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Project Management Skills: Client-Side vs. Delivery

“Successful” project management can mean different things to different project managers. There is the traditional project manager who is tasked with the actual delivery of a project, and there is the client project manager who stands up for the client and is too often not made a priority. In a post for the Association for Project Management, Alistair Godbold compares this undervalued role.

Align the Results

There is a deficiency in the traditional aim of project management: a lack of focus on client project managers. This robs the project of meaningful benefits and results in frustrated sponsors. Client project managers both deliver projects and dictate others to do so. This type of manager is often the go-between for the client and the company by managing relationships and ensuring that communications are kept open and clear.

Throughout the duration of a project, the client will likely interact and build relationships with a myriad of other executives within the company. What is different about the client project manager is that throughout the duration of the project, “they focus on areas more aligned with those of a sponsor and programme manager, taking a more strategic, benefits and outcome view.”

In any relationship there are going to be issues that arise, and the relationship between the client and the delivery project manager is not spared. For example, the values between the two parties differ, or the client project manager simply lacks experience with handling these situations. In order to best overcome these differences and still have a fruitful relationship, there are a few simple solutions. Before taking on the project, the organization should ensure that their values align with that of the client. Additionally, creating the environment for success or leading by example will help build the relationship.

Although delivery project managers and client project managers have very similar goals, the paths they take are slightly different. Not every delivery project manager can handle the role of the client project manager. This makes it pertinent to make this aspect of the project a priority.

You can read the original post here: https://www.apm.org.uk/blog/tale-two-disciplines

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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