When most people look at a coin, they only see the side that is facing them. They usually ignore the other side, unless maybe they are going to flip the coin to come up with an answer. And, in that case, they only look at the other side to ensure it’s different. Then, they flip the coin and it indeed lands with one side facing up. However, both sides of the coin are equally important, even if only one side is usually seen.
The reason for the expression relating to two sides of the same coin is essentially highlighting the fact that you can’t have one side without the other. Although people usually only see one side at a time, both are equally important.
Okay, so how does this apply to architecture and engineering firms delivering successful projects? The two sides of the coin apply to delivering projects and supporting delivery.
Delivering projects is one side of the coin, which is the side that project managers see when they look at the coin. They need to deliver projects on time and within budget.
To achieve successful delivery of the project on time, there needs to be effective and clear scheduling. PMs need to know they have the right resources to complete the work, and that they are available. While this may sound simple in the context of a single project, it is one of the more difficult challenges in the broader context of firm operations.
Delivering the project within budget is a similar challenge, and it requires effective time management and a good staffing mix. Both time and resources are always constrained and it can feel like a juggling act to ensure that all the projects receive the right resources at the right time.
Supporting delivery of projects is the other side of the coin, that leadership see when they look at the coin. They need to ensure the resources of the firm are being used to maximum efficiency.
In order to deliver profitable projects and run a successful firm, project managers and leadership need to support each other. To do this, they need to find a common view of both sides of the coin.
The common view in this relationship needs to be data. Project managers create data by planning and managing their projects. With effective planning, PMs have the information they need to determine if they are on track, or if changes need to be made. Likewise, leadership uses that same data to plan and manage firm-wide resources, and forecast future needs and revenue.
When everyone uses the same data, project managers get the resources they need to run effective projects and have satisfied customers, and leadership has the information they need to increase profits and make smarter strategic decisions.
With a single view into the projects, both parties win, and more importantly, the firm is generating higher profits.