This is a reprint of a post from March 4, 2014.


Or were you to afraid?  How many of us have the nerve to ask this – after we have spent so much time, money and energy on the project?


question markGary Heerkens suggests “Your ability to answer this question competently and correctly, and to use that answer to direct the course of your project properly, will be greatly enhanced if you develop the ability to think (and act) like a businessperson.


Many moons ago the typical PM was asked to deliver on time, on budget and within a defined scope. Everything else would take care of itself.  So fast forward to a new economy, a new project environment and a ton more really great PMs out there… and we are looking for more.


I have speech I do for PMI chapters called  ”Eight Tips for Tomorrow’s Great Project Managers” that highlights, among other things, that to stand out in the crowd these days a PM needs to show added-value and one of the best ways to do this is to Become Business Savvy.  Learn to speak CXO language, learn how to read a P&L, a balance sheet, learn how to create a working cash flow model.  The day is gone when we, as project managers, can get away with the words “It’s not my job”.  The fact is that the PM across the hall does get it and can add value to any project.


In the book “The Keys to Our Success – Lessons Learned for 25 of our Best Project Managers”  ( Gary offers up parts of the business that we should be concerned about: The profitability of the venture, How the venture will be financed, Marketing and promoting the venture’s outputs, Operating the venture after start-up, Legal and ethical considerations, The general economy and its effects on the venture, The existence and resultant impact of business risks.  So many of would consider most of this ‘out of scope’ but I ask you, if you were hiring a project manager would you go for the “I will build it on time, on budget and just like tell me” or would you hire the ones that says “Before I start can I ask you how this product will be marketed or where it will be used or” … you get the picture.


So I ask you once again, When was the last time you said “Why is my organization doing this project?” Do you think this is any of your business?


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