Investopedia shares, "Competitive advantages are conditions that allow a company or country to produce a good or service of equal value at a lower price or in a more desirable fashion. These conditions allow the productive entity to generate more sales or superior margins compared to its market rivals. Competitive advantages are attributed to a variety of factors including cost structure, branding, the quality of product offerings, the distribution network, intellectual property and customer service."
So how does Project Management factor into all of this? Well, think of your own organization. How many projects are being run, both formal and informal? Tens, hundreds, or even thousands of projects per year depending on the size of your organization.
How successful are those projects being run? We learn from the Pulse of the Profession reports produced by PMI each year that only about 55% of projects are successful each year. We also learn that about 11% of project dollars are wasted on poor project performance. I'll argue that figure is low because of all the informal projects being run by Accidental Project Managers which aren't accounted for in the data.
If your organization has average project performance you have a 50-50 shot at project success. What if you were able to improve that to 75-25 or 90-10? We already know your competitors are also averaging 50-50 project success. If you can increase your project success rate to 75% or 90% you are building a competitive advantage. You can produce products or services more efficiently, quicker, cheaper and more of them.
We spend too much time in our industry exploring the downside of Project Management rather than focusing on how to use Project Management to gain competitive advantage. We need to understand how to Empower our People to Deliver Results rather than focusing on project governance, checklists, and process audits.
I don't recall the last time I heard an executive upset with a Salesperson for failing to follow process when landing the million dollar deal, do you?? Project Management leaders need to understand the Purpose of Project Management within our organizations. Start with the WHY. Once you've identified your Purpose then you can build the HOW and WHAT to be able to achieve your Purpose.