businesswoman pointing at graph, presenting to th rest of the team, which is sitted at a tableOne of the most important things for a project manager is presenting their results to the board of directors: who have the power to decide the future of the enterprise.

In addition, high level management already have a preconception of projects: that they are a real headache. The technical and methodological considerations, are a completely different language to the board of directors.

For that reason, when you have to present your project results, the most important aspect is trying to talk in the appropriate language for the audience. You should try to talk to them with a business perspective, which will be of mots interest to them.

This advice has numerous applications. In our White Paper about Project-Based Management (PBM) you will find a complete model on how use PBM to collaborate with the General Management of your organization.

 

Download ITM Platform's white paper: Project-based Management

 

Advice on how to present a project

1. You should connect with the general vision of the organization

You can not present the project as something that it is idsconnected; you should present it as an important piece which will create long-term value. In some cases, for example, in an ERP implementation project, these connections are obvious: after the implementation, all the organization’s operations start being connected.

In other cases the connection is more subtle. But it exists. Even if we are talking about a construction project, the motivation for doing the project is more economical, there are so many aspects that can be highlighted positively. You may have gotten your company into the catalogue of approved suppliers of a public entity, or that the project has served as an advertising platform.

You should remember that your audience has assisted in the delivery of many projects. You should focus on what makes it different. Why executing this project could be more worthwhile than other proposals which have never been implemented? This is what you have to communicate through the presentation of the results.

To that end, it can help you to put yourself in the position of the person who manages all your enterprise projects. Would you prefer someone who explains it in a quick presentation? You should try to present solid and memorable information. In addition, you should demonstrate that you know perfectly the reasons that made you start this project and what the risks were. The idea is that you should comfort and confirm their decision: all trust that they put on your leadership and your project has been well placed.

2. You should communicate the entire project benefit – not only the financial benefit

If you only reduce the result of a project to the benefits you have achieved, you are establishing an extremely easy comparison point. Your presentation can be destroyed by itself. One example could be if one of the presenters says that your project income is lower that they have expected or that other projects have obtained higher rates of return.

It is more interesting if you present this data with other goals that the project has achieved. Some examples can be a possibly technological development which can be extended beyond the project, an international expansion, increased customer loyalty or the consolidation of this project as a model for future projects.

3. You should present your project as a source of knowledge

Executives know that one of the biggest problems with projects is that they have a similarity with Las Vegas: what happens in the project stays in the project.

You should explain that your project is a source of common knowledge, not a watertight compartment.

Into the bargain, each time that new lessons learned are brought to light, and that they can be used for future projects, they are designing future savings. If you have an enough of a solid case, you can even estimate the savings.

If your organization is open to innovation or simply that your audience likes new ideas, this section is especially interesting for your presentation. You should extract the elements of the project where you have obtained innovative or improved ideas. This way, you will be able to present this presentation as an embryo of an innovative product.

Finally, you should strive for identifying what project elements can be added to the business model. Perhaps it is a new way of negotiating with providers or a design characteristic of user design that has had an especially good application.

But the message of the presentation is not everything. If you want your managers give their full attention, you should adhere to these following pieces of advice about how present all this information.

 

Advice for presentation style

1. Find out the need to know information for your audience

Your presentation can be interesting, well designed, and even fun. But, if you are not providing your managers the type of data that they are expecting, it is probable that you will lose their attention, they will stop listening to you or even interrupt you with questions to find out what is more important to them.

2. You should prepare several versions of your presentation

Finding a balance between what you need to tell and what your audience wants to hear isn't so easy. It is sure that you have a couple of different ideas about how to do this.

Even with all the precautions, it is possible that some of your listeners will interrupt you because they are not interested in what you are explaining. In the case of you being given critical comments of the approach of your presentation, the best option is having a second presentation with a total different approach that will help you to regain control of the situation.

3. You should not abuse PowerPoint

If you are using PowerPoint, you should try not to make it seem like it. It is a fact that many orators have overused services such as PowerPoint, and so a lot of people in business are getting tired of listening to presentations in which the speaker only repeats infinite lists of information without any apparent structure.

You should use the presentation as a visual support, not as a textual one. This is where the secret lies. You should try to highlight the most important data and graphics, use real photos of the project for illustrating your key points and try not to overuse difficult diagrams to explain. When we talk about communication, less visual information produces a memorable impact.

In addition, if you provide too much information, your audience will choose what information they prefer in order to reconstruct their own version, which may differ from yours.

4. You should find out the learning style of your audience

Although the visual information is assimilated without too much effort, each person has their own way of learning. You should adapt your message to this aspect too.

