• Cynthia R Richards

Is Your Product Idea Ready for A Project Manager?

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Innovation is essential for any business to remain competitive and relevant in today’s economy. Whether you sell products or services, bringing your latest innovation to market requires smart planning and successful execution. Project Managers are highly trained professionals who have mastered the art of a product’s lifecycle – from inception to a product’s retirement.

How Soon Is Too Soon to Hire a Project Manager?

Contractor and Client. I’ve been on both sides of the corporate coin. The Contractor Project Manager in me encourages you to bring a PM resource onboard as soon as you can. The earlier the better. The Business Representative side of me understands a project budget is finite and PM Resources can be a bit pricey. I’d prefer to wait until I know exactly what I want. So, which one’s right? The Answer: Both.

Larger corporations and government agencies go through an exhaustive Request for Proposal (RFP) and acquisition process. They have teams dedicated to initiating a project with high level requirements, milestones and even funding. What if you’re a small business or start up? You don’t have the resources for a full-blown acquisition process.

If you’re the Client Representative responsible for the project, I have some suggestions to help you prepare to bring on a PM Resource and increase your chance for success:

Know What You Want

· Pull your current team together with the business owner (if this isn’t you) and outline the most important features of your product or service

· As a group, determine what “Success” looks like for your project. Will it be complete when your company has successfully implemented its mobile gadget to your local region? Or are you planning for a national release? What’s your desired time frame to complete the project?

· Have a basic idea of the resources you’ll need to complete the project. Do you have all the staff you need? Are funds available? NOTE: You may need a Project Manager’s help to determine this more accurately, so make certain your stakeholders (Business owner, Budget person, etc.) understand you are doing some initial fact finding at this point

Congratulations! You have the basic elements for a successful beginning. A Project Manager can help you iron out the details, complete the necessary documents and jump start the project.

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