or e-mail us for more information.
Join Our Newsletter
Enter E-mail Address:
The Achiever Newsletter
A Winning Strategy
W. Drake, Ph.D.
As we begin the new year, progressive organizations are setting goals
and developing plans to improve their performance over the past year.
Organizations are faced with tighter budgets, less time, and fewer resources.
To effectively compete, organizations will need to do more with less.
Businesses will have to build products and provide services faster, cheaper,
and better. In the process, they will have to get things done right the
first time. Increasingly, successful organizations are using project management
techniques to enhance their chances of being winners in the very competitive
In today's changing marketplace, organizations that use effective project
management techniques find that they have the competitive advantage. According
to James P. Lewis, author of several books on project management, these
companies "have the competitive advantage over those who fly by the seat
of the pants." The competition is becoming both time-based and cost-based.
Lewis says time-based organizations "can get a product or service to market
faster than anyone else." These companies have the competitive edge. In
addition, cost-based companies that control their costs using project
management techniques can sell their products and services at a lower
margin, again giving them the competitive edge.
The goal of effective project management is to deliver a project on time
and within budget. The project manager's toolkit includes a number of
tools to manage a project efficiently. A key factor in successful project
management is to invest sufficient time in defining and planning the project.
The statement "plan your work and work your plan" fits project management
very well. Once you have developed a good project plan, you reduce the
likelihood of problems later in the project, thus saving both time and
Seminar participants realize the importance of planning the project when
they attend the "Project
Management: From Concept to Completion" seminar. This basic seminar
helps participants organize their work into projects and helps them build
their project management skills. The seminar involves a number of "hands-on"
activities where seminar participants work in project teams.
Seminar participants gain an understanding of the phases of a project
or the project "life cycle." They begin by having their project team break
down the work and organize the tasks into logical groupings using a Work
Breakdown Structure. This is a key part of the seminar since the project
teams work on this project for several additional activities in the seminar.
The project team further organizes the project in order to complete it
on time and within budget. The project team estimates the amount of time
it will take to complete the project tasks. Then the project teams use
project-scheduling techniques such as Gantt charts and PERT diagrams.
These scheduling techniques help project teams to see how the project
is progressing and to see if the various steps are being completed on
Project teams learn to recognize the causes of project success and failure.
By planning ahead and being proactive, project teams can anticipate possible
problems and plan alternative ways of dealing with these problems. Project
managers can help their project teams develop by guiding them to learn
successful methods in writing project specifications, estimating time,
developing the budget, and planning project procedures. The more effective
the project team is in planning the project, the easier the implementation
of the project becomes. Effective planning and teamwork help ensure a
successful project. Thus, developing effective teamwork and team pride
in the project is also a necessary function of the project manager and
the project team. Seminar participants also discuss strategies to handle
multiple projects. When the seminar is completed, participants leave with
a project management toolkit to use back in the workplace.
Many organizations have taken advantage of this custom-designed seminar
to develop both project managers and project teams. The project teams
have been able to work on current and planned projects as a part of their
seminar experience. The project managers and project teams learn to enhance
their project management skills. In addition, the project teams make progress
in completing their scheduled and planned projects as a part of this basic
As competition increases, progressive businesses are realizing the value
of providing their project managers and project teams with this type of
training so that they can bring in projects on time and within budget.
These organizations can see that project management is a winning strategy
in a changing marketplace.
Publication Date: Winter 2003
W. Drake, Ph.D., is a professional speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®,
Inc., a firm specializing in custom-designed keynote presentations, seminars,
and consulting services. Jeff has made presentations ranging from leadership
to empowered teams and project management to communication styles for
a number of industries, including education, financial, government, healthcare,
and manufacturing. For more information on Jeff's presentations, please
call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact