Value of Project Management for business people (white paper)
Value of Project Management for
Jeremy Jay V. Lim
CSS-BB, PMP, BPM
Value of Project Management for Business People
whitepaper article by
Jeremy Jay Lim
CSS-BB, PMP, BPM
Being born to a family of business people, handling clients and managing a business is not alien
to me. Both of my parents were sales agents of hardware and lumber. Two of my siblings are
also continuing my parents' legacy. For our family, business talk is always part of the
conversations on the table.
I'm also surrounded by close friends and chinese relatives who are entrepreneurs who run
SME-sized businesses. It's a very common scenario that when we have gatherings, we always
talk about how the business is doing and exchange ideas on how to make it more competitive.
As for me, I've also played the part of being an experimental entrepreneur and a freelance
consultant. In the past, I've tried starting small extra income generating attempts such as RTW,
buy and sell, electronic gadget innovation, rice box and I was even able to run a home-based
bakery for several months. Those are behind me now and I've got to be wiser in terms of
deciding and planning what kind of business type I would get into that would be worth my time
and effort. I realized that I have to be engaged in a small manageable initiative that is also
related to my passion and those are just two things - innovation and project management.
Usual Troubles in the Business
When we say business people or businessmen, we pertain to the entrepreneurs of SMEs,
business leaders of big companies, contractors, or freelancers who manage a pool of clients
regardless of gender. Each and every businessman usually encounters trouble when
Some businessman gets trapped in a project engagement with a client because it's either the
businessman or the client frequently change their mind about the deal so it never gets done or
completed. This maybe driven by the external conditions but not knowing how to nail down the
deal will drag both the businessman and the client to an endless engagement. This eats up a lot
of their time going back and forth. This situation also takes them both away from what matters
more in the their usual business. Knowing how to start and end an engagement properly is a
technique in project management.
There are also situations when a businessman is faced with an opportunity to have a new client
but also faced with the odds that this maybe a poor-paying or a delinquent client. So the
question is, "Do I take in this new client and give him or her a credit line? What if this new client
does pay on time? How do I manage my finances?". Engaging or on boarding a new client is
also a type of project.
There are also frequent stories that I hear about clients who get disappointed because their
expectations were not met thus the businessmen loses one possible repeat customer. This is
because of the traditional boxed thinking of shrewd businessmen who just focus on short term
profits against long term business relationships. Managing expectations and keeping customers
happy is a core idea in the field of project management. Project management is not marketing
per se, but project management teaches us to be better business people.
Businessmen are known to have charm and good in sales talk. And there are businessmen
good at sales talk but poor in delivering promises. Clients are really turned off by this and never
do business again with such people. The businessman and the client may have agreed on a
particular item as part of the trade but after the communication exchanges the client is handed a
sub-standard service or product. Project management basics teaches us how to deliver our
promises to the client successfully in methodical steps so that they may get what they asked for
on time, within budget and as agreed upon.
Value of PM for Business People
Business people are basically trained to do business but not managing the business with a
flavor of project management. Some good techniques from project management basic can be
picked up and adapted by business people. Thus, learning how to manage the business with a
project management frame of mind is an invaluable skill and technique that can make a better
Here are some of the important points emphasizing why there is relevance and value of taking
up project management basics for business people.
Knowing that there is a beginning and an end
Whether you are engaging with a new client, launching a new product or business, or
working on an adhoc initiative. Project management says that there is a starting and ending
point in what we do to fulfill a customer's request or to meet a business objective. In project
management, we learn how the steps to fulfill a request or any business endeavor so that
we will not confuse the clients by working with them haphazardly.
Learning how to handle the odds
Project management basics makes us wiser by teaching us how to see the odds against our
business and what to do if things go wrong. This is the risk management aspect of project
Learning how to manage expectations
These days clients are becoming more and more demanding, project management basics
teaches us how to handle what are expected of us to deliver. Project management basics
teach us how to consistently meet expectations, keep project customers happy and how to
manage the non-believers and believers. These are covered in the project management
techniques under change management, stakeholder management and communications.
Learning how to deliver and keep the promises
Any customer would be pleased to be served on time, within budget and within agreed
terms. Project management basics teaches us the techniques how to achieve that from the
beginning until the end despite the challenges and risks in the business environment.
Why learning Project Management Basics is important for business people?
Business People are well versed in selling, marketing, and making profits. However, there may
be weak areas in terms of the day to day execution of deliverables based on the promises to the
clients. That is why troubles in business frequently occur. Learning project management basics
and being skilled in managing business projects would make a businessman more competitive
than the others who have challenges in keeping up with their clients. There is an apparent
value in the Project Management Basics for business people running small companies. Project
management is not only for IT, Six Sigma, or for initiatives of big companies but also for
entrepreneurs, freelancers, contractors and start ups.
About the Writer
Jeremy Jay V. Lim is a certified PMP (Project Management Professional), a certified Six Sigma
Black Belt, and a BPM Practitioner. He currently holds a role as a Six Sigma program manager.
He is passionate about anything related to innovations and project management. He does
freelance consulting and training. During his free time he also writes blogs and whitepapers
about Six Sigma, Innovations and Project Management.
His articles can be found at the
Facebook page Sigma Process Excellence http://www.facebook.com/sigmaprocessexcellence
and at SigmaProcessExcellence.wordpress.com.