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5 Reasons a Co-Project Management Structure is Critical for Implementation Success

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

two hands fitting puzzle pieces together

An approach that is far too common and also commonly detrimental to keeping projects on time and on budget is when organizations assign the implementation partner as the sole Project Manager (PM) on the project. Organizations are usually hesitant to assign someone internally because of the perceived cost of time to dedicate a resource to the project and take them away from other potential focuses. The organization may not necessarily have a PM on staff or they’re not exactly clear why it’s important to have someone internal to help run the project.

However, dedicating a Co-Project Manager from your side is a key success to factor in ensuring that your requirements are precisely met, your viewpoint is accurately represented and timelines are successfully met without any unexpected costs or delays. Working side-by-side with the implementation partner will make the project run smoother, especially ensuring the following:

1. The project team has access to the necessary internal systems, software and internal support resources

Valuable time can be lost by the project team if waiting for access and security clearance to supporting tools at a client site. Having the Co-Project Manager (co-PM) at your organization as the point-of-contact to make these connections quickly is a key time-saver.

2. The project team has access to the correct subject matter experts (SMEs) and decision-makers throughout the project

The internal co-PM will typically be very familiar with knowing who needs to be brought in during critical points in the project. If the wrong SMEs are participating in the project or are SMEs that don’t have the authority to speak/sign off for their task, the project team will have to repeat work, which can significantly lengthen the project timeline. The co-PM you assign will need to have the authority to bring in SMEs (e.g., for workshops, design sessions, testing) that are typically very busy and have their ‘real jobs’ that they need to get done.

3. There is an internal voice for the project team to manage the scope of the project for the implementation duration

No out-of-the-box software will ever be a perfect fit for your requirements. As such, it will be tempting for scope creep to occur and for key resources at your company to insist that new changes be added to the project. A strong internal co-PM next to the partner PM will need to communicate internally that scope changes will need to be done in subsequent waves or phases of the project so that the original timeline stays in place.

4. Understanding of the project’s critical path and what needs to be completed and when to meet deadlines

For example, if the campaign workflows will need the HTML on February 1, the internal co-PM will likely need to have worked internally with their creative team throughout January so that it is finalized and approved for delivery to the project team on time.

5. Internal ownership & accountability

If the co-PM doesn’t feel they ‘own’ the project, then that ownership will rest squarely on the outside implementation partner. However, the implementation partner PM will really only be able to control their team resources and realistically won’t be able to control your resources. Only the internal co-PM can help rally your organization’s resources to complete tasks.

Co-project management on Adobe Campaign implementations is the most efficient way to complete a project and avoid unnecessary headaches and missteps. While the upfront cost can seem daunting, a smooth timeline and an accurate scope can make a substantial difference in the overall success of the project.

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