For example, if your CEO considers that it is important to have written information, you can prepare a project paper on a single page and give it as support material while you are doing your presentation.

5. You should practice until you reach a fluent style

Practice is the mother of excellence. You should not improvise any detail, but make sure that it does not appear as a scripted presentation. The idea is that you should speak naturally about a subject matter. You should revise the most important project data and the logical connections that you want to highlight.

6. You should highlight the most important message after ending your presentation

Usually, the most interesting situations from a communicative point of view are the interaction that happens when you have finished your presentation. How does the audience react? How many questions did you receive? Which type of questions were they? Were they in a hurry to leave? At this moment, the listening situation changes and the audience is more available to incorporate all the information that you communicate to them. You should not allow your comments to be improvised: you should try to highlight the most important message for you with a quick comment: “Thank you for your attention, and let me reiterate that…” This comment must be limited to a few seconds.

7. Review how the presentation went

Immediately analyze how the presentation went. Did it go the way you expected it to? Have you achieved your aims of the presentation? Have the aspects, that you had prepared, peaked the interest of your management or where there any surprises? You should incorporate this experience into your presentation toolkit in order to learn and improve for the next time you have to present.

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Coordination, quantification metrics and business intelligence are three of the main keys for guiding the work of a project management office. Although not all organizations have come this far ...

blank table for science research results. purple clipboard with paper. report, paperwork. flat color style vector icon. element for web design, business, mobile app.The PMO and the company: X-ray of the situation

In 2011, Forrester and the Project Management Institute conducted a survey that canvassed 693 PMO leaders.

These experts were asked which is the main task of a PMO. More than 70% of the respondents agreed that the three main functions of a PMO are project management, general management and development of methodologies.

On the other hand, they were asked how they feel the results of a project should be quantified to be considered satisfactory. In this case, some of the results may seem a little surprising. Let us see their answers:

  • 51% of respondents said to measure the degree of achievement of the objectives planned at project outset.
  • 49% said they quantify based on customer satisfaction.
  • 47% measured deadlines met and fulfillment of budget plans.
  • 21% considered that a project has been properly carried out if the use of resources is optimal.
  • 24% of the respondents confessed not to quantify in any way the result of their project management.

That is to say: just five years ago, a quarter of the sample, representing PMO directors in the United States, were not using any quantitative metrics to evaluate the results of their project management office.

Reasons to incorporate a PMO into your company

Optimize resources

Where there is no centralized coordination over project managers, it is difficult to adequately leverage resources in terms of staffing, logistics and distribution, procurement and vendor relationships, and so on. On the contrary adding PMO supervision can ensure that all parties have the necessary information on the mobilized resources.

Minimize investment

In short, PMOs seek to avoid mismatches and inefficiencies, reducing the amount of time and financial resources that need to be deployed to achieve the same result.

Continuous assessment

Without a culture of continuous evaluation, it is difficult to defend the value of a PMO. That’s why the lack of outcome-related metrics identified by the Forrester and PMI report is surprising. To be able to obtain better results in the future, the first step is to know and quantify your baseline position. Subsequently, a thorough and quantitative analysis of the processes must be performed from a critical point of view, which allows the detection of weak points and proposes decisions to act upon them. In this sense, for many organizations where the culture of agile management has been instilled, continuous evaluation by the PMO is closely related to the innovation processes.

Business Intelligence

The quantification of data is not enough. Relevant data should be selected and presented in a simple way that allows proper interpretation, comparison between different projects and guided decision making. This section is especially important in multinational companies, in which it is essential to standardize communication channels to facilitate understanding between them.

Responsibilities of the PMO

A whole series of activities stemming from the evaluation culture can be developed to ensure that the organization's strategies are supported by realistic data on business development.

  • Quantification of change. Once measures are taken to improve project management and to achieve better results, these should be quantified and also entered into structured reports.
  • Making predictions. The quantification of the current state of the company and its progression in time will allow to make predictions.
  • Establishment of frameworks that allow standardization in the execution of projects and their direction. Currently known as agile methodologies in project management.
  • Ensure proper compliance with regulations. The establishment of working protocols and methodologies ensures compliance with current regulations. To give a practical and simple example, establishing a working protocol for food transport will guarantee the quality of the product that reaches the market or the restaurant.
  • Financial Transparency. Control of the processes and the cost of each one of them will allow greater financial transparency with tax regulators, managers and clients, avoiding irregularities in any process or level of company administration and improving the confidence of all interested parties.

 

Juan Delgado
Blogger - ITM Platform
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