How A Project Manager Achieves “No Surprises”

Project Management is something that varies from one agency to another. Some have a full PM department, while others don’t have a single PM on staff. Usually in the latter, the Account Manager is not only responsible for client management and relationships, but also for serving the functions of Project Management.

At Enilon, Project Management and Account Management are two separate departments, though they function as one team. This is for very specific reasons that ultimately benefit our clients and their projects, timelines, and budgets. Project Managers tend to get a bad rap for saying “no” as we work to regulate scope, budget, and schedule, but we pride ourselves in our ability to achieve “no surprises” throughout the process. Here are some of the ways we manage this.

Budget and Scope Control

Our clients’ budgets are important, and we take that seriously. Budgets are defined at the onset of a project or program based on the understood activities that will need to take place. Whether it’s a traditional waterfall project or an agile program, the Project Manager has an ability to keep everything moving within the guardrails originally set forth in the agreement. If, for some reason, things look like they’re going off-course, the Project Manager knows to have the necessary conversations early on that will allow the team, as well as the client, to course correct if needed, before anything gets out of control.

Schedule

The schedule is created and maintained by the Project Manager. All key milestones are communicated at the beginning of a project and are assigned to the resources. The PM is responsible for this communication internally and ensures that the project stays on schedule. They will work with Account Management to ensure that the client is clear on their deliverables that contribute to the overall schedule success. If at any point there are delays, the PM discusses this with the Account team so they can alert the client immediately to discuss options.

Risk Mitigation

As Project Managers, we learn to anticipate, communicate frequently, and act quickly. Mitigating risk throughout a project is a skill set honed by our team. There’s always the chance that something will go wrong during a project — it’s our job to see it coming, act fast, and ultimately keep everything going down the right path.

The end goal for both an Account and Project Manager is similar, but what they do to get to that goal is very different. As previously mentioned, the PM will focus on the internal needs of the project and team to ensure the project stays on time and on budget. The Account Manager ultimately represents the client within the agency to ensure that their expectations are met and that the strategy stays aligned. By having a Project Manager as a team member, it allows the Account Manager to better focus on the client’s needs, while knowing the projects are in good hands and achieving “no surprises.”

If you want to work with an award-winning agency whose Project Managers are dedicated to delivering projects on time and within budget, get in touch with us!

 

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