When enterprise organizations choose a new vendor or business partner, they look at much more than just the partner company’s product or service. Multiple factors that could affect the business relationship come under scrutiny, from the vendor’s corporate history and financial stability to the resumes of the people who will be involved on the project.
In many cases, companies make their final vendor selections based on their impressions of the project managers and team members they will be working with. As a project manager, you can increase your chances of landing interesting assignments by developing project management skills that are likely to impress enterprise clients. The enterprise project management skills listed below will not only help you win more business, they’ll help you bring your projects to more successful outcomes and improve your career prospects far into the future.
1. Scope Management
Even though scope management is often an exercise in keeping the customer under control, clients like to see that their project manager understands the importance of managing a project based on the scope documentation. After all, being able to say “no” to a client in the midst of a project is sometimes the only way to ensure a successful outcome.
2. Risk Management
Risk management continues to grow in importance in the world of project management. Your clients will want to know how you are going to identify, track and mitigate the multitude of risks that have the potential to send their projects over deadline and over budget.
3. Budget Management
Speaking of budgets, your clients will also want to see that you have experience managing team member time and other resources over the lifespan of a project. Pay attention to the numbers on each one of your projects, and you’ll find yourself in demand for more challenging and high-profile assignments down the line.
4. Time Management
Enterprise project management involves managing not only task assignments and budgets, but also the time of dozens (if not hundreds) of stakeholders. Enterprise clients prefer to work with PMs who can demonstrate that they know how to make the most of the time they have, especially when it comes to higher-level meetings with steering committees or senior leaders.
Like scope management, negotiation is another project management skill that involves potentially contentious interactions with the client. Whether you’re hashing out the details of a change order or searching for a compromise on resource allocation, advanced negotiation skills will help you avoid unproductive arguments and find the best solution for your team and your client.
6. Technical Ability
Even as project management continues to differentiate itself as a discipline, clients often still prefer to work with PMs who have a high degree of technical skill and subject matter expertise. Don’t let your experience grow stale—staying informed about the latest developments in your industry will increase your credibility with clients.