We have already discussed the article by Breakthrough Performance Management titled?Tying Performance Metrics and Business Strategy?. It is about tying business strategy to performance metrics. We now look at the role of project managers as an individual in this series. We are grateful for all your comments and intelligence on the previous posts.
Webber and Torti interviewed project management and clients in the information technology and aerospace industries and management consulting to answer two key questions.
1) How can project managers be more successful as client-relationship managers and client account executives?
2) What strategies can a project manager use to establish a long-lasting, trusting relationship with a client?
Canadian government grantsProject Management is both an art as well as a science. Project managers must not only master the technical skills necessary to manage projects but also the soft skills necessary to lead the people who do the work. Interviews conducted during the explorative research revealed a variety of roles that project managers can play. These roles include implementer, entrepreneur and politician. The project manager is responsible for coordinating scope, budget, plans and tools to meet client expectations. They are able to think outside the box and come up with innovative ideas. They also have the ability to network and negotiate with stakeholders. Project managers foster relationships with other project mangers, facilitate communication between stakeholders, and help teams achieve their goals.
One role that is increasingly becoming more prominent is that of account executive. As events occur and the client has unfavorable relations, the organization’s perspective is often seen through the eyes of client through the actions taken by project manager. The client sees the larger organization in a negative light because of poor relationships with the project manager. Project managers need to develop strategies to establish a long-lasting, trusting relationship with clients. One strategy is to ensure that the personalities of both the client representative and project manager match. Another strategy is to use urgency to build relationships.
Fostering relationships is good for both the client and the organization. However, it is important that the project manager doesn’t become too familiar with the customer. The authors warn against “going native?” The authors warn against?going native? This can be avoided by having the project manager call back on routine visits to meet face-to-face with the organization and limiting the time that the manager is at the client site.
Good relations between project managers and clients can help organizations make a profit. But, it is important to be aware of the importance of?going native? It is crucial to maintain that relationship in the future. A good relationship with clients can be a competitive advantage. However, if this is not used well, it can become a threat to the organization.
Webber, S., & Torti, M. (2004, February). Project managers double as client accountexecutives. Academy of Management Executive, 18(1): 60-71. Retrieved October 12, 2008 from EBSCO MegaFILE.