The 2 fundamental principles of tight project management

Henry Bennett

The guiding principles of tight project management for professional services are the same for any size of company, from the small and medium enterprise, up to the larger corporate. These principles depend on frameworks that can support better business performance for every type of service delivery. Any professional services organisation – whether it’s legal services, IT consultancy, change management, creative services, energy consultancy – whatever sector you work in, has two fundamental pillars to its operation…

The first pillar is the core skill that you take to market – the talents and expertise your fee-earners bring, to add value for your clients. That’s your main competence; the experience you offer and the way you do things that offer insights to your clients and the way they do things. Your competitive advantage if you like.

The other pillar of the operation is the entire support structure you wrap around the delivery of these core services. This is the engine that powers the machine. It’s where billing is taken care of, costs are taken into account, schedules updated, timelines enforced, resources managed and allocated. This is the engine room where everything has to be firing on all cylinders at all times to make sure your business makes a profit…make sure it doesn’t miss costs in the billing process…make sure that everything that can be put in place to support fee earners, is put in place. It’s also where project control ensures tight management of resources and people and gives you the ability to see everything at a glance – project status, who is where doing what. This overview is critical in managing change.

This is where every little detail counts and the ability to cope with change every time it impacts your company’s actions is absolutely central to increasing client satisfaction and increasing your own profitability.