Some of the best practices for project managers include convincing others of the value of your project. When selling a project to a customer (either internal or external), you want to make sure and give a clear statement of how your project will help meet the customer’s needs. This is called a project value proposition, and the best project managers understand how to present project value propositions in order to highlight the positive results their project can create. Here are five ways to create a successful project value proposition.
Understand Your Customer’s Industry
Take the time to research your customer’s business so that you can explain your project’s value in terms of their unique industry. You want to show the customer that you understand their business processes and the current trends in that particular industry. Learning about different kinds of businesses is one of the interesting things about being a project manager, and it can benefit you in your career as you become known as the person who is knowledgeable about different industries.
Address Your Customer’s Needs
Instead of simply fulfilling the requirements your customer states to you, drill down and take the time to fully understand what your customer truly needs from the project. Often, customers aren’t clear on what they really need, and you can discover their needs if you listen closely and ask questions when your customer is describing their needs. By showing interest in their needs, the customer will feel more confident with you managing their product.
Create a Business Partnership
A project isn’t just a service you are providing for a customer: it’s a business partnership that can benefit both of you in the long term. When you present your project as a business partnership, you are showing your customer that they can trust you to provide project management services to them in the future. This adds value to your project because the customer is not only getting the value from this project, but from future projects as well.
Go Above and Beyond
It may seem like this doesn’t need to be said, but one of the easiest ways to add value to a project is to go beyond the basics of what your customer wants. Offer additional services to your project to meet unforeseen needs and show the customer that you’re willing to go above and beyond to make the project truly valuable to their business.
Keep Your Customer in the Loop
When proposing a project to a customer, make sure to offer feedback mechanisms as part of your project. Let the customer know that you will stay in contact with them throughout the management process so that you can address their needs as they come up.
The most successful project managers not only know how to execute and drive successful projects, but also how to present and “sell” the project engagement. If you are working with internal company projects, pitching projects that will drive top line growth or bottom line savings will entrench your value to the organization. If you are working with external clients or in a consulting capacity, becoming the key driver of the initial value proposition will ensure that you are perceived as the most important member of the team.
Once your experience involves not only oversight and management of projects, but also driving and developing project value and creation, your project management career will progress in a strategic, executive direction.