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Apr 16, 201511:05 AMMad @ Mgmt

with Walter Simson

Why project management is a key middle-market tool

(page 1 of 2)

I have certain favorites when it comes to executive education, most of which are technically oriented toward distressed companies. But some courses I take just to build my own effectiveness. For example, about every two years I take a time-management course. I come away with sharpened task-tracking skills, and for about two years I am incredibly effective — on time, organized, and ready. Then things wind down and I need a refresher.

About 20 years ago I was running a technology-heavy firm, and I was struck by the lack of project-management skills among our development engineers. So I set up a PM course for all of the staff, and I took one of the courses. In contrast to the time-management courses that need refreshers, this educational experience has proved enduring. It has helped me for the past 20 years.

Of course, I thought project management was a technical skill that only engineers need. How can they roll out a new product unless all the components are finished at the same time? And I had used PM in some systems projects and merger integration, where large groups need to know what’s happening before some big pull-the-switch date.

But over time, I have tended to think of project management as a tool that we all need to use in any corporate improvement exercise, not just product launches and system switches.

An assessment of a new market. A revamped billing procedure. A reorg. A reinvigorated receivables-collections effort.


Apr 17, 2015 08:28 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Excellent article - and excellent timing! Working in a very small company when projects need to be done we are usually pretty informal about talking about them, setting simple goals and moving on. But I am getting involved in a large volunteer effort and there are loads of great ideas flying around - and no one is organizing them, locking them down, or setting dates! So I'm wading into that - but also being very careful to not do everything myself. That's also a vital component of project management and part of what makes the team feel good about the accomplishment at then end. Everyone is involved and does the work!

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