Program Management Process

Last but certainly not least on my list of keys to advisory board program success is the overarching program management process.  To effectively manage any initiative, especially one involving your most strategic customers, you need dedicated resources to commit time, talent and energy to make it valuable and successful.

While many of these best practices may seem obvious, sometimes executive leaders don't realize the degree of complexity, organization and resource management it takes to maintain a successful customer program.  Ensuring you have these program management elements in place will keep internal stakeholders aligned to the initiative, include your board members in the communication loop, and provide a framework to track the ROI of your customer program:
  • Maintain a schedule of program activities 
  • Develop a timeline and critical path for execution
  • Align and schedule resources throughout the program planning and implementation process
  • Ensure regularly scheduled updates occur with team members and in turn, advisory board members
  • Develop evaluation tools to measure success and socialize results internally
Successful customer program management requires effective communication and a collaborative spirit ... plan well and be flexible.  Customer programs are not "just another meeting with a customer," they are ongoing initiatives and should be treated with the same care and respect you give your most important account.  It is an incredible opportunity to enhance executive relationships, retain accounts, accelerate sales and build customer loyalty!

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