The Long Game: Keep Project Costs Down by Spending More
As project managers, we’re always looking for ways to shave a few extra cents off of the project budget. Normally, this means paying lower salaries, reducing hours, or buying cheaper equipment. But there is a way to keep your project costs down by spending more money. It’s called “The Long Game”.
The Long Game applies to people, equipment, and budgets, and this is how it goes:
Invest in the Right People the Right Way
Investing in people means more than just paying higher salaries. It also means finding people who bring the most value to your team, and giving them what they value the most. For example, an experienced and efficient programmer might be happy with a stable job with a high salary, but a talented college grad might want mentorship and the chance to contribute to high-profile projects. They each have their own needs. The former costs more money, while the latter needs you to put in more time, thought, and effort.
You also need to look into developing your people. The college grad mentioned above is in a great position to learn and grow, and by the end of his mentorship should be a much more valuable asset—one that can bring additional value to his skills. .
Quality Equipment Pays for Itself
Industries like construction and manufacturing make heavy use of equipment and consumable materials. It’s tempting to cut corners and buy cheaper items, but these low quality products will eventually come back to bite you.
It’s a much better idea to invest in quality materials and equipment, even if they come at a higher initial cost. You win on multiple fronts: First, your project deliverables will be of much better quality and last longer. Second, your team will be able to get their job done more efficiently and with more reliable equipment. Lastly, the equipment you bought will last longer, saving on repair and replacement costs.
Low Quotes Burn Credibility
One of the biggest reasons project managers lose control over their project financials is because they underestimated the total cost in ghd v. In trying to give the client an attractive quote, the project manager accidentally painted the team into a corner and didn’t leave enough room in the budget for surprise costs.
Project managers need to be honest and open when estimating projects. True, there probably wouldn’t be any difference in the total dollar amount spent, but at least you’re not burning credibility or client good will. Accurate and reliable estimates will do far more for your team’s reputation than providing cheap quotes up front.
As you can see, the Long Game may involved higher short-term costs for your project, but the benefit you get extends far further than just the current project. Both the client and your organization can benefit from top level talent, reliable equipment, and transparency. And that makes everyone a winner.
Image credit, Flickr, Helgi Halldorsson
Patrick Icasas is a former marketing project manager with 7 years of marketing and PR agency experience, managing creative projects for brands such as Nokia, Verizon Wireless, and Adobe. He now spends his time helping people make the most out of their project management software and entertaining his 5 year old daughter.