This week’s Rethinking Professional Services webinar (click for replay) was focused on Rethinking Project Governance which gave us a great opportunity to discuss many tactics for managing project portfolios, but in particular we discussed the very unique PS Principles’ tool we call the Proactive Alignment Review (PAR).
On this week’s Rethinking Professional Services webinar series, we discussed rethinking the much-maligned Statement of Work. This document has served as a pain-point for professional services teams for decades. My opinion is that our lack of understanding of the intent of this document is a key reasons why projects find themselves in trouble. My experience has been, that rewriting it with a different focus can led to greater project success and better customer references.
Can a customer get addicted to the presence of its paid consultants?
How should professional services organizations manage risk? In the second of his PS Insights podcasts, services industry guru Shane Anastasi discusses how to identify projects that are heading off track and the kinds of actions that can be taken to keep them in the black. Listen now!
In researching the value of our corporate certification program, I spoke with senior professional services buyers to assess how they perceive the value of service provider during the sales cycle. I asked the question, "What do you want your service provider to prove to you?" One of the answer's given was, “I want them to prove that I am going to get the ‘A-Team’” This statement, in question form, is very difficult to answer during the sales cycle. "Are we getting your A-Team on this project?" Many of us take extra care when answering this question because it is delicately loaded with powerful explosives. One errant comment while answering it might sink the deal completely. My own fear and apprehension about it seemed like a good enough reason to explore it further.
ARE YOU YOUR CONSULTANT'S KEEPER?
Is the customer always right? Not in the view of Shane Anastasi. In the latest Kimble-sponsored PS insights podcast, the consulting services thought leader and entrepreneur argues that service professionals are often too eager to keep customers happy. He argues instead they should stand ready to “be the expert” in their engagements, ready to point out problems in customers’ plans and tell them that “they can’t get everything they want”.
Originally, I thought it was just me. My success rate for hiring high performing project managers was not that good. I started to voice my failures with my peers to see what I was doing wrong and to my surprise I received similar frustration rather than answers. What I learned was that the role of project manager is both poorly defined and misunderstood by both those who employ them and those who carry the title. Nowadays, I am frequently asked, “What tips do you have for hiring and developing great project managers?” To answer this correctly, I believe we must both redefine what we’re looking for in a project manager and how we should set them up for success.
Many years ago, hiring and retaining good talent was not my strength. My first attempt at building a services team was a disaster. Out of my first five hires, two of them were practically insane, one had to be removed for telling me that he wasn’t afraid to use the gun he had in his briefcase and the next two secretly embroiled themselves into a sordid affair that finally erupted into a bloody brawl at the end of year Christmas party.