The roles and responsibilities of a Project Manager varies from one project to another as well as from one organization to another. Organizations normally tailor the roles of a Project Manager to meet their business needs. Various standardization bodies across the world have however come up with definitions and descriptions of the Project Manager job profile, which to a great extend covers the activities performed by a Project Manager in today’s world. One of the most interesting and key activity added to this long list pertains to the role of Project Manager in Business Development.
In the earlier days, a Project Manager was expected to focus only on the contractual delivery meeting the scope, cost and schedule constraints. However, in today’s business world of cut-throat competition and unstable economies, a Project Manager is expected to contribute in many areas of business including that of the business development. A Project Manager by virtue of his constant interactions with the customer, may get advance information of new business opportunities budding from the customer. This kind of information shall not only serve as a vital lead for the sales team but also help them to put forwarded a strong proposal for the new business.
It is said that the best salesman is the one who sells his product as a solution to a customer’s problem. While working closely with a customer on a project, it is very likely that a Project Manager gets good visibility of the customer’s existing business processes as well as the future expansion plans. A Project Manager with good business acumen will be able to use this information to recommend new solutions, offered by his organization, not only to solve the existing problems of the customer but also to further improve their processes.
Collaboration between the Project Management team and the Business Development team in an organization shall help in arriving at better cost and schedule estimates for new projects. An experienced Project Manager may be involved in the preparation of the new project proposal for an existing customer wherein he could leverage the knowledge gained about the customer in optimizing the resources and organization required for the new project. Involving a Project Manager who has a good reputation with the customer based on his performance on past projects shall increase the confidence of the customer in the proposal and increases the chances of the proposal to turn in to a contract. The presence of a proficient Project Manager with previous experience in similar project shall prove to be handy in negotiations and contract formulation.
The of involvement of Project Managers in business development activities of an organization shall not only help to strengthen the chances of winning the contract but also helps in the eventual success of the project. It should be ensured that the support provided by the Project Managers to the Business Development Team are utilized in the best interest of the organization. Policies and work culture of the organization shall be such that it fosters better cooperation between various functional teams to work together to achieve the best results for the company.