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Business Acumen

Today, let’s discuss the importance of having business acumen. This terminology recently included in the PMP exam content outline.

Business acumen described in management books and journals, as the keenness and quickness in understanding and dealing with a business situation in a manner that is likely to lead to a good outcome. For the project manager, this can translate into an intuitive sense of how the moving parts of a company work together to create profit and it becomes an essential skill in managing projects. Increased knowledge of business and strategic aspects should also polish the project manager’s financial literacy and leadership skills and allow the project manager to become more business savvy.

Business acumen is a skill that can be learned and subsequently applied systematically across projects. We all know that the success of a project is defined by how well it delivers the business value the project has set out to accomplish. In most instances, the project manager is focusing on the project’s traditional triple constraint: cost, scope and time. Unfortunately, none of these metrics provide an accurate representation of the actual value the company is gaining in the execution of the project. They are a mere compilation of tactical numbers that, while crucial, do not paint the whole picture of value creation.

It is important for you, as a project manager, to understand the business concepts that have relevance to the project. You need to take the initiative to learn about and participate in the broad range of issues and activities related to the business and strategic aspects of the projects you manage. Knowing more about the organization should contribute more valuable and should increase the chance of successful delivery.

Hope, I give you something to think!

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