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The ROI of project management: how much did this week’s meetings cost your company?

Group of people collaborating on a white board.

Tell us if this sounds familiar: Your calendar is cluttered with meetings, those meetings don’t feel productive, and you’d give almost anything to get your hands on some heads-down work time. When you tell leadership about these issues, they think the solution is hiring another designer or technologist—someone to do more work. Or they start applying pressure on your team to work harder or produce more. But you know your team needs better infrastructure and operations so you and your teammates can do the jobs you’re supposed to be doing.

If this sounds like your team, you’re not alone. You don’t need to bring more people into a chaotic system; you need a better operational system that maximizes your team’s existing talent. You need someone who can make your team’s day-to-day a lot easier and more efficient.

If you’re trying to make that case to leadership at your organization, here are some of the best reasons we’ve seen for hiring an operational expert, a project manager—and doing more with what you already have. Reducing chaos through operational expertise is what project managers do.

Reason 1: Those meetings are expensive

Frequent, unproductive meetings are one of the top things we’ve noticed that hold teams back  from achieving project objectives and staying on schedule. We’ve found that ineffective meetings can affect 20% of each person’s week. If you multiply that wasted time per person each week, how much did this week’s meetings cost you and your company? And is the value of the meetings’ output equivalent to how much they cost?

Too-frequent meetings are a time suck, and meetings with tons of leadership involved are costly and inefficient. 

We see many meetings originated with either no firm agenda or key contributors missing, leading to an awkward few minutes of waiting around until someone finally suggests canceling or an unfocused, unproductive meeting without the key audience. Meetings with too many people invariably lead to less engagement from some (or most) folks. It’s crucial to delineate between team meetings, working sessions, reviews, etc.—and the appropriate audience for each.

Think Company Project Managers ensure that whoever owns the meeting has set an agenda and desired outcome, and invited the necessary folks ahead of time. If the plan or attendance is unclear, we cancel the meeting and send a note with the reason.

Reason 2: Increase time on task

The less time your team spends on task, the less efficient it is—and the less likely to stay on schedule and budget. More time on task (time spent working on tasks related to your job description) leads to more accurate data on task duration. This increases estimation precision, leading to more realistic future forecasting and work planning.

You don’t need to add more people to an inefficient process—you need better processes that free up your team to do what they were hired to do. This includes leadership. How much better would your organization function if time and tasks were structured to maximize each other? A good Project Manager can make that happen.

Reason 3: You have a process, but is it working?

Something we’ll hear from teams who don’t want to institute a formalized process is that they reject the idea of processes altogether. They say they like to work freely and asynchronously, with fewer boundaries, so they can innovate and foster more creative ideas. But we repeatedly see that these teams have processes in place—they’re just unintentional.

Every team has processes. People need them to work. So it’s worth the effort to be intentional about those processes so you know how an idea moves through your company rather than it happening blindly and with little to no oversight. Intentional processes = repeatable successes.

The ROI of Project Management

You don’t need to bring more people into an already-chaotic system. Your team needs systems and structures to maximize the talent pool you already have. There are some great reasons to invest in a project manager and do more with the time and skills your team has ready now.

Are you looking to improve your digital products? Our team of experts (and project managers) can help. Let’s talk!

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