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What the Customer Should Bring to the Project

The project manager is in control. No question (hopefully). But that doesn’t mean there can’t be a few things we expect from the customer throughout the engagement. We come in with our knowledge of project management, the likely solution, what technology may be needed, how to engage the customer and what we think we need to know from them. Beyond that, we do need the customer and we need their participation. I’ve narrowed it down to five key areas where we need customer input, information and participation. Beyond these five, we are mostly good, but without these five the project will suffer. The five on my list are: The project manager is in control. No question (hopefully). But that doesn’t mean there can’t be a few things we expect from the customer throughout the engagement. We come in with our knowledge of project management, the likely solution, what technology may be needed, how to engage the customer and what we think we need to know from them. Beyond that, we do need the customer and we need their participation. I’ve narrowed it down to five key areas where we need customer input, information and participation. Beyond these five, we are mostly good, but without these five the project will suffer. The five on my list are: Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE [More]

Key Areas Project Managers Need Executive Support

here is no question that, in general, project managers are expected to take charge and work pretty much on their own when leading project engagements. We expect organizational support as needed, of course, but we hope that need is rare. If you have a PMO of, say, 15 project managers who are each running, on average, 5 projects then that’s 75 projects that may be going on at any given time in the organization. Are we going to involve senior management in every one of those 75 projects? No. Should we, as project managers, expect that our senior management wants to have intimate knowledge of the status of each of those 75 projects? No. Do we really want senior management’s hand in each of those projects and have them looking over our back as we try to lead both staff and customer on each of those projects? I know I don’t. here is no question that, in general, project managers are expected to take charge and work pretty much on their own when leading project engagements. We expect organizational support as needed, of course, but we hope that need is rare. If you have a PMO of, say, 15 project managers who are each running, on average, 5 projects then that’s 75 projects that may be going on at any given time in the organization. Are we going to involve senior management in every one of those 75 projects? No. Should we, as project managers, expect that our senior management wants to have intimate knowledge of the status of each of those 75 projects? No. Do we really want senior management’s hand in each of those projects and have them looking over our back as we try to lead both staff and customer on each of those projects? I know I don’t. There is no question that, in general, project managers are expected to take charge and work pretty much on their own when leading project engagements. We expect organizational support as needed, of course, but we hope that need is rare. If you have a PMO of, say, 15 project managers who are each running, on average, 5 projects then that’s 75 projects that may be going on at any given time in the organization. Are we going to involve senior management in every one of those 75 projects? No. Should we, as project managers, expect that our senior management wants to have intimate knowledge of the status of each of those 75 projects? No. Do we really want senior management’s hand in each of those projects and have them looking over our back as we try to lead both staff and customer on each of those projects? I know I don’t. So, we do we need from our senior company leadership? We should we be able to expect from them on our projects as we are strategically leading engagements for the betterment and profit of our organization? The list of things we should be able to expect from our company executives may be long – not to include limo service to and from our place of work even though we may feel we deserve it sometimes. I welcome our readers’ thoughts and input here, but I’ve listed five key expectations below. These are items that I personally feel are roles that executive management can and should play in our projects when needed or called upon to do so. false false false EN-US JA X-NONE [More]

Controlling Project Change is a Process

Change control, change orders, scope management…ugly words. You hope it doesn’t come up, but invariably it does on most projects – especially if the project manager is doing their job in clearly defining requirements with the customer and then subsequently managing scope throughout the engagement. Something changes …on every project at some time or another. [More]

Satisfying Senior Management Needs on Our Projects

Senior management’s interests or the customer’s needs. We hope that they aren’t in conflict, but sometimes they are. Yes, senior management wants us to have satisfied project customers, but they’re top priority at the end of the day is often to be as profitable as we can possibly be. Overall, the best way to get there – usually – is by making sure our customers are happy. So, I like to start there. I often find myself as a project manager putting the customer first because they're paying the bills and they are the individuals that I am working with on a daily basis. They are the ones I’m providing status reports to and leading my team on long-term engagements for. [More]

Which Came First, the Schedule or the Budget?

One drives the other. Or the 2nd drives the 1st. Or vice versa. Which should come first, the schedule or the budget? It’s a tough call – each plays a huge role in the other, right? And it depends on who is pricing the project, I suppose. [More]

Project Management as a Strategic Tool for the Organization

Project management as a concept and infrastructure in the organization helps create standard practices and hopefully helps an organization successfully deliver on projects on an ongoing basis. The purpose of strategy is to provide direction and concentration of effort as organizations continually strive to improve their position or gain the upper hand within the marketplace. Basically, it's a struggle for advantage, and the one with the best advantage wins. It's that simple. On what areas must businesses concentrate? Businesses clearly have to: [More]

Are All Projects Basically the Same?

From a detail point of view, or a dollar point of view, or a timeframe point of view, I realize this statement doesn’t hold up. All projects are definitely NOT the same. But down in the core of a project, are they all basically the same? Do they all require essentially the same skills to lead, the same best practices to utilize, and the same planning and communication? [More]