April 18, 2012 | Author: PM Hut | Filed under: Project Management as a Career
The Key Consultant Satisfaction Factors for Project Managers
By Todd B. Loeb
Being a Project Management consultant can actually be a lot of fun… no – seriously! Whether you work full-time for a consultancy, or you are out on your own, the excitement of every few months working on new initiatives for new client companies and trying to figure out not only the technical aspects of the projects but the cultural and political environments of theses customers is what gets a lot of us “up in the morning”.
What can be difficult, however, is making a transition from the role of corporate project manager to that of PM Consultant. Practical matters aside (money, benefits, travel, etc.), the role of PM Consultant is one that can be challenging even for the most seasoned and well-trained professional. You are now – certainly at some level – viewed as an “outsider.” This situation can be both a positive and a negative, but must be factored into the way you work.
As a Consultant Project Manager, the way you go about delivering a project will also be just a little bit different than how you may have gone about it as an employee. Certainly, the PM’s most important responsibility – satisfying your stakeholders – remains constant. There is, though, a unique evaluation process that a consultant PM begins on the first day of the engagement, and continues throughout the project. Using several discreet qualitative metrics, the consultant measures how the execution and delivery of the current project is furthering the interests of one additional stakeholder – the PM in the mirror. These metrics – what I term the Consultant Satisfaction Factors – become the yardstick against which the PM’s current responsibilities and performance compare to his/own expectations and objectives. These Consultant Satisfaction Factors are:
- Professional Satisfaction – Is what I doing what I want to be doing now? Is it furthering my career in a way that I would like at this moment? Am I furthering PM as a discipline? Am I being a good project manager?
Personal Satisfaction – Am I enjoying coming to work? Are the people I am around all day enjoyable to work with? How is the commute? Would this be a place that I would eventually like to work as an employee?
Financial Satisfaction – Am I meeting my personal financial objectives? Is the “consultant premium” substantial enough for the risk (the consultant premium is what I term the difference between what you’d make as a consultant versus what you’d make as an FTE (Full Time Employee), factoring in benefits, 401(k) match. Etc.)
Client Satisfaction – Is the client happy with my work? Will they keep me on/hire me again?
If you take the time to continuously assess your own fulfillment against these very straight-forward criteria, I’m certain your performance as a Consultant Project Manager will satisfy you and your client for the duration of the project.
Todd B. Loeb MBA, PMP has managed multi-million dollar full-lifecycle projects that have spanned several years and been responsible for the implementation of PMO’s and Enterprise Project Management applications. He also managed project teams of anywhere from two to one hundred people. You can read more from Todd on his blog.
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