How Project Managers Can Boost Proficiency Using Software
Defining the role of a project manager can be difficult, but made much easier by relying on an end-to-end software solution. simPRO’s Param Singh explains how in the latest Security Speaking podcast.
Often, it might be more accurate to call a project manager for a security integration company the “chief cook and bottle washer” because the role can be quite difficult to define.
Indeed, many integration firms have their project managers involved in every aspect of the job from start to finish … and that includes phases that happen long before the physical installation begins. So it is needless to say that duties of a project manager can be overwhelming.
One way security integrators can help smooth the road for their project managers is by using an end-to-end software solution that tracks every element of the project, including the initial sale, budgeting, scope, design, proposal, engineering, off-site of on-site rack assembly and programming, scheduling, physical installation, billing, service and monitoring.
“Looking at project management simply, it means being able to execute on a large quantity of work that all ties together,” says Param Singh, enterprise account manager at simPRO. “Security integrators are working with both commercial contractors and residential homeowners. Their jobs are taking multiple days, multiple weeks, or maybe even years to complete. When you realize it’s going to take an entire team … an entire collective … to execute on that job to deliver for the client, that’s what a project is.”
He adds rhetorically, “Man … does that sound complex! There’s a lot of work that’s going to go into doing a year-long job or a two-year-long job.”
That means interfacing with the customer using honed soft-skills, understanding the technical aspects of the job from a design and installation standpoint, managing the team of technicians, and at the same time interacting with the sales and engineering teams.
“All of those aspects need an equal amount of attention,” says Singh. “Most jobs never go according to plan, so you now have to manage the client, but then you also have to manage the team. You have to make sure the right people are doing the job in the field, the people in the office helping you do all the admin work, and the people in purchasing are ordering and stocking all your parts. So, there are a lot of pieces to juggle. And at the end of the day, your business has to be profitable. So someone has got to be really good at putting all those elements together.”
Singh says good project managers have certain intangible skills that help to deal with people and being able to react to changing situations or scopes of work, but also they have to be organized to the point of recognizing all the little details while also understanding the larger picture in terms of using key metrics to track manhour productivity, sales estimating accuracy, and profit and loss.
To ease that compilation of duties and help make adjustments on the fly, simPRO’s end-to-end software solution is specifically well-suited for project managers.
“simPRO is able to offer is everything that I’ve mentioned,” says Singh. “All the complexity around a project, all the communication that you have to do with your team, all the tracking that you have to do in Excel manually, all of the documents and the files that you collect … it can all be in one system. Why would you want to jump around from your email to your phone back to a piece of paper from three weeks ago when it can all be in one place? It is going to reduce headaches, save you time and allow you to communicate better with your team.”
He says simPRO software tracks everything from the initial sale. It translates the vision of the sales team and what they promised to the client into a design. The software then shows the integrator how to execute that design, and how to communicate it with the admin team in terms of billing and scheduling. It also communicates in terms of what is needed to be purchased and what is in inventory.
“simPRO is going to be able to allow you to take a project from that initial sale and bring it to the project manager’s plate, moving every piece into a single system. And then during the execution of that project, you will have day-to-day real-time updates on the profitability, what’s been completed, how many hours have been used, what inventory has been installed, and what is left to do,” explains Singh.
You can watch the full conversation in the latest edition of Security Speaking below, or listen or download it directly from SSI. You can also listen to it via your streaming platform of choice.
Listen to this podcast using the embedded player below.