Over 80% of enterprise software development projects never go live. Most enterprise software solutions are developed for existing companies that cannot afford any discontinuity in customer service or operations. Therefore, the software must be implemented on a dime, flawlessly.
This level of exactitude requires tremendous attention to detail and detailed understanding of the client's operations and data. Often, the project manager must understand these systems better than the client in order to anticipate where a new system might cause discontinuity in operations and customer service.
It is critical to have a project manager that understands all phases of the project, all of the client's operations/data, and how the new system will smoothly fulfill all of the client's operational needs upon implementation.
The project manager must be able to communicate with business managers in the language of business and with developers in technical language.
The project manager must be able to see the entire scope of the project, prioritize all project tasks, and constantly evaluate risks to the successful implemenation of the software. The project manager must work to mitigate any risks and communicate such risks to the client in a timely fashion when the risk cannot be immediately mitigated and deadlines/milestones are in danger.
The project manager must be an educator who is constantly anticipating that the software will be handed over to the client's employees to operate. Operation manuals and training are critical to a successful implementation. Therefore, the project manager must always be planning for staff training and education.