PM Commentary by Stacy Goff
In Part 1 of this 2-part series, we discussed the importance of the actions of the first 10% of any project or program, the Buyer/Seller relationship in any complex project, and the role of Business Development in assuring success in each of those areas. In this part, we disclose a bit more of the attraction of Business Development, then introduce another key role that every complex project or program requires.
The Attraction of Business Development
Why should Project and Program Managers include and embrace the role of Business Development (BD) Managers in our initiatives? Several reasons, from our perspective. First, despite our best efforts, PM has been relegated from strategic to tactical in too many organizations. It was not always this way. In an earlier era, the PM was the “go-to person” who not only participated in the analysis of changes needed to establish competitive strategies, but also planned those needed to implement them.
Over the last 30 years we have seen and lamented what we have called in our articles, “The Dumbing Down of Project Management”. While we came to PM from a Strategic Planning background, most others do not. And that is where BD comes in. Just as with Strategic Planning, BD is wide and thin; Project Management tends to be narrow and deep. A match made in heaven. Not only that, PMs could learn a thing or two about getting close to customers, alignment to organization strategy, and fixation with business results. On the other hand, this divergence in perspectives helps explain why some PMs don’t get along well with BD Managers.