Engaged Project Managers: Driving Project Profitability

engaged project managers for project profitability
April 27, 2023

My team and I have the great fortune to work with many clients to optimize their Project Management tools, workflows, reporting, and train their Project Managers to use those resources. Project Management plays a huge role in our world; however, we see ebbs and flows in the level of interest. Recent concerns surrounding our economy have led to an uptick in requests for help with business development pipeline reporting, sales reporting, project performance reporting, and Project Manager training. We have learned from our years of engagement within the AE community that Project Management is an area that should be prioritized in good times and in bad.

The Relationship Between Profits and Engagement

Your firm’s profitability depends on profitable projects. Profitable projects require hands-on management. Hands-on management requires engaged Project Managers. You may have implemented a powerful ERP with project management tools, sent your Project Managers off to a training boot camp, or brought in a consultant for training. But are your Project Managers engaged?

Disengaged Project Managers impact multiple business areas and, ultimately, the bottom line. Below are some symptoms of a disengaged Project Manager:

  • Projects with no published schedules
  • Projects behind schedule
  • Projects over budget
  • Lagging setup of additional services
  • Poor team coordination on project delivery
  • Over delivering
  • Lagging Billing
  • Time transfers during billing
  • Unbilled WIP
  • Aged AR

Our experience has taught us that the key to engaging Project Managers and successfully adopting Project Management tools relies heavily on a firm’s leadership team.

Creating Opportunities for Engaged Project Managers

There is unlimited potential when your team is motivated and more fully engaged. Fortunately, there are several options for building this type of project-centric culture. Here are some tips for successful Project Manager engagement for optimal project performance:

  • Define your project performance, delivery processes, and goals – and train the team on them.
  • Ensure your Project Managers have the tools to manage their projects successfully.
  • Accountability is critical to moving the needle on PM performance.
  • Principals must be willing to hold their PMs accountable for using tools/processes/etc.
  • Allow your PMs time for project management.
  • Meet with your PMs regularly to review project performance; don’t make the meetings punitive – capitalize on lessons learned.
  • Walk the Talk
  • Reward Project Performance success

When Project Management is a dedicated area of focus, you can expect these positive outcomes:

Efficient Use of Resources

Firms can manage resources more efficiently, whether those resources are financial, human, or material. As a result, projects are completed quicker, with fewer errors and rework, and with a lower cost of production.

Competitive Advantage

Firms can deliver high-quality products or services more quickly and cost-effectively, which can help them to win new business and retain existing customers.

Risk Management

Firms can better identify and manage risks associated with a project, including noting potential problems before they arise, developing contingency plans, and monitoring progress to ensure that the project stays on track.


n both good and bad, firms need to adapt to changing market conditions. Project management skills help firms adjust their plans and strategies in response to evolving circumstances, enabling them to remain competitive and profitable.

Employee Engagement

When applied, project management skills foster a sense of teamwork. When employees understand their roles and responsibilities on a project, they are more likely to feel invested in its success and to work together to achieve the project’s objectives.

Next Steps

With dedication, support, and accountability, your firm can adopt Project Management best practices to boost your project performance and profitability. To help your firm reach these goals, join me for SN’s upcoming webinar, Importance of Project Management: Not JUST in Uncertain Times.

Valerie Higgins - Stambaugh Ness