If our software vendor has a PM on our project – why do we need you?

We hear this question often enough that it deserves someone shouting out: THE VENDOR’S PM DOESN’T DO PROJECT MANAGEMENT FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION! It might as well be me.

The AMS/FMS/CMS/KMS/fill-in-the-blank-MS’s vendor includes a project management line item in their proposal, but that’s for managing their own internal resources to complete the project – not YOUR resources. There are many, many things that must be done throughout the project on the organization’s side to make implementation go as smoothly as possible. Some of the major tasks to be conducted include:

  1. creating/managing the master project plan,
  2. determining which data will be converted,
  3. generating data clean-up plans,
  4. data mapping to the new system,
  5. creating and managing of an issues log,
  6. determining and managing internal project teams (design, testing, training),
  7. generating testing scenarios,
  8. and more!

There are so many things that need to be done that, if done properly, those things will require 50-100% of your internal project manager’s time – for the duration of the entire project. So, translated to a normal 40-hour work week, that means that 20-40 hours per week

will be spent by whoever is assigned within the organization to manage the implementation of your system. It’s a huge investment of time.

So, what’s the point? How important is this?

The point is this: if you don’t have solid project management on your side, there is a high likelihood that your project will fail. In fact, we consider lack of good project management by the association to be the number one reason why software implementations are not successful. So, I would say it’s pretty important.

Who should be your project manager? Stay tuned.

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Flickr photo by VFS Digital Design