Neil Harding - Projects Lead

“Successful project management” – it’s a topic that many experts have written about, and Amazon sells countless ‘how to’ style guides on. The recipe for success in any given project is likely to be nuanced by the scope of that project and the sector in which it’s being delivered, however factors relating to being delivered on-time, within budget and meeting quality standards are likely to sit alongside the specifics of the original brief and the buy-in of its key stakeholders.

So, what does that mean for successful project management in the IT channel?  With so many large, global players it might be assumed that biggest is best, but we can all recall scenarios where biggest translates into clumsy and slow and in a highly competitive market, that simply doesn’t cut it.

Consenna certainly isn’t the biggest name in the IT channel, but we happen to think that we’re amongst the best – that’s why we’ve adopted the following company strapline: “Consenna – first in the channel”.  We’re the first to innovate; the first to respond to pinch points; the first to enact change.

We happen to think we’re in first place when it comes to successfully delivering projects for our partners in the channel too.  Take, for example, a recent scenario where we delivered – from initial proposal, through to successful completion – a full channel programme for Microsoft in just one month… slightly under, in fact!

With a brief focused on promoting the benefits of the Microsoft SE Surface in the delivery of 1:1 education, time was of the essence. Urgency, however, didn’t allow for complacency and as with any project we ensured that key steps were taken.

First off, we clarified the full parameters of the brief – getting this right from the off avoids chaos later and we simply didn’t have the luxury of time for delays.  Then came development of the strategy and the key tactical steps that would manage progression through that journey.  A vital element at that stage was to identify any potential weaknesses or hurdles and ensuring a practical solution was in place to overcome these.  With the time constraints of this particular project, it provided us with a platform to propose and then implement our Ion guided selling tool as a means of equipping resellers with a guided sales-focused conversation that resulted in a bespoke PDF for each prospect.  With time being of the essence, this ensured each sales team was armed with the correct information to pitch and sell the product and resulted in a high value pipeline of opportunities.

The successful delivery of this project sounds easy when recounted like that and may leave some with the question as to how a relatively small team like Consenna has the capability to deliver such a large project in a short amount of time, when larger teams might fail.  We don’t, of course, want to share all our secrets but they’re largely hinged on three key factors:

First off, we’re highly experienced in the channel.  Our knowledge rivals that of teams 10x our size and our experience covers the entire channel landscape, as well as specific skills in marketing, sales, software development and project management.  When coupled with our core values of ‘no egos and no corporate structure’, this knowledge and experience creates a strong team that works seamlessly to deliver the very best work.

Then there’s our ability to rapidly deploy programme software… and if we shared too many of those details it might lessen our competitive advantage, so you’ll have to get in touch to find out more on that front!

And finally, we’re committed to consistent communication at every step of the journey.  Knowing each stakeholder involved in a project and appreciating not only how to communicate effectively to each of them but gathering their feedback and using this to refine the programme moving forward, as well as future programmes, ensures clarity and a clear pathway to success.

So, if you ask any member of the Consenna team for the recipe for success in channel project management, be prepared to ditch your library of management books – unless you want to look clever, of course!  Instead, be prepared to engage with a team overflowing with experience and knowledge; a team that values clear strategy development but not without a challenge where it drives greater outputs; a team that communicates like no other; and a team that will put your business’s needs at the centre of everything it does.