The burden of success
I was chatting with a new client the other day and they mentioned the emerging problem they are seeing as they take on new clients. It is the old story that every successful business has when trying to respond and manage their growth.
This client had become very successful working, in the main with one large client. However (and probably as a result of their success with this client), they are now developing a few very impressive clients. The problem they can see emerging is managing these multiple clients and effectively scaling up to ensure that each one gets the service they require.
Personalisation versus scalability
Not surprisingly my client has built a project management methodology from the PM framework used by their primary client who has supplied the project documentation including schedules and deliverables so, their own PM methodology has developed in response to the client’s framework so, they now have a methodology that works well with this client but is impossible to duplicate with new clients. Furthermore, these guys are very good at what they do but they lack an underpinning knowledge of PM. They have developed their project management skills intuitively and in response to their primary client, so they little or no real understanding of the PM life-cycle and how to make it work for them. Often they don’t really know why they do what they do but, they know it works.
Have a strong prototype before you sell your product
I can’t emphasise enough the need to develop your own PM framework, systems and processes as the very first project commences and long before your business is suddenly juggling multiple projects simultaneously. This will give you clear visibility on the resources required for the project, the bottlenecks and the potential problems. More importantly, it will give you peace of mind and let you sleep at night knowing you have a system in place that will track and flag before you find you have a problem.
It is also important to make sure your team know what is expected of them as your projects and workload increases and they too need an understanding of the PM life-cycle. In fact, we could all probably benefit from the PM methodology of scope, plan, do and review after all isn’t that what all our business activity is about?