5 Ways to Improve PM Performance


  1. Focus on training instead of training manuals. According to AECPMA’s A/E Project Management Study, investing in a PM manual has little impact on budget or client satisfaction. David Burstein, P.E., AECPM, suggests that instead of investing more money on training manuals, firms should focus on training programs.

  2. When training, teach in-house and out-of-house. While in-house instructors can focus on the firm’s own accounting system and budget techniques, bringing in an outside instructor can provide what works best in the industry. Based on research, using only one or the other is less effective than including both in-house and external training.

  3. Conduct regular formal or informal project reviews with Project Managers. Because performance needs to assessed and reassessed, Burstein says, “Just sending people to training programs will not improve performance.” Budget and client satisfaction are higher among those firms that formally measure PM performance.

  4. Assign PMs less than five projects at a time. “The fewer the projects that each project manager manages, the better the budget performance,” Burstein says. With each additional project, budget and client satisfaction decrease.

  5. A Principal in Charge (PIC) should be involved with groups of projects. This way PMs can stay focused on the nitty gritty details of a project while PICs worry about broader concerns.