December 14, 2015
In my last post, I described some of the more intangible skills that make a successful project manager, specifically Trust, Team Building and Team Communication. As a consulting project manager, I believe it is vital to have these skills in particular. Due to the nature of the world of consulting, teams are formed quickly, must ramp up (from both a technical and interpersonal perspective) in a short period of time, and work effectively together for the duration of the project. As consultants, we must always be ready to work with different teams in different client environments. It is the responsibility of the project manager to ensure that each project team comes together to complete project deliverables within the typical PM parameters – scope, schedule and budget.
I believe that even though there is nothing specifically measurable about having any of these ‘soft’ skills, I believe that there are obvious and measurable results for the customer, the project team and also the consulting firm. The impact of a good project manager can be seen in the following areas:
If a project is running smoothly under the control of a competent project manager, then will be less overhead time spent in escalating project issues to management on both sides. The project manager, project sponsor and key project stakeholders will be in communication throughout the project and should be discussing issues and resolution plans early and frequently. Ideally the team is acting proactively instead of reactively requiring less “emergency” meetings or late nights!
Low employee morale is not only a factor in potentially causing a project to go off track, but can also lead to employee turnover. A stable project team usually results in a stable project where no knowledge is lost or scheduled time is lost due to the need to onboard new resources.
A project manager provides a consistent experience to the client throughout the project. The project manager should know the status of the project at both the 10,000 ft and 100 ft levels and be able to clearly message this to the customer at any given time. Confidence in the project manager throughout the project and a clean project delivery should lead to a satisfied customer at the end of the day!