Project Smart ~ Exploring trends and developments in project management today

Calendar icon
Adobe PDF icon

Giving Proper PM Oversight on the Project - Part 1

~ By Brad Egeland

Businessman looking at a five star rating on a blackboard

Customer satisfaction. It is the basis for what we do as project managers. If a customer isn't happy with the engagement, there isn't any amount of profit we can make or timeline we can beat that will make the project a full success. Customer satisfaction is critical. In my opinion, it is more important than any other project success determiner. I'd like to take this opportunity to discuss the topic of customer satisfaction. As a project manager or IT consultant, customer satisfaction is a make or break concept. It is the basis of your livelihood. If you're independent, like me, it is the difference between a referenceable customer and a dissatisfied customer. If you're working for an organisation and dealing with internal customers and/or external customers, then customer satisfaction, over time, may mean the difference between keeping your job and updating your resume unexpectedly.

As project managers, full responsibility for the project's success rests on our shoulders, even when things beyond our control affect that success. Often times we're the highest priced resource on the project, so many times the customer sees us as the hardest expense to justify. Here are some important ways to help ensure the success of the projects we manage on a daily basis:

Lead Weekly Status Calls

Every PM on every project should be responsible for leading weekly customer calls and documenting discussions, action items, issues, and so on. They should resend this to the relevant project team members on both sides within 24 hours of the weekly call. I find that customers are happy with this approach, because they know everything was captured accurately when they review the notes and issues.

Produce Weekly Status Reports

In advance of the weekly status call, preferably at least 24 hours in advance, produce and deliver a detailed status report to the customer and project teams on both sides. The status report should be the basis for the weekly status call and should be reviewed and updated on each call.

Deliver Revised Weekly Project Plans

While the weekly status report is being revised and delivered to the project team and the customer, the project plan must also be revisited, revised and delivered - preferably in both .mpp and .pdf formats, so users without MS Project can view the plan. A good project manager reviews and revises the plan almost daily, but an 'official' revised plan should be delivered to the customer with the status report, and it should be reviewed as part of the weekly status meeting.

Stay on Top of Project Issues and Risks

At the kickoff of a project, you should gather the project teams on both sides - assuming a customer-facing engagement - and brainstorm the risks. Document these using a project register of your choosing, usually a simple Excel spreadsheet. Identify the likelihood of the risk, as well as the potential impact to the project (budget, timeline, success, etc.) if the risk were realised. Also, identify any risk mitigation actions that can or will be taken to avoid the potential risk.

Ideally, this risk register will become part of your weekly status report going forward and will be something that the teams revisit weekly on the status call. At an absolute minimum, the project manager must review the register (and update it) regularly, bringing items to the attention of the teams when any risk possibilities arise.

In part 2 of this two-part series, I will look at three more ways - bringing the total to seven - that we can be the best possible leaders on each of the projects we manage.


Advertisement


Comments

Be the first to comment on this article.

Add a comment



(never displayed)



 
2000
What is the next number: 2, 3, 4, ..?
Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.

Building a Business Case for Your Project

Ball of business documents

To get stakeholders or management to approve your project, you will need to build a solid business case. Here are the basic steps for creating a business case.

Coming to Terms With the Finish Date

Colourful calendar pages

Every project has a finish date. This article looks at how the finish date for a project is derived and how a project team comes to terms with that date.

What is PRINCE2?

PRINCE2 logo

PRINCE2 is one of the most widely used project management methodologies available. If you're looking to run successful projects, then PRINCE2 is an excellent choice.

Project Management Process Groups Explained

Project management process group icons on a curved line

Project management processes consist of five process groups and a control system used to apply knowledge and skills to a project. This article provides a breakdown of what's involved.

PROJECT SMART is the project management resource that helps managers at all levels improve their performance. We provide an important knowledge base for those involved in managing projects of all kinds. With weekly exclusive updates, we keep you in touch with the latest project management thinking.

WE ARE CONNECTED ~ Follow us on social media to get regular updates and opinion on what's happening in the world of project management.


Latest Comments

Ashwini Pendharkar commented on…
10 Golden Rules of Project Risk Management
- Tue 20 June 1:32pm

Tery commented on…
A Brief History of SMART Goals
- Mon 19 June 10:10pm

Tammy Marin commented on…
Better Coaching Using the GROW Model
- Thu 15 June 10:37pm

Latest tweets

General Project Management • Re: Is complete transparency with the project customer a good… https://t.co/Jcqxcrq49P #projectsmart #pmot about 12 days ago

General Project Management • Re: What are your PM best practices? I think we often miss 5 keys… https://t.co/bMHcYqOauf #projectsmart #pmot about 16 days ago

General Project Management • Re: I Got It Wrong https://t.co/uIy2Yv8owO #projectsmart #pmot about 23 days ago