly checking in and getting info, as necessary – as well as on marketing and G&A tasks. Don’t let their involvement and time eat up your budget.

To learn more tips and techniques you can use to become a better and more successful project manager, check out PSMJ’s Ultimate Project Management Manual.

PSMJ’s Ultimate Project Management Manual can instantly and dramatically improve your ability to manage projects for quality, speed, and profitability. Click here to order, e-mail customerservice@psmj.com, or call PSMJ customer service at (800) 537-7765.

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