What Value Does Project Management Add?

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The author spent the first part of her career working in IT and IT Project Management in the oil industry and investment banking on complex global projects involving the management of outsourced project teams. She now runs a digital marketing company with particular expertise in technical SEO and Content Marketing.

When asked how does professional project management add value to a business I always struggle to answer in meaningful terms – terms that equate to the bottom line of a business. It’s relatively easy to describe the benefits and advantages of managing projects properly but to actually quantify or measure those benefits is much harder.


That’s not to say that any businesses I know don’t appreciate the skills of a good project manager – with so much project work being undertaken in all areas of large organisations there is an intrinsic understanding of their value but very few people, if any, can claim to demonstrate a direct link between a successful project and the return on investment.


The reason for this is that businesses tend to view projects as a core part of their business and individual projects will not be costed in the same way as, say, a product that will be sold for a fixed price. 


Some of the important benefits brought about by successful project implementations include standardisation of processes and terminology across a company, better working practises and improved communication between departments. Such improvements are difficult to measure in financial terms but without a doubt place a company in a stronger position to compete in their industry sector. It helps them to retain staff more easily and ensures that staff are well-motivated and that departments work co-operatively instead of in competition. And more importantly it helps communication across and within departments and reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings arising where different terminology is used. These intangible benefits lead to a more efficient organisation all round.


Although it is difficult to quantify the value of projects it is possible to analyse standard business processes and measure improvements in the efficiency of these processes over time. One or more projects was almost certainly responsible for implementing (or causing the implementation of) new or modified processes, so, whilst this might be an indirect measure it is at least some form of measure to determine how a project adds real value to an organisation.


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Project management has developed into a fully-fledged chartered profession since the granting of the Royal Charter in the UK to The Association for Project Management (APM) in 2017. Training courses for project managers were already available and highly popular to help people gain professional project management accreditation, but with this wider recognition of the profession it is now seen as a desirable career path for many. Whilst the APM has the coveted Royal Charter and continues to develop its APM PMQ (formerly the APMP) programmes, there are also other internationally recognised qualifications that continue to be highly regarded such as PMP and PRINCE2.

Organisations have become increasingly project-focused in this era of rapidly emerging new technologies and they value the expertise that comes with experienced and fully qualified project teams and managers. By investing in their project management capability businesses can be confident of delivering their new projects in time and on budget more often and more successfully. Many major corporation are now training their people to have the right project management qualifications as well as relevant experience, through internal Learning & Development (L&D) programmes; or by using external project management training providers.

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