Ah the perfect project. One can dream right? What would all the players in a perfect project be like?
They would be excited about their interactive project, and they’d be somewhere in the middle of micro-managing and laissez faire. The Client would give you enough latitude to make decisions, but would stay out of the way and not interfere in areas that are clearly your expertise. You would always be able to reach them for approvals and reviews at which time they would give you their undivided attention (especially from iPhones, laptops and blackberries) in meetings. When you needed to negotiate scope and impact on budget with them they would be tough but fair, and would concede to your wisdom where it made sense. They would not be overly upset or dramatic if scope or timing had to be changed to match reality.
In a perfect project, vendors would be helpful and would insist on going above and beyond the call of duty to satisfy you and your client’s needs. They would accept changes in timing and scope with good humor and would rarely push back or be upset by these commonplace occurrences. They would be okay operating in the background and would not have major egos or seek to win battles for control. Roles and responsibilities would be clear and defined and in any areas where they weren’t they would defer to your knowledge and leadership in the engagement. Change requests would rarely require additional funds as they would have already accounted for contingency in their planning. All their contributions whether it be coding or creative work would be well documented and would have defensible justification due to diligent note-keeping and management of conversations throughout the project. They could always be counted on to support you during the project lifecycle in order to best manage the client.
IT and tech teams
These groups would be fine being brought to the table later than they would prefer and would be quick to solve problems with creative ideas and collaboration. They would have a “can do” attitude and would be sensitive to the business and delivery team’s needs and overall pressure to deliver on time and on budget.
Internal Delivery Team
This team would be coherent and all members would work and communicate well with each other – even if you were unavailable for parts of the project, they would manage to get things done on time and per specification because they respect each other. They would work with you to review and revise the project plan to match the right solutions and they would make sure your budgets were managed/maintained through close scrutiny of their own tasks relative to the overall project plan. Creative folks would bring the same high level of energy to each and every project no matter the contents or direction from the client – their work would surprise and delight the client with its innovation/clarity.
The account people would work closely with the project manager (you) and would be supportive whenever occasional bad news had to be delivered to the client. They would always defend you and the delivery team first and would make sure that the Client understood all delivery issues fully so they would understand root causes and be able to assist in decision making process. They would not shy away from tough discussions – but rather be quite adept at negotiation without upsetting anyone to a dangerous degree. They’d be able to manage troubles with a sense of humor and to the delight of all stakeholders involved. They would elevate their own company and company’s delivery team’s needs over their own and would work to keep the client as happy as possible under all project circumstances. They would actively contribute to the project by reviewing project documentation and confirming it matches up with client expectations from the sales cycle – any discrepancies would be clearly communicated to all involved to determine any areas that required fixing.
Sponsors / Bosses
These folks would push you to succeed and expect you to work hard, but would go to bat for you in the event that some project constituent was trying to push you around. They would treat you as if you were innocent unless proven guilty and even if you ended being guilty they would be somewhat gentle with you as they valued your contributions. They would be concerned with the bottom line, but more concerned with you and your delivery team, since people matter more than profits alone. They would be interested in projects and would work to keep themselves informed as to project status without the need for arduous status updates.
The PM (you)
You’d have enough time in the day to coordinate your team and the clients/partners. You would via technology and communication methods be able to keep all stakeholders up to speed without countless meetings. The Client would always feel comfortable to be able to be honest and frank with you and you would be authorized to make decisions for your company in order to deal with day to day adjustments. You would feel confident you could hold your own resources to timelines and deliverables as you would have required authority from your company to compel them to get things done on time and on budget.
You would have any and all resources you needed without interruption and when you had them you would have their undivided attention. If you happened to need them less or more based on scope it wouldn’t be a problem for enterprise resource planners.
Life would be absolutely great. But of course this simply isn’t the way life is – and we will continue writing on the topic of interactive project management and how we can keep getting better at delivering the very best for our companies, clients and all involved.
Wake up. You’ve been dreaming!
What would the perfect project be like for you? Leave me some comments below