Project Management Institute

Special Delivery

Organizations Are Adding A New Type Of Manager To Improve Final Outcomes

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By Natasha Fontana, PMP

In the continuing quest to improve project delivery, many customer-focused organizations are creating a new role: the delivery manager.

Some project professionals view the new role as an evolution of the traditional project manager, while others fear project managers will be replaced entirely. But having worked as a project manager for several years before recently becoming a delivery manager, I see no cause for alarm. The two roles complement each other.

The responsibilities of delivery managers and project managers vary by organization, but generally the project manager concentrates on project results while the delivery manager focuses on organizational ones.

A project manager usually handles technical tasks such as project documentation, reporting, timelines, budget and scope. A delivery manager has a broader and more high-level scope of work, involving account management, people management, revenue and business growth, and procurement. Delivery managers also support project managers with making decisions and resolving major problems.

REVIEW AND RESOLVE

Delivery managers not only help with project implementation, but also with benefits realization and customer satisfaction. For example, imagine a project that is in scope, within budget and on time, but the customer is not satisfied. The project manager might move on to the next project, while the delivery manager works to make the customer happy and prevent the issue from recurring. The delivery manager must ask: How could the project have satisfied the customer? Should project delivery or other internal processes be reviewed? Is the team able to deliver what is being required?

By supporting the team, removing obstacles and focusing on improving the delivery process, the delivery manager can be a big boost to the project management process.

Delivery managers are also often responsible for removing issues that could hinder the delivery process. Because these issues vary, delivery managers tend to liaise with other areas of the organization, such as product and customer success departments. And delivery managers usually integrate agile tools and techniques into processes, whether working on task prioritization, managing team dynamics or creating a culture of innovation and creativity for the continuous delivery of projects or products.

Now that I've worked in both roles, I see how organizations can benefit from having both a project manager and a delivery manager in place. By supporting the team, removing obstacles and focusing on improving the delivery process, the delivery manager can be a big boost to the project management process. PM

img Natasha Fontana, PMP, is a delivery manager at Direct.One, São Paulo, Brazil.
This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI.

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