Project Management

The ‘Perfect’ Professional Services PM

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

One of the things that I have noticed about project management is that everyone has an opinion about how good someone is at doing it. It seems that anyone who works on a project has a view on whether a PM is “good” or “bad”, sometimes for the most bizarre of reasons. When the project manager in question is from a different organization, particularly a vendor, those opinions are all the more prevalent--and often fairly negative.

We can probably assume that a lot of these comments are little more than offhanded comments that are based on frustration or annoyance rather than analysis-driven indictments of a particular project manager’s ability. However, there also has to be an acknowledgment that these professional services type projects--customer facing projects that involve some kind of customer implementation or service provision--can have vendor project management that varies tremendously from the exceptional to the exceptionally awful. So what makes a good professional services project manager?

Not different skills, just a different mix
One of the most important things to recognize is that the job is still fundamentally that of project manager. While there are differences that we will get into during this article, the PM is still expected to manage the project to a successful conclusion--on time, scope, budget and quality with an …


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