10 Keys to Project Management Excellence

Posted by MarketingAdmin on January 10, 2014

Project Management for AEC

By: Howard Birnberg

Project management (PM) is the centerpiece of design and construction organizations. Many firms have only basic or partially developed project management systems. The benefits of improving your PM system include better client service, reduced staff turnover, higher profits and improved communications. Achieving project management excellence requires constant effort.

1. Access to information.

Project managers must have complete information about their projects. This includes regular project status reports, details on outstanding accounts receivable on their projects, schedule updates, staff availability and dozens of other pieces of information.

2. Dedication to service.

Firms focused on project management excellence have a total commitment to client service. The entire project management structure is focused on meeting client needs, achieving schedule deadlines, staying within the design budget and, as much as possible, within the construction budget. All aspects of the organization should be focused toward client service.

3. Excellent communication skills.

In design and construction organizations committed to project management excellence, project managers are good communicators. Written, verbal and listening skills are all highly developed. It is the obligation of the organization to enhance these skills through training, support and encouragement.

4. Continuous improvement.

The world changes constantly. Economics, regulations, laws, codes, client needs, the labor force, technology, terminology, ecology – they all constantly change. Your project management system must adapt to meet these challenges.

5. Staff development.

Staff development includes a very broad range of activities. For example, your firm must provide a pleasant, challenging workplace with competitive salaries and fringe benefits. Make sure you have up-to-date tools and systems.

6. Roles and responsibilities.

Firms seeking project management excellence have complete clarity of the roles and responsibilities of all individuals within the firm. Written position descriptions exist and are followed. Organization charts are effectively designed and communicated. Initiative and decision-making are encouraged. Individuals within the organization must have a rough equality of responsibility and authority.

7. Technology use.

Keeping current on technology is a great challenge for many organizations. Firms seeking project management excellence strive to balance economics with the need to have the proper technology. Your staff must have the correct tools to do their work.

8. Leadership skills.

Senior staff in organizations striving for project management is responsible for providing the firm with leadership, direction and goals. The keys outlined in this article should guide their decision-making and planning activities. It is their job to set goals, provide and muster the resources to achieve goals, communicate to all parties (staff, clients, etc.) who will help to achieve the goals and to ensure that the goals are fulfilled.

9. Technical excellence.

You and your firm are hired by clients for your skill and ability to meet a need. Your expertise is needed by clients. Technical excellence means not only accurately performing engineering calculations, but also being aware of unmet client needs.

10. Documentation excellence.

The organization achieving management excellent keeps well-organized and comprehensive records. Information is the life-blood of your firm. Project managers must learn what to document, how to document, when to document and whom to copy (and when).

The 10 keys to project management excellence should guide your everyday activities. You must continually strive to improve your performance for your own sake and that of your clients and other project team members.

Download the whitepaper: Top Considerations for Adopting an A&E Industry Specific Accounting Platform Understand the limitations of generic accounting systems and how an A&E industry specific solution with integrated accounting and project management helps A&E firms grow their business and increase profitability.