3 Project Control Tips That Will Help You To Outpace Your Competitors

Posted by Per Christensen on September 16, 2014

Project control tips

The market conditions are blossoming in the consulting sector these days. But what does it really take to be profitable today? We’ve had IDC look into the current market conditions for the consulting sector and the trend is clear: profits are growing and revenue is up 41%.

Here comes the million dollar question: how do you take advantage of the opportunity and outpace your competitors? Based on IDC’s survey, I have two suggestions: improve your project control and gain better visibility.

Let’s dive into the improvement of your project control. You see an uptake on projects coming in and your revenue is up. However, some of your consultants are over-worked, others are unhappy because they don’t get to excel in the areas where their true expertise lies and on top of that, you are not really sure what makes your firm perform this well.
Start by looking at how you run your projects. How is each project performing? And how can you take learnings from one project to the next?

Action points

The IDC research report gives us a few action points on how to best control your projects and ultimately run your business in a profitable way:

  1. Use detailed project analytics – to develop your business to meet both your client and prospect demands and at the same time leverage your consultants’ skills.

    • Why? A typical consulting firm contributes with the expertise of its employees through all phases of a project. From the early blank-slate phases till the client’s visions are realised. Throughout this process it is crucial to constantly keep an eye on the detailed analytics of the project to ensure that the business metrics are still sound.

  2. Understand your metrics / business drivers – make sure you are always well aware of and constantly optimising on e.g. your utilisation, project profitability.

    • Why? “Which three customers/projects/employees are currently your most/least profitable?” I still meet business managers who cannot answer these simple questions. In my opinion, not being able to answer these questions prevents you from truly controlling your business.

  3. Build a metrics-driven business – make sure you have an integrated solution that gives you a single version of the truth and provides management with real-time access to data allowing them to make better decisions based on facts.

Controlling your projects is key to success in a consulting firm. After all, your projects are your bread and butter. If you know how to run a truly metrics-driven business you will be at the forefront of those really benefitting from the prosperous time and outpacing competition. Embrace these actions and do it now – that is my best advice to you. Conditions are getting better every day and it’s better to start increasing your number of clients today rather than tomorrow.

The next step you should take after improving your project control is gaining better visibility to make better business decisions. How to do that? Check out my next blog or email me at perchristensen@deltek.com.