Implementation Project Manager Job Description
Implementation project managers lead projects where new software, hardware, or technical systems are implemented. They manage a team of implementation specialists and ensure all of the client’s needs are met throughout the implementation process. This is a skilled position that requires extensive experience in a related field along with a high level of education. Implementation project managers typically work in an office setting but travel often as new projects begin for different clients. Implementation project managers usually work full-time hours and often work overtime in order to meet deadlines as projects close. They report directly to project directors and work closely with client upper management.
Implementation Project Manager Duties and Responsibilities
No two implementation project managers are exactly alike, as specific skills vary from employer to employer. However, after analyzing online job postings, we have identified several core duties and responsibilities common to the job:
Participate in Contract Negotiations
Before a new project begins, a contract needs to be created between the client and the company providing the new product. Since project implementation managers work directly with the client during the life of the project, they often participate in contract negotiations to ensure both parties agree to reasonable terms when it comes to project deadlines and actual services provided.
Assess the Client’s Needs
After a project begins but before implementation actually starts, implementation project managers are responsible for assessing the client’s exact needs and creating a plan to meet those needs. This assessment usually comes in the form of many meetings with the client’s department heads and other stakeholders.
Manage Team of Implementation Specialists
Implementation project managers are responsible for managing a team of implementation specialists, who develop new software or configure new hardware for the client. They ensure teams are on task and team deadlines are met.
Manage Conflict Between Internal Teams and Client
Once in a while during a project, conflict arises between internal teams and the client. Implementation project managers are responsible for managing this conflict and ensuring the problem is solved before the quality of the project is compromised.
Report on Project Progress
Implementation project managers communicate frequently with key stakeholders to report on the project’s overall progress. These reports typically include discussing any problems the teams have had with the client and vice versa.
Implementation Project Manager Skills and Qualifications
Implementation project managers are skilled people managers who know how to keep a project running according to deadlines. Employers look for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in a related field and at least five years of experience within a relevant industry. Successful implementation project managers also have the following skills and qualifications:
- Project management experience – implementation project managers know how to successfully manage a project from inception to completion. They understand how to set and meet deadlines and other goals through previous project management experience
- Team management – implementation project managers are skilled people managers. They often work with multiple teams simultaneously, and they know how to address the needs of each team without stepping on the toes of other teams
- Conflict management – conflict can arise frequently during a project, and implementation project managers are skilled negotiators and conflict managers. They know how to address both sides of the argument and can provide helpful solutions for everyone
- Time management – implementation project managers are skilled at managing their time. They can organize their schedule appropriately so they can meet all their commitments
- Communication skills – implementation project managers are highly skilled communicators. They can address different audiences using audience-appropriate language to communicate their meaning clearly and efficiently
Tools of the Trade
Implementation project managers often use the following tools:
- Project management software (Trello, Asana, Basecamp, JIRA)
- Time and attendance software (TSheets, Mavenlink, Clarizen)
- Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Outlook, PowerPoint)
Implementation Project Manager Education and Training
Implementation project managers typically possess at least a bachelor’s degree in a field directly related to the type of product that they are implementing. These degrees can range from computer science to business administration. Implementation project managers may also be required to hold a project management professional (PMP) certification.
Due to their extensive experience working on implementation projects, many implementation project managers won’t need to undergo any kind of on-the-job training other than the standard HR and initial setup training.
Implementation Project Manager Salary and Outlook
According to PayScale, implementation project managers make an average yearly salary of around $70,000. This salary can vary depending on the industry. For example, those who work in the software industry typically earn more. In this example, implementation project managers make an average of around $100,000 per year.
Since implementation project managers work in a variety of different industries, specific job growth rates vary widely. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that project managers in the software industry can expect 12 percent growth over the next decade, while those in the manufacturing industry may experience very little to no growth in the same time period.
Check out some of these helpful resources to learn more:
Project-Management.com – this website is billed as “the ultimate reference for project managers.” It provides a ton of valuable resources for new and experienced implementation project managers. It features articles on topics like the best apps and software for PMs, along with links to helpful books and training resources
Project Management Tips – this how-to blog focuses on teaching new project managers how to perform well at their job. It discusses the different tools a project manager can use to improve the quality and life of a project. Recent topics include handling remote employees and project scheduling
Project Management: Absolute Beginner’s Guide – this book is a helpful resource for new implementation project managers. It covers topics like the key skills each project manager should have, how to lead projects, and 15 common mistakes every new project manager faces, among plenty of others
Strategic Project Management Made Simple – this book aims to improve project management skills by asking four simple questions. The content takes a deep dive into answering each of these questions to help project managers understand the bigger picture of the projects they are working on
Implementation Project Manager
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