Making the Most of Your PMP – Does that Project “Pencil?”
Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT
We are now one year away from 2020. Like 20/20 vision, will we be able to look back on 2019 with perfect hind sight? So, I’m thinking that maybe I could look ahead to the year with perfect “foresight.” To do that, how about just pretend that today is Jan. 2, 2020 and I’m looking back at all the projects I pursued in 2019. Did they “pencil?”
In my context – “Pencil” is an Engineering term. A quick search on google though shows it as a “finance” term. What it means is the project or idea economically viable?
As a PMP, we learn the first stage of every project is the Initiation stage. In this stage, we are looking at the viability and feasibility of the project. But what if you’re brought into a project mid-stream that is already well down the road into the execution part of it’s life cycle. Do you still need to look at if it “pencils?” I still think even at this stage it’s imperative BEFORE you jump into the stream, to lend your time and talents – take a step back and see if the project “pencils.”
From an Engineering Economics perspective – to assess if an idea is economically viable – you’d look at what it will cost you to create the solution vs. what having this solution is going to save or make you in the future over a fixed time period. I do this often when evaluating which energy improvement projects to pursue.
How does this relate to making a decision on which project to pursue? Evaluate BEFORE you get involved on how the project is going to help you get a return in five different dimensions of capital – Financial, Social, Knowledge, Brand, and Infrastructure. If the project is not going to provide an adequate return on the investment of your resources, it doesn’t pencil – don’t do it.
And this is how you create 20/20 hindsight ahead of time. Watch the free webinar to see how to evaluate if a project will “pencil” for you in 2019- Improving ROI as a Project Manager – From Talk to Action.