Your company’s image is shaped and affected by a wide variety of factors. Marketing, public relations, and philanthropy initiatives may be more commonly seen as influences on brand image, but project management efforts can also have a big impact on your organization’s reputation. Internally and externally, the opinions formed about your company—and your Project Team—are often tied to how well your team executes its project activities.
Careful management of company funds, close alignment with organizational goals, transparency throughout every communication, and the delivery of a high-quality product are all factors behind your brand’s reputation. Is your project management approach helping to preserve and promote that image?
Maintaining tight control over budgets and expenditures. Whether your organization has shareholders or it’s privately owned, those who fund projects and other initiatives expect a commitment to prudent planning and the judicious use of resources. A project management methodology that features robust controls will help the organization monitor how money is being spent and where risks exist that may trigger unplanned expenditures. Using a proven approach to early-stage planning is also important. It ensures that forecasts for activities and their related costs are realistic as well as accurate. The better controlled a project is, the fewer surprises it will hold for stakeholders and the better the brand’s reputation will be in the long run.
Supporting the company’s mission and strategic goals. A project that isn’t closely aligned with the overall objectives of the organization can tarnish the brand’s image. People may wonder how authentic your company’s public-facing messages are if the work being done behind the scenes doesn’t visibly support those efforts. Financial concerns may also be raised if the project portfolio isn’t clearly developed to move the broader mission forward. On the flip side, projects that align with the organizational strategy can often serve as opportunities to publicly reinforce the company’s commitments and further its reputation as a supporter of everything from sustainability to diversity.
Providing real-time insight on progress and challenges. The ability to quickly provide information on how a project is doing, which stage each activity is at, and what issues the team is facing will contribute to the transparency most organizations strive to achieve. This is an excellent way to maintain consistency internally with the brand’s image and to nurture trust among the leadership group that the Project Team is dedicated to the company’s mission. Transparency is also crucial from an external view. Project stakeholders may be business collaborators, vendors, employees of a regulatory agency or others outside oversight group, or members of the public. Being able to successfully execute a project using a methodology that supports this kind of regular communication and real-time data analysis upholds the brand’s image as a transparent and conscientious member of the wider community.
Ensuring strict quality control over the company’s project efforts. A poorly-executed project, where corners are cut because of time or financial pressures, is sure to end up being a bad reflection on the company. Project teams that operate under too-tight deadlines or those groups that aren’t able to procure the necessary resources—labor, materials, expertise—can still often find a way to reach their project’s primary goals. The end result, however, may not meet the original expectations. Design elements may be missing, testing protocols might have been abbreviated, materials may be less desirable, or documentation might be incomplete. These quality issues could snowball into larger problems down the road if, for example, regulatory audits or safety concerns arise. The company may suffer further reputational harm if their efforts lead to bad press or a diminished market position as a result.