Throughout the years, thousands of project managers have dedicated countless hours in brainstorming sessions to justify their existence within their organizations. Even more hours have been spent on trying to market their value to the business community.
The opening question at these meetings remains the same: “How do project managers demonstrate value to senior management?” By understanding what really matters to senior management – every one possessing business acumen.
Acumen is a derivative of acute meaning keenness and depth of perception in practical matters. Some say business acumen is knowing the difference between strategic and logistical decisions while others profess it is a compilation of all of our education, skills and experience that transforms us into strategic partners within an organization.
Quite simply, building one’s business acumen is having the intuition and understanding of how your company makes money. Without acuity, and organizations unable—or unwilling—to provide job security, project managers are in danger of becoming irrelevant.
Contribute to the marketing plan
Management is keenly focused on the marketing plan. Marketing is quite simply the communication process for connecting customers to a product or service. Since organizations cannot effectively deliver to all markets, management spends countless hours in establishing strategies for positioning its product within the marketplace.
A strategic thinker finds the answers to the following questions:
- Where are we now?
- What is the current environment, geography, competitors, market potential, service differentiation, and SWOT analysis?
- Where your organization would like to be?
- What are the market segments, target markets, market mixes, positioning approaches, and market objectives?
- How does the organization plan to get there?
- Are my projects listed as a major marketing activity to promote the products and services of the organization?
Develop strategic communication skills
Strategic communication is the art and science of managing focused messages while simultaneously respecting the complexities of interacting with different audiences. Strategic communication is about getting into the heads of your audience. CEO’s think about new ideas as they relate to the current objectives of the organization.
A strategic communicator analyzes the answers to these questions:
- Does your idea support profitability and performance?
- Will the idea be supported by investors, board members and other executives?
- What value does your idea deliver to the organization?
- How quickly can this idea be implemented with little or no cost?
- Does your idea address a current business issue?
- Does your idea support the customers?
- Does you idea have impact?
Focusing on business acumen is the foundation for protecting your position and building your name and reputation within the organization.
Michele Wierzgac, MSEd, speaker and author, promises that you will leave her solution-driven keynotes and workshops with at least one passionate, life transforming, leadership tool – something that will change the way you seek out a solution and practically apply it without getting stuck.
Email Michele at firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call at (708) 710-7055!