Project Management from the Foundations UP

There are the known standard constraints in project management of Cost, Quality and Schedule that must be managed. Here is a quick set of foundational items that need to be followed first.

Product Knowledge:

Good project management starts with product knowledge. You need to know what the product does and how the product operates. Features, functions and benefits should be understood.  If services are part of the product sales then you need to understand how things integrate and are delivered to the customer.

Technical Knowledge:

Most products are not an end unto themselves. They will need to integrate into the broader enterprise. A fundamental understanding of the technology will enable you to see ahead and identify any potential issues or benefits. If integration into other technologies is important then your root understanding of that technology can prove critical if not simply leveraged for better delivery of services and customer confidence.

Business Knowledge:

Your product isn’t purchased in a vacuum. The features, functions and benefits must meet a need or enhance the customer’s position with respect to cost, quality and market. The better you understand the customers market and their operations the better equipped you’ll be to serve their needs. In most cases people will be using your product. You need to be aware of the human touch-points and how people and processes work inside the customers business. Broad experience in varied industries and markets can improve your ability to conceptualize business needs and solutions and also to see ahead.

Relationship Building:

This is what ties Product Knowledge, Technical Knowledge and Business Knowledge together. The relationship you develop and your capacity to inspire confidence and trust will be crucial to successfully managing a project and accomplishing other objectives too. Relationships are based on three factors from the customer’s viewpoint: What they SEE in you, how they FEEL about you and what you actually DO. Seeing is a physical aspect – Feeling is an emotional one and Doing is experiential.  Relationship building skills are “soft skills”. Your personal confidence, your personality, your character, how well you communicate and your presentation are all part of it. If you can develop a relationship of trust and strong confidence between you and the customer then you’ll gain favor and set firm foundations for future efforts.  Weaknesses in any other area can be offset by your ability to become a trusted partner and advisor through relationships.

Knowledge & Skill

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~ by Jeff Williams on April 14, 2010.

 
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