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Working as a Project Manager in the Microsoft community

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Working as a Project Manager in the Microsoft community

In our third blog of the Microsoft partner careers series we will be looking at the role of Project Manager. Working directly with a consultant, Project Managers have a key role in assisting in the definition of project scope and objectives. Depending on the project, responsibilities can cover all aspects, from the beginning stages through to completion.

Project Manager responsibilities and abilities

Project Managers often have an overarching set of responsibilities from involving all relevant stakeholders and ensuring technical feasibility to guaranteeing resource availability and allocation. One of Prodware’s Project Managers, Adrian Siclovan summarises, “Project management responsibilities include everything from delivering a project on time, within budget and within scope. This means coordinating internal resources, third parties and suppliers for execution of projects.”

Drawing up a detailed plan and schedule for each stage of the project

A Project Manager must create and maintain comprehensive project documentation with a clear reporting and escalation process in order to provide visibility to the client. This involves finding out what the client wants to achieve and assigning and leading a project team. This plan will form the backbone for the project implementation, it should foresee and take into account potential problems in order to eliminate firefighting situations. Therefore to succeed in the role of Project Manager, an eye for detail and a systematic approach is key.

Logical thinking and creative problem-solving ability

It is well known that Project Managers must be able to display excellent organisational, planning and time management skills in order to develop detailed project plans and to monitor and track progress. Adrian highlights the value of these skills, “Of course it is not always as simple as following a prescribed plan, I often have to manage changes to the project scope, project schedule, and project costs using appropriate verification techniques. Constantly measuring project performance and performing risk management to proactively foresee any potential pit-falls is essential.”

Establish and maintain relationships with the client and all stakeholders

Collaboration starts with a co-operative, cohesive project team. Without this the Project Manager is just reacting to a scattered group of skilled workers on a project. Mark Cockings, Prodware’s Managing Director highlights the value of maintaining internal and external relationships, “People management is key to project success and setting and managing expectations is vital, this should be done in the initial phases of the project with agreed milestones set throughout.”

What is a typical career path for a Project Manager in technology?

We asked Adrian, about the path he took to become a Project Manager: “Having completed a post graduate degree in Project Management, I went on to complete my MBA (Master of Business Administration), I then secured a job as a Sales Support Analyst. From the start of my career I was involved in project management whether that be in a sales role, as a consultant or indeed as a Project Manager. I have also always worked within the Microsoft Dynamics network in various roles therefore my product knowledge has developed over time, I am now familiar with various systems including AX, NAV and CRM, but of course, it is important to invest time into ongoing training as the products continue to evolve.”

The essential skills that shape an effective Project Manager are often transferable.  We often see Project Managers from other sectors, other technologies or other Microsoft partners when we are looking to expand our Professional Services team.

If you are thrive at juggling several tasks at the same time, have excellent interpersonal skills and can lead a team, this may be the career for you.

Working for Prodware’s Project Management team

We asked Adrian how he benefits from working at Prodware, “Working as part of a wider Group means additional or different resource is available, or if there is something I need verification on I can guarantee that someone in the Group will help. Being able to pull in that resource makes my job richer and enables projects to become more flexible.

“Whilst there are best practices that are followed (think Microsoft Lifecycle Services, SureStep, Prince2),   the dynamic nature of Microsoft technology means no two project implementations  are exactly the same.  , Prodware’s core business management expertise is in Microsoft Dynamics AX, CRM and NAV , these solutions are integrated within the  Microsoft technology stack, with products such as Office 365 and Skype for Business and complimented by our own or partner products.  This variety offers a continuous learning curve for me personally as well as providing customers with a tailored and future-proof solution.”

Contact Prodware to find out more and visit our careers page for Project Manager vacancies.

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