D5: Creating Advantages Using the Perspective of the Customer - Sandy Miller – (Intermediate to Advanced)

This workshop will focus on five principles of successfully running any program or company:

  1. Perception
  2. Cost
  3. Quality
  4. Schedule
  5. Teamwork

In today’s changing business environment, it is no longer enough for a Program Manager to meet the old trifecta of cost, schedule and quality.  Those are still important, but with Customers’ ever increasing options, and their growing demand to “be in the know”, a good PM cannot win new business – or maintain existing contracts without going beyond what has always worked in the past.

Program Managers tell me, “Our Customers are constantly getting smarter”.  I don’t think so!  Customers have always been this smart – it was just that it was acceptable for us to omit details, keep them in the dark, and claim “proprietary” or “company sensitive” for the things we didn’t want to share.  Well, guess what.  They’ve found out that other companies are willing to share details and go that extra mile for them and now they’re beginning to expect the same thing from you.

In most cases, Customers are judging you on not only the cost, quality and schedule, but also the way they get treated when they interact with you.  It’s all about the perception they have when they interact with you, what your competitors think about you, their friends who know you, etc.  You must manage that perception along with the cost, quality and schedule of the program.

Also, without teamwork we believe you will never be able to achieve the other four principles.  The team drives Customer perceptions and enables your program to successfully cut costs - cutting out the waste that lies in every process.  It is also the team which will manage the schedule of those waste-free processes and ensure that quality at the source becomes the norm