Five Critical Project Management Tips That Boost the Client Experience

Five Critical Project Management Tips That Boost the Client Experience

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Have you ever labored with a challenge supervisor who not solely saved your challenge on monitor, but in addition made the expertise a constructive one? While some could consider challenge managers as the taskmaster who retains everybody in line and the challenge on schedule, the challenge supervisor can truly play a invaluable position on the subject of delivering a constructive consumer expertise.

Over the previous yr and a half, the majority of companies have needed to pivot ultimately, whether or not by placing programs in place for workers to earn a living from home, accelerating digital transformation efforts, reprioritizing initiatives, or navigating round useful resource constraints. A constructive buyer expertise has all the time been essential, however now it’s a key differentiator in a world the place change and unpredictability have turn out to be the norm fairly than the exception.

Ready to up your sport? Below are 5 issues you are able to do to not solely get the job achieved, but in addition assist the consumer have an awesome expertise whereas doing it.

1. Prep agendas, crew members, and shoppers forward of time.

We had been busy earlier than the pandemic, however it looks as if we’re all even busier now. And busy folks particularly (and everybody usually) all the time recognize after they know what’s going to be mentioned throughout a gathering and what their anticipated contribution will likely be. It additionally makes for a extra productive use of everybody’s time.

We’ve all been in conferences the place some folks don’t say a phrase. If I invite folks to a gathering and so they don’t take part, I take that as an indication I didn’t do a very good job tailoring the agenda and making ready them to take part. Providing an agenda and setting expectations offers attendees extra time to organize, which inspires their participation, makes everybody extra invested in the consequence, and minimizes losing folks’s invaluable time. All of which supplies clearer steering for the challenge so you’ll be able to ship precisely what the consumer desires.

2. Be ready to tailor the administration of the challenge to swimsuit the wants of the consumer.

Waterfall was once the methodology of selection for each challenge administration and software program growth, however challenge managers now have extra choices on the subject of how they handle consumer initiatives. Agile took the software program growth world by storm again in 2001, and it’s lately gained some severe traction in challenge administration. It is sensible: the exponential enhance in MarTech over the previous decade has made all these initiatives rather more complicated. Not to say that challenge managers have needed to turn out to be much more versatile and adaptable to altering priorities, necessities, and useful resource constraints over the previous 18 months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

When a challenge has a concrete, universally agreed-upon consequence, I usually default to a waterfall method. Everyone is aware of precisely the place they wish to go, how a lot time it should take, and what the price range is — and shall stay — for the length of the challenge. You can totally decide challenge necessities at the begin of the challenge, and full every deliverable sequentially. If necessities are tough to seize, nevertheless, or any of the different typical constraints like time and price range are open for dialogue, working the challenge in Agile and even taking a hybrid approach could make extra sense. This iterative method supplies flexibility so you’ll be able to alter as you go as a substitute of following a linear path.

3. Think about the visuals you’re making ready by way of the lens of your consumer.

Always take your viewers into consideration when creating and sharing visuals like the challenge plan and challenge dashboard. Are you offering an excessive amount of or too little data? Are you presenting it in a means that’s simple to digest and share? Someone who’s concerned in discovery, like an finish person, could wish to see a day-to-day plan for the subsequent six months, and stroll by way of it with you — intimately — as soon as every week. Executive sponsors will possible desire a fowl’s-eye view that features issues like when the challenge will likely be completed and what they will anticipate to see as soon as it’s dwell.

We use Smartsheet right here at BDO Digital, and it has a dashboarding instrument that I completely love. We can take an in depth challenge plan (which could be greater than 200 traces lengthy, relying on the challenge) and consolidate it right into a single-screen view with the click on of a button. Those who solely want a “project at a glance view” can see issues like share of challenge full, what’s arising in the subsequent few weeks, and key stakeholders — with out entering into the micro-level element the challenge supervisor must maintain the whole lot shifting ahead.

4. Sharpen your energetic listening and necessities seize abilities.

When it involves capturing necessities, it’s value taking the time to refresh your abilities often. Requirements seize — which incorporates each desired performance together with undesirable or out-of-scope exercise — is an artwork that makes a challenge supervisor value their weight in gold. It’s essential to doc the whole lot intimately for future reference. If somebody is available in late in the sport, for instance, and asks why you’re not together with X, you’ll be able to refer again to this doc and clarify why the choice was made to not embrace it in the scope of the challenge.

Requirements seize is 90 % energetic listening, which incorporates studying between the traces for issues the consumer doesn’t all the time specific. You wish to be clear about what you’re doing and what you aren’t doing (and why), so everyone seems to be on the identical web page and has the identical expectations for the closing consequence. Never assume that as a result of the consumer didn’t point out one thing that’s generally related to their kind of challenge that they don’t need it. They could not understand it even exists. These are the issues that may pop up throughout the center of the challenge and depart shoppers disenchanted that it gained’t be a part of the closing deliverable (or, it turns into scope creep, which is able to enhance the price range and schedule, which may additionally depart the consumer feeling disenchanted even when they do get the performance). Taking the time to do that proper, at the very starting of the challenge, may also help enhance the consumer expertise no matter what makes it into the closing necessities.

5. Think operationally.

Does a sure engagement stand out as “best in class?” Thinking about the right way to capitalize on classes realized and operationalize what went proper in order that it may be repeated will assist save time, effectivity, and your sanity the subsequent time you handle a challenge. By the identical token, what didn’t go proper? Could discovery have gone extra easily? Did your consumer have questions that your challenge plan and dashboards might have achieved a greater job of answering? What are you able to do on future initiatives to mitigate any potential roadblocks or setbacks?

Sometimes, although, it simply looks as if the planets magically aligned and you may’t fairly put your finger on the right way to replicate it. About a yr in the past, I labored on a challenge the place the whole lot went proper. From our very first dialogue, the consumer was very clear on their expectations and we had been capable of implement these expectations to the letter. Discovery was clean, there have been no disagreements, and the implementation was seamless. We completed on time and on price range. When I seemed again for classes realized, nothing out of the strange jumped out at me at the time. Was this only a significantly simple consumer? Did a well-written SOW make all the distinction? For no matter motive, the whole lot simply got here collectively. I’ve tried to copy our success on initiatives since then, however typically you simply must take the win.

While many firms have made the buyer expertise a precedence for years now, it’s turn out to be a enterprise crucial throughout the enterprise. Customers needed to change the means they work (and the place they work), and so they even have increased expectations for a way their services are delivered. A constructive buyer expertise can be a beacon of hope and lightweight in an in any other case unpredictable and socially distanced world. As a challenge supervisor, I’m completely satisfied to do my half in shining that mild slightly brighter.

Five Critical Project Management Tips That Boost the Client Experience RyanBoone Headshot
Ryan Boone is a Senior Project Manager and licensed Project Management Professional (PMP) supporting BDO Digital’s Demand Generation Group. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Colorado State University and a Master of Business Administration with a concentrate on Project Management from Louisiana State University. Since beginning his profession in Project Management at IBM, Ryan has overseen all kinds of initiatives, together with large-scale implementations, and prides himself on growing and sustaining cooperative and wholesome working relationships.

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