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Take the Lead: 6 ways to be a successful internal project manager

By: Lila Pigott

The value of a strong project manager is often underestimated. Having an internal project manager take the lead on a technology implementation can ensure that the project stays on time, on track, and on budget. When a project manager is given the appropriate authority, has taken the time to ensure stakeholder buy-in, and has executive support the potential for project success increases exponentially!

After working with hundreds of clients I’ve seen projects succeed and projects fail and those with a strong and capable project manager are those that tend to succeed regardless of the various obstacles they have encountered. Here are the 6 steps I’ve seen every good internal project manager take to stay in the lead.


Identify your team

A big technological change, such as implementing a CRM, takes a team. By working upfront to identify the project stakeholders, sponsors, and a champion, the project manager is able to clarify project roles and responsibilities, assign tasks, and ensure everyone is clear on who is responsible for what and when.


Make a plan and review it with your team

While it may be up to the project manager to create the plan, running through it with the team can ensure potential risks are identified. When a business process is forgotten or a timeline won’t work, it will fall to the project manager to fix it. Having run through the plan first can help protect any project manager and project from these potential setbacks.


Discuss the expectations

Along with discussing the plan, there should be a discussion about expectations. Making sure every team member knows their role and responsibilities, how communication will work, and what they can expect from the project and the project manager is key. Setting and managing expectations will be an ongoing process, but opening up those lines of communication from the start will make the process much smoother.


Educate yourself

There are so many resources for anyone looking to learn Salesforce. We’ve even compiled several different articles on this topic. A project manager should plan to take the time to learn the new tools they and their team will be using. And they shouldn’t just stop at learning the tools, they should also learn how users can adopt the tools and how other organizations use the tools in innovative ways to help make the project that much more of a success.


Make the most of your meetings

Any good project manager can plan a meeting- but can they stick to the clock and the agenda? If items come up that are not on the agenda, a good project manager will table them for follow up later or will have set communication rules for anyone to be able to add items to the agenda. They will also be scheduling enough time for all items to be discussed and that the right people are present. A well run meeting can mean a well-run project.


Stay positive (and realistic)

No project manager can just manage- they must also lead. Staying positive and motivating is one way any project manager can be a good leader. Issues are bound to arise, but it’s how a project manager reacts to those issues that will set the tone for the rest of the team.


Having a strong internal project manager is one of the keys to the success of a technology implementation. We at Idealist Consulting want to provide you and your team with the strategies to be successful. If you’re looking to learn more about the keys to success like building a solid team, getting an accurate project estimate, and starting your implementation off on solid ground, we’ve written our “Be Prepared, Not Scared: strategies for technology change“ whitepaper with you in mind.




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