Monday, November 14, 2011

6 Common Project Management Practices of the Most Successful A/E/C Firms

Throughout the course of teaching PSMJ’s PM Bootcamps, PSMJ consultants have identified the activities and approaches firms have taken which have led to success, and have developed an understanding of what lower-performing firms can do to change and put themselves on track for greater success.

Here are the 6 common best practices of the most successful firms:

1. Everyone is actively involved in business development. Everyone should take an active role in pursuing business development opportunities. Although it may be difficult or intimidating for most PMs to pursue getting new business, they should be tapping into their best resources for more work—current and past clients.

2. PMs champion proposal development. Once a proposal opportunity has been identified, the PM should become a key participant in, if not champion of, the entire process. PMs should have a key role in the development and negotiation of scope. This will ensure that the PM buys into and takes ownership of the scope and related fee. If involved in the proposal phase, the PM will have the opportunity to hear directly from the client what their project goals are.

3. PMs have a well-written project scope that can be converted into a detailed task outline for the work. This practice is essential for realistic budgeting, scheduling, easier negotiating, and to serve as a yardstick to monitor the progress of the project against the resources spent to date.

4. Have a strategic kick-off meeting. A well-developed strategic kick-off meeting allows the entire project team to understand the project and their responsibilities, scopes, budgets, schedules, and risks—and to contribute their own knowledge. If you can get the client to attend, and we strongly encourage that, it will allow the team to identify all client critical goals—and discuss client responsibilities as well.

5. Have a formal method to track the progress of projects. This method to assess real progress—not just expended resources—can be scaled according to project size and complexity. PSMJ prefers the Earned Value Method.

6. Have regular PM/principal status review meetings. All PMs at every level need frequent opportunities to step back and brainstorm with a client sponsor to keep their projects on track. My experience suggests you will always benefit from a focused hour of principal-level attention on your project.

Benchmark your current project management practices against these six areas of focus and see how you might improve.

Learn more tips on becoming a better PM team leader with the world's most successful project managers by attending PSMJ's A/E/C Project Management Bootcamp. This Bootcamp is a revolutionary training like no other--through interactive case-studies, real-world examples, and proven solutions, you will foster innovation, elevate communications, increase productivity, and improve your firm's bottom line.

PSMJ is now accepting registrations for our Spring 2012 A/E/C Project Management Bootcamp series - instantly and dramatically improve your ability to manage projects for quality, speed, and profitability with PSMJ’s two-day intensive PM training seminar. Click here to register or contact PSMJ Education Department at or (800) 537-7765.


Unknown said...

these six common practices is very helpful in project management....
project management professional

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