How a PMP Certification Can Innovate the Way We Manage Projects with Salesforce

Project Manager

Have you ever cooked something only to realize you over-salted it? Then added more ingredients to balance the flavor? This is an example of inspecting for quality rather than planning for quality. Wasted resources and delays are consequences of not planning ahead. Avoid these consequences with a recipe that indicates exactly what you need (more on this later).

As a Senior Project Manager at Internet Creations, I’m responsible for ensuring high-quality outcomes by planning ahead to manage resources and expectations. When our customers trust us to build enterprise applications that improve their business processes, they trust me to deliver quality solutions—on time and on budget.

Managing over 75 projects with Salesforce

Internet Creations provides Salesforce consulting services to organizations with unique needs. We manage the entire project lifecycle in Salesforce: everything from requirements documentation, risk register, budget, milestones, resources, and all project-related communication. Our customers love it because they can access project details in Community Cloud whenever they want. And it’s easy for the entire project team to collaborate with Chatter.

I’ve managed 75+ Salesforce implementations for customers in various industries, such as enterprise data centers, manufacturing, consumer product goods, financial services, and retail. Our project methodology has been refined to a point where everything runs like a well-oiled machine in Salesforce. The result? I spend less time on “paperwork” and more time focusing on customer needs. Our business analysts, Salesforce consultants, developers, and account managers are all in sync because there are no barriers to communication and project information is at their fingertips. It creates a great experience and saves the customer time and money.

Yet, I thought to myself, how can we continue to innovate and create more value while delivering a great experience?

Continuously innovate and grow for success

I decided to take advantage of Internet Creations’ training and professional development program and pursue my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

The Project Management Institute requires hands-on experience equivalent to 4,500 hours of leading and directing projects and 35 hours of classroom training before applying to take the PMP exam. With more than 4,500 hours of project experience under my belt, I just needed to complete 35 hours of coursework and pass the exam to get the certification.

With an abundance of real-world experience and a proven project methodology that has delivered a number of successful outcomes, you might be wondering why I wanted to take the exam. Simple. Albert Einstein said it best, “once you stop learning, you start dying.”

Never stop learning!

One of my responsibilities at Internet Creations is to ensure our project methodology continues to consistently deliver successful outcomes. As a result, I’m continually evaluating opportunities for improvement. No matter how much hands-on experience you have, there’s always an opportunity to learn more from other experts. For example, my 35 hours of coursework provided me with case studies, best practices,  and success stories that challenged me to consider new ways to evaluate our project methodology and ensure its future success.

The study material for the PMP exam includes the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), which was created based on thousands of hours of research and experience from various experts on communication models, motivational doctrines, organizational theories, and performance reporting. But your education does not stop once you’ve passed the PMP exam, I am required to earn 60 professional development units (PDU) every three years in order to renew my certification. Typically, these PDUs are earned by attending conferences where experts present emerging trends or concepts and new tools to help manage the project life cycle.

Here are four takeaways from the PMBOK:

  1. Document what you’re going to test before you test it. Think of possible scenarios ahead of time and build quality into the project plan, keeping it top of mind throughout the project. Quality must be planned for rather than inspected for. This proactive approach avoids wasted resources and missed deadlines. (Follow the recipe to put the right amount of salt in to prevent wasted ingredients and prolonged cooking times.)
  2. People management is a part of Project Management. Project managers are leaders responsible for building productive teams with positive working relationships. Take interpersonal conflicts head-on. Inspire confidence. Manage expectations and build trust. It’s important to identify issues and address them immediately for the benefit of all project stakeholders.
  3. Stakeholder management is a key component of managing a successful project. Although many stakeholders are identified at the beginning of a project, new stakeholders can arise throughout the project’s lifecycle. The project manager should continue to identify new project stakeholders at every stage of the project and evaluate their engagement and impact on the project.
  4. Project managers have a duty to motivate and reward people. McClelland’s Three Need Theory states that people are motivated by achievement, affiliation, and power. Knowing your team well can inform how you manage them. If your team is motivated by affiliation, you can ask for their input and work on the project schedule together. If achievement is a motivator, hold team lunches to celebrate success.

The process of getting a certification can enrich you with insights that real-world experience might not offer. Getting my PMP certification has provided me with a sharpened understanding of why the things we’re already doing at Internet Creations are working so well. And, I have new ideas for innovation to further refine how we manage projects with Salesforce.

In the spirit of continuous education and sharing knowledge, I’m excited to plan a lunch and learn for the entire company to talk about our project management methodology, success stories, and some of the things I learned from getting my PMP certification.

 

Know someone that might be interested in working as a Project Manager for a Salesforce Consulting Partner in New Jersey or Texas? Internet Creations is hiring! View our open positions or visit the careers page or to learn more.

 

Rebecca Potts

Rebecca Potts

Rebecca is a Senior Project Manager at Internet Creations.
Rebecca Potts

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