How is a marine and a Salesforce PM similar?

If you’re a junkie for adrenaline and dynamic career requiring military execution, you can either be in the Army or a #Salesforce Project Manager.

Ryan* was a marine for multiple tours, and transitioned as a PM into the Salesforce world fairly seamlessly.
I can totally relate to that (although the only combat I’ve done has been against the Forces of Evil and Horde on Diablo and World of Warcraft).

The variety that you’ll find within the job role is endless.
– Your team make-up.
– The organisation you’re going to be working with.
– The people you’re interfacing with on client side.
– The problem you will be solving.
– The technology you will be using to solve the problem.

Of course, you get the ‘character-building’ projects amongst the really good ones, but you learn how to roll with it and extract the lessons.

This means that your client’s approach to organisational change will range from:
– I can just snap my fingers and it’ll all automagically get done, to
– Let’s plan this out properly and make sure everyone’s on board
… and everything in between.

What does that mean for you as a Salesforce Consultant working for a Partner?
I’ll talk about that in tomorrow’s video post.

*One of my most favourite PMs 🥰



One of the things I really love about working for a consulting partner is that every project feels like a new job.

If you work for a medium to larger size partners, there’s every chance that you will be working with a different internal team For every different project, which is quite exciting.

For every client you have, all their business is different, the processes are different, and the people and problem that you’re trying to solve is different. And that’s exciting as well.

What that means is that you will encounter organisations that are disorganised, maybe chaotic, maybe just organised chaos, or maybe, really, really efficient And military like in the way that they operate.

Some of them are really good at managing change. And some of them are not.

If you work for a larger consulting partner, it is also likely that you have within your business unit a management, or change management consulting on they generally go in, just like a company like McKinsey or BCG, you’re into an organisation.

And they perform a piece of work around understanding the organisation and what needs to change and putting forward recommendation out of which one of those recommendations might be implement a new system, a new payroll system, a new CRM system, or new ERP system. That’s an example.

And then a Salesforce or a Microsoft partner will go in, and then do the part two of that piece of work. So that’s the larger consulting partners.

Generally, if you’re a smaller one, sometimes it’s not feasible to have a dedicated change management consulting or specialist team. That piece of work then falls on to the functional consultants or the implementation consultants.

The BA skills, business analysis skills, the going in, and the asking questions, the trying to find out of the clients business processes, and the issues that they’re trying to solve now falls on somebody who may not have the training or experience to do so.

They’re generally people who have learned about Salesforce or Microsoft, on the product and the platform itself, as opposed to the specific change management and business analysis skills.

So when these consultants go on site, for the first time, sometimes then they’re not able to grasp the human element of what they’re trying to do. Because they’re not only there to implement new software, they are creating a change.

A change in the way the client does business, and a change in the culture. And whether they know it or not, they are the agent of change. And that’s something that’s missed out for a lot of consulting partners.

They believe that they going in to put in a new system – You ought to know what you want. We’ll go in and do what you want. And it’s not really that simple.

Tomorrow, I’ll touch on the reasons why it’s not that simple. And a clue is the fact that we’re all human beings. And we all see change differently.

I hope you found today useful. And I wish to see you tomorrow again, if you enjoyed the series.

In the meantime, have an amazing day.

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