Value added project management - Part III

Part 3 of 3-Part Blog Series on Mazars Value Added Project Management

What is return on relationship (ROR)?

Ted Rubin, a leading social marketing strategist, speaker and business advisor shared in his video, Return on Relationship (ROR), that ROR is the value that is accrued over time by a person or brand from nurturing a relationship through connection, loyalty, recommendations and sharing. 

To realize ROR, project managers (PMs) must provide more than expert services; effort must be made to cultivate thoughtful and caring relationships that achieve project goals and drive value.  ROR is realized through dependability, trustworthiness, and transparency.  It goes beyond providing “once-and-done” project implementations, instead providing scalable solutions that continually achieve planned goals, develop the platform for future successes, and contribute to business relationships.

Increasing ROR

Good PMs guide customers through decision-making. “Best in Class” PMs aim higher, linking success to the client’s return on the relationship.  The ROR-focused PM connects with the organization’s personality, sharing in its goals, supporting its processes, and highlighting achievements. 

Connecting to an organization’s personality

An organization’s personality is its demonstrated values and beliefs.  It evolves as leaders grow, goals are set, strategies identified, employees hired, and initiatives completed.  To ensure long-lasting success, a PM must get to know each organization’s unique personality and understand the “how, what, where, when, and whys” of the inherited and learned characteristics that it is made of.  It is through this effort that an ROR-focused PM learns how to respect and represent each client: when to listen, when to support, when and how to encourage (and how hard), when to ease up, and who should do the encouraging.  Learning an organization’s personality and how it supports growth and transformation is the foundation for increasing ROR. 

Investing in an organization’s goals

Best in class PMs share and invest in organizational goals.  This allows the PM to better identify and utilize the skills needed to develop ideas into solutions, prioritize them against strategies, and develop actionable business value statements.  The PM is both passionate about supporting the client while providing an independent perspective that guides an organization’s efforts and achieves ROR.  

Understanding an organization’s practices

It’s difficult to achieve goals without using the right tool at the right time. Project management methodologies should be aligned to the project objectives, but the ROR-focused PM makes a deeper effort to understand the organization’s existing practices and skill sets, evaluate current and future needs and ensure the right tactics, policies, procedures, and methods are used.    

Initiating action

Having the right PM apply the right methodology ensures the right people take the right action at the right time. Initiating and inspiring action in others is where PM skills are crucial, it is where “the rubber meets the road.” That is why it is critical to select the right PM for your project.  This requires an analysis of short- and long-term goals, in-house skills, employee workloads, and expected productivity during and after project implementation.  

It often leads to the realization that contracting an experienced PM can be far more cost-effective than utilizing in-house employees and allows internal, full-time employees to focus on their existing duties.  

Contracting with ROR-focused PMs ensures you will get more than the data needed for informed decisions – you will receive responsive plans, clear and transparent stakeholder communication, and skilled management of long-term implementation and maintenance plans. ROR-focused PMs produce long-term organizational growth and competitiveness. 

Celebrating an organization’s achievements

Every good PM knows celebrating brings people together and allows them to be proud of themselves and their team.  However, this celebration must go beyond high-fives and pats on the back.  It is important to analyze success points and identify the “best in class” activities so that those activities can be repeated in the future.  This analysis is the realization of the value that accrued by being ROR-focused.  It fosters organizational learning and adaption, motivation to win, and, most fundamentally, feeling good about the organization, the people in it, and the decisions made to support it.

ROR is important to Mazars

ROR is a foundation of our culture. It is how we demonstrate the values and beliefs of our organization and is a part of our personality. We are proud to specialize in creating value by building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with our clients that allow us to exceed expectations and realize success. 

See Part 1 and Part 2 of our blog series for a larger view on this topic.  For more information on how Mazars can support your organization, contact us at Stay tuned for upcoming blog series on the following topics: Organizational Change Leadership, Establishing Effective Project Management Offices, and Managing Quality on Projects.  

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