There was a day when you could write your own ticket if you were a project manager, had your PMP designation and if you knew something about technology or telecom. Ah, the good old days.
Today, the world of PMs, with their PMP and with technology experience is very crowded. Sorry folks… I know you are really good at what you do, and that you have incredible experience in your subject matter and that you have great references. But so do many, many others around you. The playing field is quite crowded.
So, what can you do about it? How can you get noticed – get your resume or profile close enough to the top of the pile to get an interview?
Remove those blinkers. The days of “Build it on time, on scope and on budget” are gone. These days, you have to do all of that PLUS more. You need to show value above and beyond the norm. You need to be much more than just being a good or great project manager.
Here are 3 ideas on how you can be more then just the ‘same old’ – how you can stand up and get noticed.
- Understand business value. Dan Watt of RBC Financial Group did a great presentation at ProjectTalks Toronto on the importance of project managers understanding business value. What is your project doing for your customer? What value is being provided. When we start to think about our projects in terms of business value, we start to make better decisions within the project process – ones that are tied to project value.
- Understand strategy – I have written on this topic many times in this area. Strategic plans feed our project work – or so they should. A smart project manager knows the plan and understands how the work he/she is doing is tied to that strategic plan. This connection feeds performance, feeds better decisions (as with #1 above) and feeds happier and more engaged team members.
- Understand the CxO language. Great project managers know how to relate to the senior management team in terms that they understand and live with everyday. This includes a thorough understanding of the financial reports, terms like ROI, asset management and shareholder returns. Our senior team is not interested in the minutia of our project plans but they are interested in how that plan will affect the bottom line. Learn to talk their talk.
These three things can start to set you apart from the crowd. These are things that employers and customers are looking for – along with someone who can deliver on time, on scope and on budget.
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