Project Management

Vendor PM: The Five Things You Must Know

PMI Mass Bay Chapter

Todd is Principal Implementation Management Consultant at BI-SAM and author of "No Project Management by Powerpoint".

I have to admit--I expected something different. After 20-odd years in the financial services industry--and after acquiring the pre-requisite number of acronyms to display after my name (PMP and MBA in this case), I thought I knew exactly what to anticipate moving into my new role as a software vendor project manager.

I was wrong.

Before I do go any further, I have to note that the majority of the classic project management “stuff” I learned (and had the opportunity to practice while managing large technology programs) still applied. You still have to initiate, plan, execute, control and close. You still have to (over)communicate, and you still have plans and charters and issue lists. The biggest difference was the level of importance other factors played in driving the success of client-facing software implementations. What I learned from that experience evolved into this article, where I want to share he five things you must know about vendor project management: 

  1. Know your stakeholders
  2. Know your product
  3. Know your organization
  4. Know your industry
  5. Know your project management

Know your stakeholders
This is the big one. All project management methods and approaches espouse the importance of stakeholder management, but in the world of the software vendor, constituencies are unique and often not understood. I …

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