Complex projects are a fact of life in today’s business enterprises. Many times those projects contain a large component of utilizing technology to address a significant business challenge or opportunity. Implementing or changing a large software platform like a Warehouse Management System (WMS) requires both planning and execution in line with complex parameters, and the role of a Project Manager is a key ingredient to attaining success in any complex project. Some would argue it is the key role that must be handled effectively to guarantee success. Conversely, absent a project manager any complex project is almost sure to fail. It’s a tough role to fill.
A project by its nature is typically a single exercise designed to achieve a goal that is not repetitive in nature. Two main factors both enable and constrain any project: time and budget. Juggling those two big elements while drilling down to the details of scope, sequence, resources, oversight and transition are factors that a very good project manager handles with care through the entire effort from preliminary planning through eventual completion and wrap up of efforts. Along the way, the project manager recognizes competing and sometimes conflicting demands. How quickly and deftly those demands are addressed are hallmarks of project managers. It is the business equivalent of juggling chainsaws….it can be dangerous and risky but if done well, there is reward for the organization that has encouraged and supported the project manager who successfully brings the project to completion.
The role of a Project Manager is a key ingredient to attaining success in any complex project. Some would argue it is the key role that must be handled effectively to guarantee success. Conversely, absent a project manager any complex project is almost sure to fail.
A good project manager needs to understand budgets and planning certainly, but the best PM’s also have technical and functional knowledge about the nature of the project itself. (S)he dives into and dwells on the minute details of every aspect of a project, and pitches in daily on decisions and thought leadership at the most granular level. There is a lot of science and process in keeping many details in focus, but there is an art to it too. While down in the details, (s)he has to be able to tell the difference between the entire forest as compared to the individual trees, and (s)he has to describe both the holistic picture and the granular elements equally well to audiences who don’t know what the picture really is.
Don’t overlook the need for robust project management as you consider an investment in implementing or changing a WMS. But do you have a person who can drop everything else and do it? Do you have someone who has exceptional project management skills and experiences? And also someone who understands your business in detail and someone who understands the WMS and warehouse technology fundamentally? And by the way, someone who is a great communicator both up the chain of command and to all others within your organization? Are these skills and traits all wrapped up in one person? Do you have a person who can juggle all of the “chainsaws” just mentioned and stay laser-focused on the objective and operate within constraints? If you don’t, a great strategy to bring these skills to your organization is to partner with a firm like Accelogix. We have experienced chainsaw jugglers that bring depth, candor and integrity along with deep fundamental knowledge of how to do it and how to do it right.
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