After the project is awarded to the seller, the very first expectation from the vendor is an introductory email to introduce the project manager and the project team.
After a formal introduction the following is expected from the vendor project manager
- Meeting invite for the project kick off: In this meeting the project manager should ensure
- To define the frequency of the meeting
- To mention the name of the SPOC (Single Point Of Contact) with a back-up for the project.
- To define the frequency of the project status report
- To outline all the points where further discussion/input from other team members is required.
- A well-documented MOM (Minutes of Meeting) with all the actionable with owner name and date, must to send to all the relevant stakeholders after the meeting. (same day or the next day at most)
- In case of unclear scope or requirement, a meeting request with clearly defining all those who are required from both the parties: This includes the technical team from vendor side and Business analysts or Subject matter experts from the business side. In some cases the vendors provide their own Business Analysts to write the Project Scope Statement.
- Once the project scope statement is documented, it is the primary responsibility of the project manager to take the sign-off from the relevant stakeholder and/or the customer. He should ensure not to start the work before sign-off on this document.
- In case there is any important terms and/or condition which, though, was mentioned in the contract, should be highlighted separately by the project manager. This can build a trust between the two parties.
- In case of any change in the meeting schedule, the project manager must convey the message well in advance so as to avoid any conflict due to the same. If it is an emergency and he fails to intimate much before, then he must try to send a backup for the meeting instead of rescheduling or cancelling the same.
- The manager should try to maintain open communication and work like one team, keeping in mind the rules and regulations of both the companies.
- He must ensure that every document or information shared is as per regulations and policies and is legally correct to the best of his knowledge.
Some tips for a vendor project manager
- Ensure that there is a clarity of roles: The roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined and agreed upon by both the parties, along with the dependencies of the task/s if any. This can save a time and delays due to one another.
- Set clear boundaries for the scope: To ensure all of you are on the same page in terms of what needs to be accomplished it is important to clearly define what is in the scope and what is not. With a clear boundary in place, both the parties can continue without any confusion.
- Give your client an impression that you are easily accessible: It is important to maintain a good relationship with your client, so if required, it is good to go out of the way. You can do so by taking his calls even after your working hours.
- Try to get an informal feedback from your client: This can help you and your team to improve in you weak areas.
- Ensure the changes are approved by the change control board, if the comments are directly written in the document in track changes format.
- Ensure to use appropriate words even in case of disconnect or a conflict.
- Try to be a problem solver instead of digging the matter to bring issues which can be raised further, resulting in turning the situation from bad to worse.
- If you don’t have an immediate solution check for some workaround till the problem is completely solved.
- Try to be a proactive manager rather than a re-active one. You need to know if there are any project killers or other major project issues as early as possible. Be prepared with a back-up plan before the actual issue crop up.
A huge effort is required for winning a new business, this includes a lot of effort from different level of people from various functions of an organization. All this can be considered fruitful only if sufficient time and energy is spent in managing the client’s expectations after the business is won.
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