Safe, Simple & Supportable – IT Support & Managed Services for Business
No matter where we go in this business, we all cannot get away from managing Projects!
Whether it is a HaaS upgrade, new client onboarding, or integrating an existing client with an outsourced help desk provider – anything that takes longer than a day must be considered a project so to ensure client satisfaction is maintained and expectations are exceeded!
While this might be a refresher for most, I strongly believe that it is a good to exercise to brush up on old tactics as the arrows in our quiver grow and base of perspective evolves.
The Project Managers Role
First and foremost the primary duty of any good project manager (PM) should be to set and manage expectations. Delays are a fact of life which need to be budgeted for and properly positioned in the customers and project team's eyes.
It goes to without say that the next most important duty is for the PM to property document the tasks that lead up to each milestone – and to ensure that these tasks are detailed and simple enough that nothing is overlooked. While it might seem like common sense – with everything on your team and customers respective plates, it is easy to drop the ball and potentially throw the proceeding tasks out of whack.
Thinking back on my B-School days – your tasks (just like your goals) need to be SMART. Specific, measurable, realistic and time bound. Failing to ensure each task meets these requirements, and perhaps more importantly, failing to ensure these parameters fit with your teams abilities and schedules is a recipe for broken promises!
Collaborating and Negotiating
The bottom line is this – a lack of communication leads to assumptions, assumptions lead to misaligned goals and disorganization!
Every project needs that driving force, keeping everyone honest and focused on priorities as they relate to the bigger picture client expectations and commitments.
While it might not seem like a negotiation, whenever you are requesting use of resources (someone else's time or money) everything is negotiable! A good project manager should always keep the client informed, and signing off as milestones are met. Failure to do so can lead to scope creep, missed revenue opportunities and opportunities to further build the value of your team and/or products.
Tools, Tools, Tools!
To drive home the importance of collaboration – email sucks for managing projects! Outlook reminders and length email threads leave too much for inaction and miscommunication of the essence of a task or the status of a task.
If you aren't using a CRM tool that includes a decent project management tool which allows for project milestones, tasks, documents and communication threads to be organized, reminded on and filed – invest in Basecamp. Our some integration of Microsoft Project with a web based utility - it is probably the simplest, most intuitive 'cloud' based project management tool out there.
The sooner we realize the role projects play in our businesses, the sooner we can master, profit and grow our business around their successful completion!
Wayne Goldstein is the CEO of GMS Live Expert, a Hosted Help Desk dedicated to the MSP Reseller Channel. His team of 100% North American Help Desk and NOC and Technicians, work to help their MSP Partners scale their businesses!