I’ve been a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Scrum Master (CSM) for over 9 years with a specific focus on technical project management. I joined CodeScience as a Project Manager in 2019 and returned to the world of Salesforce after focusing on Google deployments for several years. I’ve had the chance to manage dozens of projects over my career.

One area that I find myself sometimes addressing with new clients — especially those who may not have worked with a partner product development team — is understanding the value of a partner-side project manager.

Side Work and Product Development

Ordering onions, paying vendors, calling the dry cleaners to ask why the napkins are way too starched, cleaning up the spilled coffee grounds behind the espresso machine, and bathrooms (enough said) — that’s all side work. It has to get done, and if it doesn’t, the restaurant fails. Oftentimes side work gets missed or left to some future day when someone has time to do it. You can guess the results — it never happens.

In software development, there’s quite a bit of side work as well. Meetings have to be scheduled. Team members with the correct skills have to be assigned. Reports have to be created and disseminated. Notes must be taken, documents organized, future work loads planned, availability and PTO factored in. Risks must be noted and mitigated. Contracts must be enforced, and deadlines have to be adhered to. These activities are always necessary to create a great App and ensure a great client experience, but they are not direct App-building tasks.

That’s where a project manager comes in.

Rather than leaving all the project management tasks to developers and designers to handle ad hoc when they find some time, one person takes on the responsibility to manage all aspects of the project’s administration.

If you need a new user login, additional hours for your work, a call with subject matter experts, or coverage during your vacation, your dedicated project manager will be there to help.

Clients benefit from the efficiency, focus, and experience of a dedicated project manager. Projects run smoother, organization and documentation tighten up, and deadlines become clearer. The thing is that every project has side work – simply building an awesome app by engaging an awesome developer is not possible. But it is possible to free up the awesome app developers to do what they do best!

A Project Manager Enables Teams to Focus Their Energy Where It Matters

App building is a team effort, and several key roles must be involved. An effective and efficient team can be organized to limit the amount of time spent on work that is not purely technical, and a skilled project manager can help. By taking on most if not all the side work of a project, a PM allows every other team member to focus strictly on their strongest skill — write code or user stories, provide quality control, or create a beautiful design.

Meetings can be limited to essential persons, with only the required team members attending to cover a clear and concise agenda. Reports can be specific, accurate, and dynamic. Presentations will be professional, focused, and geared towards the right audience. None of these tasks will fall to the sidelines, because your project manager will handle them. They will also work with the customer counterpart on an effective passdown and communication of key deadlines, milestones, risks and changes in scope.

A good PM supports every other team member, foresees project needs and potential issues, and assists as well as supports the project on an administrative level. Without a dedicated PM, and ownership of all the side work, projects take longer, as other team members take time away from their roles to be a part-time PM. So, while it may not seem like a cost-saving measure at first glance, a project manager on a team saves our clients time and money by adding to the quality and maximizing the efficiency of all parties involved.

We have our process down to a science. Having worked with 10% of the AppExchange, we know what it takes to bring your product to life on Salesforce. If you want to learn more about how we create success, learn more here.