Beyond the Bottom Line

Article excerpt

Project management provides remarkable return on investment.

After implementing project management, companies frequently see larger profits-money saved or better spent-increased productivity and efficiency, and a bigger bottom line. Often, companies also find returns in other, equally substantive areas, such as better quality products, happier customers and projects that regularly are completed on-time and on-budget.

Four executives discuss where they've seen both hard and soft returns on investment after implementing project management capabilities.

Maria Schulman

President, Schreiber Translations Inc., Rockville, Md., USA

ROI: Ms. Schulman's company has improved effectiveness and can handle higher work volumes, thanks to project management.

Project management is an integral part of any language service provider's organization, and Schreiber Translations Inc. has been utilizing project management for more than 20 years.

Our success as a language service provider rests on our ability to fulfill multiple requests from multiple clients simultaneously, so project management applies to our core service. We offer document translation, oral interpretation, foreign language desktop publishing and Web site localization in more than 90 languages, and timeliness and quality are essential to the successful execution of these tasks.

With the number of projects and volume of documents we handle, there would be no other way to get things done without the rigorous, well-instituted quality control process all of our projects go through. It is critical that our personnel successfully and strategically manage the intake of documents that need to be translated and analyzed, because we're constantly assigning work to linguists on behalf of our project stakeholders. This quality control process is linked directly to our ROI and it's the core of our business and project management processes. We weren't as systematic in the beginning, but as we grew, we found the need for a more regimented process so that we could achieve our key goals of timeliness and quality, which are essential to our success, and also continue to grow. Companies that aren't using these project management processes probably will see financial and other repercussions.

Technology is a valuable tool that can greatly enhance the abilities of individuals who have the right project management expertise. Technology helps our staff do their jobs more effectively, so combining the right people with the right technologies is especially important in our application of project management. Our investment in project management technology has been returned multifold-our effectiveness has increased and we can solicit and accept a much higher volume of work. The first year after we implemented project management technology, we were able to handle 35 percent more jobs.

We even use technology to track the cost effectiveness of our project management personnel. By tracking how much time each employee spends on an individual project, we can assess the productivity of our project management staff and directly measure their impact on profit margins.

Janet Holt

Vice President, Communications Solutions & Integration, North America, Avaya, Basking Ridge, N.J., USA

ROI: Due to project management methodologies, Ms. Holt has seen increased customer satisfaction and on-time, on-budget project delivery in her company.

Avaya's project management skills, methods and standards date back to our heritage with AT&T. Avaya is in the business of implementing leading-edge technologies and solutions for our customers, and consistent project management has been considered a critical best practice.

We enforce the utilization of project and program management in everything we do for customers because it influences higher levels of customer satisfaction and increases our success in completing projects on time and on budget. …