Interactions with Marketing Sales

For purposes of this discussion, we can consider two circumstances. For the first, the company is primarily focused upon developing products to sell to other businesses or to the public at large (e.g., consumer products), and for the second, the company does most of its system development under a contract with a specific customer. We call the first case ''commercial'' and the second ''contract.''

In the commercial case, marketing/sales has the task of trying to figure out what types of which products should be made, and for what classes of customers. When they have made such a determination, they then establish a requirement that engineering make the selected products, including the features that are considered most desirable. Timetables are also established and a project is up and running to meet these needs. Thus, there is a direct link between the project and sales/marketing such that the requirements for the system (product) in question are determined by the marketing/sales staff. The vagaries of the marketplace often come into play such that the PM, CSE, and PC are under enormous pressure with difficult schedules and performance requirements. In smaller companies and projects, this can lead to twelve-hour-a-day work assignments, due to the usual lack of resources. The project team thus needs to be functioning well, and also needs to stay in constant touch with the marketing/sales people.

In the contract case, as with doing work for federal, state, and local governments, marketing/sales get involved early in talking to the customer and conveying the system requirements to the project team, usually before a request for proposal (RFP) has been written or conveyed. Both the project team and marketing/sales work together in order to shape the proposal response so as to maximize the probability of a win. Once the contract is indeed won, marketing/sales usually shift their focus to the potential follow-on contract, talking to both project team and customer to make sure that the PM, CSE, and PC are considering the future contract as well as the current one. Thus, there is continual contact between the project team and the marketing/sales organization in order to be in a position to make the most competitive bids, and win as many of them as possible.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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