When there is a lot of blame, people always seem to know who is deserving of that recognition. But when you succeed as Project Manager, there is no recognition. When you succeed, you have done what you said you would do. You cannot boast about coming in under budget in terms of time or money because that would mean your original estimates were wrong. As companies try to cut budgets, they seem to put more money into failing systems or people. The thinking is that this is where the money is needed because this is the most talked about. 

I am not saying that you need to have some issues to keep your name and your projects in the forefront. Not at all, but rather, I think you need to be more creative in giving yourself and your team(s) credit. You can do this a number of ways.
Most recently, a colleague found himself in this very same situation early in 2010. His team members kept getting reallocated to other teams, and every request that he made was getting rejected if it involved spending any money. He did not understand what was going on. He had an annual budget that was approved, and he wondered why he was not allowed to spend it. He had great Return on Investment numbers, the justification was well-founded and multiple senior people had requested this functionality, and yet he was still getting denied.

My colleague has always been one to have the ear of C team due to his impeccable track record. So he asked them what was going on, why had he been resisted at every step to do his job. The answer was shocking to him; He had done his job too well. He tried to plead his case saying that he should be given more projects, not fewer. 

Later he talked to a VP that was implementing huge projects every week. He asked him how he was getting approved. The VP expressed that his success was because his visibility was higher. The VP knew that my colleague had developed 10 to 15 projects a year, but most people did not know that. He recommended that doing a good job is great, but letting people know what you are up to is even better. If people see that you are creating value for the company, then they are more willing to fund you. 

I have never been one for self promotion; I have always let my work do that. But hearing a story like this, and having had similar experiences in the past, I decided I would have to change. I started emailing updates to key personnel. At first this made my direct support uncomfortable because it made him feel like I was jumping over his head. But these emails were just FYI (For your information), never a request or a complaint. After a few weeks of this I started to get questions from these emails. Some of them were, how did you come up with your numbers? I explained the numbers and then normally received no further emails on the subject. After a few months of this, people really started to notice the consistency with which my team was producing new projects and how much the projects were saving the company. I recently have been approved for a large project to start early next year and I will continue to let people know what I am working on, when it is done and what benefits the company has gained. I want to continue to do my job well so that my actions help the company and appear seamless to the average user but with thunderous ripples to the powers that be.

The most important tool a manager has is communication. Their teams need to clearly understand the direction that they are going. But one must realize that communication is a two way path. As communication flows from you to your team, you must also interpret the communication from the team and pass that upward to the heads of your team, i.e. your boss, your boss’s boss or the stakeholders. If you are the low man on the totem pole or the owner of the company, you need to communicate. Remember, the best communicators find success.