by Debbie Dore, Chief executive, Association for Project Management
With small- to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) employing more than 16 million people in the UK private sector according to government figures, it’s clear they play a crucial role socially and economically.
In fact, our study with PwC, The Golden Thread, reveals that project management contributes more than £156.5 billion to the UK economy annually – and there’s a lot for businesses of all sizes to learn from project managers as they seek to grow and innovate.
Great project management skills and techniques can help SMEs create better growth plans, implement better ways of working and keep on top of regulatory changes, such as Making Tax Digital, which is now a requirement for VAT returns.
When projects such as these are identified, SMEs can often rely on “accidental project managers” – competent employees without any project management skills who are left to figure it out for themselves. They don’t have the knowledge, experience or training to manage a scalable, complex project from start to finish, which means that, a lot of the time, money and efficiency can be at risk. The question SMEs have to ask themselves is whether they can afford to take that risk?
Entrepreneurial SMEs often subscribe to the “fail fast” approach, but by using project management techniques they can better define what success looks like. It can also help them to better evaluate their work, create more innovative solutions and lay a path to seeing the bigger picture.
Smaller businesses will always need to be flexible, proactive and have an aptitude for embracing uncertainty, but they’ll fare even better if they consider gaining solid project management skills.
For more information , please visit www.apm.org.uk