What Clients Want in a Project Manager
Navigating the waters of a large project can be incredibly challenging. In many cases, there are several moving parts and people to navigate, which can seem a bit overwhelming. Having led many projects at Alleon Group, we have found five consistent skills needed in a project manager:
- Vision – In-depth understanding of the project & and what success looks like. Some plans are around revenue realization, while others can be cost savings. Having a clear understanding and a path to achieve the objective is paramount and setting that vision early on is imperative.
- Transparency – Clearly identified tasks, named individuals, and stated deliverable dates. If any of these three are overlooked, you can bet there will be a missed deliverable. While none of the three is more important than the other, having an individual named (as opposed to a company name) almost always ensures the task will be addressed.
- Project Documentation – Careful and on-going documentation of the plan activities and implementation meetings – This is a bit of a balancing act. The project team members will need a significant amount of detail, follow-up, and carefully documented notes. However, the executives will want to know are we still on-time, within budget and if risks exist.
- Ringmaster – Often the project manager needs to be a bit of a Sales & Marketing leader to convince multiple disciplines to move down the same path together – sometimes putting competing interests aside. This requires a good bit of finesse and professionalism – and as we often believe, an ability to “herd the cats.”
- Issue Resolution – Let’s be honest, there is no such thing as a seamless implementation. The goal is to minimize disruptions, resolve issues when they occur and keep moving ahead. The right PM will ensure issues are addressed head-on, while removing the emotional element, with a level of urgency and diplomacy.
Finding that right balance of keeping the project on track while ensuring the team delivers is the ultimate responsibility of the project manager. The right individual can make all the difference.