As part of the services arm of the partner ecosystem, Salesforce Project Managers work closely with different stakeholders through the client organization to coordinate the consultancy-side implementation team (management, subject matter experts, consultants, and developers) accordingly.
This involves driving all the project stages, including planning and execution.
A Project Manager in the Salesforce world wears many hats (the more they are familiar with the Salesforce platform, the more hats they can wear). Responsibilities will vary depending on the size of the implementation and their own technical acumen.
Here are the responsibilities that typically fall under the Project Manager role:
Discovery & requirements gathering:
- Participate in client discovery sessions working with technical and functional team members to identify the right solution for each client,
- Work with the client to translate their needs into detailed requirements and eventually translate to user stories,
- Work closely with the Technical Lead to ensure the business requirements are accurately translated into technical requirements, and the team has all the information required to action
- Team enablement – confirm the technical team has all the technical tools required to start work (Sandboxes, Licenses, etc.)
- Approval – ensure sign-off by the client of the different project phases (Build, QA, Deployment)
- Sprint planning – manage scrum/agile ceremonies, including huddles, backlog grooming, increment planning, retrospectives and sprint demos (when applicable to the consultancy’s delivery methodology),
- Risk management – identify and mitigate risks or issues on a project by project basis, implementing strategies to minimize impact to the project, controlling deviations from the project schedule and estimated costs
- Prepare and manage project schedules, burn reports, status reports and change orders,
- Report on the status of the project to internal management and the client management team, including escalating issues where appropriate,
- Maintain accurate forecasting for project resources according to the approved budget.
Client relationship management:
- Build and maintain relationships with clients day-to-day, exceeding client expectations and ensuring satisfaction,
- Support clients throughout the project and post-project implementation process.
Due to the level of responsibility allocated to a Project Manager, this role can be very stressful – that said, It’s an incredibly rewarding career choice (which Laura and other project managers stand by).
Becoming a Salesforce Project Manager
Salesforce Consultant → Salesforce Project Manager
Becoming a Project Manager is often a natural career progression for seasoned Salesforce Consultants that want to make the transition to a leadership role.
Project Manager → Salesforce Project Manager
It’s possible to join the ecosystem as a Project Manager with no Salesforce experience. While it’s common for Salesforce Project managers to be well versed in the Salesforce platform, transitioning from outside the industry does mean you will bring transferable skills that will be invaluable in your new role.
Here are some competencies that will enable you to become an entry-level Salesforce project manager:
- Have experience configuring Sales Cloud (this is likely the cloud you will start with unless you want to become a marketing consultant).
- Seek out opportunities for attending client-facing interactions, such as requirements gathering, project kick-off meetings, and training sessions.
- Take the Certified Salesforce Administrator and Platform App Builder certifications.
- Find a mentor internally that you can support, and in turn, learn from.
- Understand the composition of a Salesforce project – the checkpoints, the items in scope, how to act when client-facing.