The Powerhouse Project Manager – Introduction

My business (Customer Centricity) launched in 2002. Our flagship offering is the Customer Experience Assessment. Firms of all sizes engage us to perform this 360-degree review of how they manage their customer interactions and relationships. While this gets our “foot in the door” the majority of revenue comes from our Project Management services. This includes driving projects resulting from improvement opportunities identified in our assessments and many other types of initiatives (CRM, ERP, PLM implementations and upgrades, post merger/acquisition “whole company” integrations, etc.).

Being the “chief cook and bottle washer” I play many roles including: developing new business opportunities (most of which result from word-of-mouth referrals), speaking engagements (such as the upcoming SCORE conference in Boston), managing the business and finances, recruiting / coaching team members, engaging with clients, etc.

Clients reach out to engage me (personally) when something has gone WAY off track on a project they were attempting to drive with internal resources or when a high-profile / high-risk initiative (i.e., post acquisition integration) needs to be driven home. While these projects aren’t rocket science, the client needs a leader with the scars of experience to, quite simply, get’er done!

Upon engaging with a client I organize the team, define a detailed plan and management reporting process and drive to get (or keep) things on track. If/when it is appropriate (defined as a well performing team against a well defined plan) I’ll work with the client (after several months of driving the project) to backfill me with a project manager from my team. This occurs if, and only if, it is appropriate and agreeable to all involved. Otherwise, I’ll stay on board to drive the project(s) to completion.

The reason I take this approach? As “chief cook and bottle washer” I have other duties to attend to which make it difficult to remain engaged, with a single client, on a long-term / full-time basis. So, if/when appropriate I help support the economy by engaging others to perform under my good name.

While this approach has worked quite well over the last 12 years, there have been (just a few) “hiccups” inspiring me to write a series of posts on the topic of “The Powerhouse Project Manager.” This being the introduction. My goal is to post on this topic weekly (until I run out of steam) so that aspiring Project Managers (PMs) have fresh grist for their mill each week.

What were the “hiccups”? As good as the PMs on my team are, in a few (out of dozens of) engagements the client has said something to the effect of: “There is a gap between what PM-X provides and what you were providing. If we had started with PM-X we would not have known any better as s/he is doing fine. You just happen to provide a bit more of what we need. Would you consider coming back?

Oh, the burden I must bear 🙂

What can an aspiring PM do to become a “Powerhouse PM?” To perform at a level that would make them an indispensable resource? One that their client or company would NEVER consider letting go?

I will cover this in future posts. Since I’ve written (more than) enough for a single post I’ll end here by suggesting that if you want to get started down the path read other entries in this blog categorized as “Leadership.” You can do so in 1 of 2 ways:

  1. At the top of this post, on the left, under the date, click on “Leadership.” All posts for this category will instantaneously be presented to you! Gotta love WordPress!
  2. Near the bottom of any page of this blog, on the right, you’ll see a pick list labeled “Categories.” Select “Leadership” and voila, the same thing will happen (you will be presented with all posts for this category).

I plan on having fun with this. Hope you enjoy the process!

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