Trust Me, I’m a P.M.

An often overlooked step in the project management team is the project/client representative. The person responsible for being the messenger, intermediary between the project team and the client is a critical role. Larger companies pay professionals to strictly fill this role, while smaller companies often let the PM handle that role. This is fine in most cases, unless your PM is not good at customer relations. Customer relations’ professionals spend their entire day thinking of how to build trust, gain confidence, and maintain a relationship. Project managers spend their day doing this on some level within their project team, but it is not their main focus. If you are good at customer relations it will make the project run smoother because the client will have a certain level of trust. If you are not, the project becomes hindered. Why? Because, the client doesn’t have a needed level of trust in you, they begin to question your work. Now the client wants more status meetings. Maybe the client begins to micromanage your project and requires more of the project manager’s time and attention? This can quickly snowball because of one misunderstood statement that breaks a fragile trust. Whoever is communicating with the client, make sure it isn’t General Patton. While he gets the job done, in the project world he would make the job more difficult.

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