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4. Should my project manager run projects? 

There are several ways to run sales and production. A common way is to have estimators sign the job and then turn over to a production department.  While this has many benefits it also has several major drawbacks.  The first is that the production manager has to be very skilled and organized.  This person is hard to find and you will often need more production managers than estimators.  The second problem is that this situation often leads to the blame game.  If something goes wrong with the work or the budget then the estimators will claim that the production department was to blame.  The production department often complains that the estimator does not write accurate or thorough scopes.  When this occurs then the customer gets dropped in the middle.  ]

Other companies will utilize write and run project manager.  In this case the estimator is responsible for the project from cradle to grave.  This can be a good system to assure that the projects are completed in a proper and timely manner.  The challenge occurs when the phone starts to ring with new estimates. Now a decision has to be made as to whether the focus is maintained on the existing job or the emphasis is moved to the new estimate.  Some write and run project mangers are very adept at this situation but the critical skill set for sales and production management are often contradictory. 

We have some to the understanding that the most replicable and successful program is a sales and production team.  The estimator often starts out as a write and run project manager but when a sufficient volume of work is achieved – usually on target to exceed $1 million for the year – then a superintendent or administrative assistant is added to the team.  This allows a continual focus on the client and the work in progress while a sense of urgency can be extended to the new project.

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