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So, the Project Managers role is to ‘manage the project’, overseeing the timescales, budget, team activity and so on. This leads to the question – when should the PM be introduced into the project?
Usually, when a lead arises the sales team will communicate with the potential client and arrange a meeting and they will discuss the requirements of the project. The sales team will look over the requirements and quote on the project. Following this, the client will give the go ahead. Once the go ahead has been given the sales team will pass on the project to the PM. But is this the right way to do things? When should the PM be engaging in project – after the sale? During the sales process? From the moment the client makes contact?
Personally, as a PM I believe that the earlier the PM can be introduced into the project, the easier it is for the PM to engage in the project and have a clear vision as to the direction of the project. Most of the initial sales meeting is not relevant to the PM in my eyes, unless there are special details that have to be taken into account.
For example, if the job needs to be completed to launch at the same time as an event takes place, but the date of the event has not been confirmed, you will need to make sure this is noted from the outset. This is because it is important that the PM is involved at later stages of sales, such as finalising quotes, allocating the budget and setting time scales. With this in mind, the ‘kick off’ stage is a great time for the PM to meet the client and understand key objectives and scope.
The Project Management Balancing Act
It is crucial that as a PM you are aware of the brief from the beginning, so that milestones can be drawn up in order to work towards a completion date, and so that the project is budgeted correctly to achieve the client’s needs. Somewhere in there you also need to take profitability and costs into account! The right people have to be chosen for the job and the workload needs to be shared between them. It’s a delicate balancing act with many parties to consider, from the key stakeholders on the client side to each specialist member of the team. The planning stages are extremely important to any new web project, and can take up to a third of the entire project budget. The clearer the plans, the better the end result will be.
Every business that deals with time sensitive and valuable pieces of work should have a dedicated project manager on board and involved in each new undertaking from the start, not least web and mobile projects. That’s why OneResult take every care with project management, and allocate a dedicated project manager, right from the outset.
For more thoughts like this, why not check out our Time, Cost, Quality project management post?