As the popularity of APM’s chartered standard shows, project management is slowly starting to be held in the same regard as professions such as engineering, accounting and insurance. But not all stakeholders see it the same way, with many still undervaluing the great work project teams do to drive business value.
If you struggle to gain the recognition your team deserves, then this article is for you. Below, I reveal four ways in which you can raise your project team’s profile, helping you build credibility, trust and respect, and ultimately helping you boost your chances of success.
1. Define your brand and how you bring value
Have you ever worked with a large consultancy, such as PwC, Deloitte or EY? They’re great at showcasing their skill sets, sharing their values and beliefs, and telling you how they’ll bring value to your organisation.
It’s partly because they want you to spend money with them, of course, but it also helps them prove credibility, authority and capability. Project teams don’t really do this but if we did, it would certainly help elevate our profile.
So, at either a department, portfolio or project level, take the time to co-create your own unique project management brand. Make sure it highlights your beliefs, principles and delivery structures to show stakeholders you’re serious about delivering value.
2. Educate and demystify
We all know that project management is more than just Gantt charts and to-do lists, but do your business stakeholders know that too? Often, perception and reality don’t align, so it's our job to educate stakeholders on what we, as project professionals, bring to the table.
I’ve seen this done in many ways at different businesses, whether it’s senior change leaders demanding equal representation at board level or casual lunch-and-learn roadshows in the canteen.
Whichever method works for you, the key is to educate and inspire, not preach from a soapbox. To that end, keep your education simple and effective by leaving jargon and acronyms at the door.
3. Prove you are the benchmark
It’s always good to get external validation and when it comes to certifying your project management capabilities, there are several ways to do it.
At a department level, one way to demonstrate and validate your capability is through a corporate membership, affiliation or partnership. This shows that you’re committed to the profession and that your structures, standards and governance align with best practice.
For project professionals, there’s a suite of qualifications, certifications and professional standards that rubber-stamp your knowledge and experience. These help you build credibility with your stakeholders, proving you have what it takes to solve their problems and deliver genuine value.
On top of this, there are a variety of industry awards, such as the APM Project Management Awards, that you could enter to help you prove you’re setting the standard for others to follow.
4. Shout about your successes
As the movers and shakers of the business world, we’re not great at taking the time to celebrate success. Even though we know we should do it, most of the time, we prefer to move on to the next thing rather than stopping to pat ourselves on the back.
But to build your team's profile, you must work on your PR. Most of us work in organisations where comms channels are ready and waiting, so there’s not really an excuse. You need to bite the bullet and get something on the intranet, ask for some inches in the weekly newsletter or bag a slot in the next town hall to show off your success.
Better yet, if you can get someone else to shout about how great you are, it’s the closest thing you’ll ever get to a five-star Trustpilot review!
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