Project management has evolved from being a “nice to have” luxury at a company to being essential in the modern workplace. Whether they are on your team or a contracted resource, this skilled person is worth their weight in gold. As a March 2022 Forbes article explains, “We all exercise our project management skills in everyday life…In a business setting, project management looks different at every organization, but it always helps a team achieve a goal or solve a problem with a set deadline.”
Nicole Ripplinger is a Product Manager (PM) at JDL Technologies. She has spent her career working with technology firms in a variety of roles. That wealth of experience has given Ripplinger a keen understanding of everything that happens from the inception of a scope of work and a contract being written, through the delivery of the work promised.
At JDL Technologies, her role is to orchestrate the successful onboarding of clients and the efficient execution of projects.
After a quote that involves managed services onboarding or a special project is approved by a customer, Ripplinger reviews it and meets with the JDL Tech team to determine the right internal resources for the project. She then works with that team to break down the larger project into tasks with timelines. “Having a team assigned to a client’s projects allows us to focus on the task at hand and what needs to be done.”
The size of the project team depends on what is being implemented and which subject matter experts (SMEs) need to be included. The team creates a schedule that will meet the client’s needs and can be supported with internal resource availability. They agree on a build-out plan and the order in which parts of the project will be implemented. “I’m here to make sure my engineers don’t have roadblocks to getting things done. If they do, it’s my job to remove them as quickly and efficiently as possible so we can keep the project going for our clients and get them onboarded or migrated in a timely manner.”
Ripplinger serves as the main contact for clients during the project. She resolves issues with scheduling and gets answers to their questions about the project. “I’m a lifeline connecting our client with our engineers during the project process.”
In a managed services client onboarding, Ripplinger introduces all the tools JDL Technologies will implement for the client, how the relationship with JDL Technologies works, and walks them through processes like submitting tickets and using the JDL Support Portal. Once the client is fully onboarded, Ripplinger facilitates the handoff to the JDL Support team for ongoing support.
Special projects could include migrations to Office 365 from Exchange. In that type of project, JDL Tech engineers identify the client’s current setup in Exchange, who all the users are, determine what 365 licensing they need, document their distribution lists, what permissions are needed for each mailbox, and so forth. All of those details are captured to ensure it all migrates to the 365 platform.
“We make sure to schedule a cutover time that works well for the client so that we’re not interrupting their day and their business processes. We aim to cause the least possible disruption,” said Ripplinger. “Then we make sure all the users know how to log in, check their email and whatever else is needed.” If anything does come up, the project team is ready to resolve issues quickly.
The project management software JDL Technologies uses integrates with their support and ticketing management system for a seamless internal workflow. “That allows us to capture our communication history with the customer as well as our internal communications about the project, and also track time spent by our team members on the project.
One of the greatest benefits of having a project manager lead a project is efficiency. Said Ripplinger, “Having a PM as your main communication touchpoint for your project streamlines things.” The PM knows when things are happening, knows who is doing them and knows when they will be done. The PM can also provide updates and details because they know the entire scope of the project, knows what all the engineers are working on. The frequency of communication depends on the scope of the implementation and the length of the timeline, and may be daily, weekly, or biweekly. “I like to have an open lane of communication to make sure everybody’s on the same page.”
What can clients do to ensure successful projects? According to Ripplinger, “It really helps when the client has lots of questions. That sparks good conversation that uncovers things that maybe the client didn’t think about that the project team can help them work through. The more we understand about the way a client works and the way they’re using their systems, the better we can support them in implementing new things.”
The teams at Ecessa and JDL Technologies stand ready to help you with your IT project needs. Contact us today to get started.