How a Dedicated Project Manager Leads to Successful Xactly Implementation

How a Dedicated Project Manager Leads to Successful Xactly Implementation

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Author: Lizzy Wolff

During an Xactly software implementation, the question often arises: why invest in a dedicated project manager when an internal counterpart is already in place? The reason this question comes up is often related to cost. A dedicated project manager needs to be factored into pricing during a project.

Years ago, Canidium recognized the pivotal role an internal project manager plays in the success of any implementation. While the engagement of a dedicated project manager is optional for our clients, this article is meant to illuminate the benefits derived from their inclusion.

We interviewed one of our Xactly Project Managers, Jessica Vyvial, to get a firsthand perspective on the benefits a dedicated project manager can bring to a project.

This article will explain:


What does a project manager do during an Xactly implementation?

During an Xactly implementation, a project manager plays a crucial role in ensuring the successful deployment of the software. Here are some key responsibilities of a project manager during an Xactly implementation:


Requirements Gathering

The project manager works closely with stakeholders to gather and document detailed requirements for the Xactly implementation. This involves understanding the organization's unique needs, sales processes, and compensation structures.


Project Planning

A project manager creates a comprehensive project plan that outlines the various phases of the Xactly implementation. This plan includes milestones, timelines, resource allocation, and dependencies to ensure a structured and organized approach to the implementation process.


Team Coordination

The project manager serves as the central point of contact between the organization and the Xactly implementation team. They coordinate efforts among team members, ensuring that everyone is aligned with the project goals and timelines.


“I managed a project during which a client was starting to ask for additional items that were creating scope creep and negative impact on the timeline. By involving a dedicated project manager and  changing the project plan into an Agile plan with sprints the client recieved the project two weeks earlier than promised.”

Untitled design (10)-1  Jessica Vyvial, Xactly Project Manager at Canidium


Customization and Configuration

Xactly implementations often involve configuring the software to align with the organization's specific sales processes and compensation structures. The project manager oversees the customization efforts, working closely with Xactly consultants and the internal team to ensure the system meets the organization's requirements.


Data Migration

Migrating data from existing systems to Xactly is a critical aspect of the implementation. The project manager collaborates with data migration specialists to plan and execute the transfer of relevant data, ensuring accuracy and completeness.


Testing and Quality Assurance

The project manager oversees the testing phase to ensure that the configured Xactly solution functions as intended. This includes conducting unit testing, integration testing, and user acceptance testing to identify and address any issues before the system goes live.


Training and Change Management

A successful Xactly implementation requires effective training for end-users. The project manager ensures that users are equipped with the knowledge and skills to use the system by coordinating with Xactly University. Additionally, they may be involved in change management activities to facilitate a smooth transition to the new solution.


Communication and Stakeholder Management

Communication is key throughout the implementation process. The project manager keeps stakeholders informed about project progress, milestones, and any potential issues. They also address concerns and gather feedback to make necessary adjustments.


Go-Live and Post-Implementation Support

The project manager plays a crucial role during the go-live phase, ensuring a smooth transition to the Xactly system. Post-implementation, they continue to provide support, monitor system performance, and address any issues that may arise.



Throughout the implementation, the project manager maintains comprehensive documentation, including project plans, configurations, and training materials. This documentation serves as a valuable resource for ongoing system maintenance and future enhancements.


What are the benefits of having a project manager during your Xactly implementation?

Successful software implementation is crucial for organizations seeking to stay competitive and efficient. One key factor that significantly contributes to the triumph of such endeavors is the presence of a dedicated project manager within the software implementation partner's team. Here are the benefits of having a dedicated project manager on your Xactly implementation.


Clear Communication and Coordination

A dedicated project manager serves as the linchpin for effective communication and coordination between the software implementation partner and the client. They act as a single point of contact, streamlining information flow and reducing the risk of miscommunication. This clarity fosters a shared understanding of project goals, timelines, and requirements, laying a solid foundation for success.


Project Planning and Organization

A skilled project manager is adept at creating comprehensive project plans, breaking down complex tasks into manageable milestones. This meticulous planning ensures that the implementation process follows a structured timeline, minimizing delays and cost overruns. By keeping the project organized, the manager helps the team stay focused on key objectives and deliverables.


Risk Management and Issue Resolution

Software implementations often come with unforeseen challenges. A dedicated project manager is well-equipped to identify potential risks and devise strategies for mitigation. They play a crucial role in resolving issues promptly, preventing them from escalating and impacting the overall project timeline. Their ability to anticipate and address challenges contributes to the project's resilience and success.


“Risk navigation is our bread and butter, we are watching and listening to every call, reading every email, and meeting internally with our teams as needed to ensure we have the correct pulse on a project and ask the questions that expose holes in our logic or risks to our success.”

 - Jessica Vyvial, Xactly Project Manager at Canidium


Resource Allocation and Optimization

Efficient resource allocation is essential for a successful software implementation. A dedicated project manager ensures that the right resources, including personnel, time, and budget, are allocated appropriately. By optimizing resource usage, the manager helps prevent bottlenecks and ensures a smooth workflow throughout the implementation process.


Adaptability and Flexibility

The technology landscape is dynamic, and software implementations may require adjustments in response to changing requirements or unforeseen circumstances. A dedicated project manager excels in adapting to evolving situations, making informed decisions to keep the project on track. Their ability to navigate uncertainties enhances the project's agility and resilience.


“We are the mitigators, the psychics, the lightning rod. We manage stakeholder needs, allocate resources, and create a positive and healthy culture for the project while watching the budget. We maintain a pulse on our team’s needs, our client’s needs, and the overall project health. We anticipate and plan for the unexpected because that is always a factor in our projects”

- Jessica Vyvial, Xactly Project Manager at Canidium


Stakeholder Engagement and Satisfaction

Engaging stakeholders throughout the software implementation process is vital for project success. A dedicated project manager facilitates effective communication with all relevant parties, addressing concerns, and providing regular updates. This proactive engagement enhances client satisfaction, as stakeholders feel involved and well-informed about the project's progress.


Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement

A dedicated project manager is committed to ensuring the quality of the software being implemented. They implement robust quality assurance processes, conducting regular reviews and assessments. Additionally, the manager promotes a culture of continuous improvement, fostering innovation and refinement throughout the project lifecycle.


Elevating Xactly Implementations with Dedicated Project Management

What sets our approach apart is the foresight to recognize that effective software implementation extends beyond technical configurations—it requires human-centric expertise. A dedicated project manager becomes the linchpin, fostering clear communication, meticulous planning, and adaptive problem-solving. 

"To be a useful project manager, organization is key and curiosity is needed to be able to view things thoroughly and creatively. It doesn't hurt to have strong communication skills, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution skills, and a sense of humor."

Untitled design (10)-1 Jessica Vyvial, Xactly Project Manager at Canidium

The benefits outlined in this article crystallize the value proposition of a dedicated project manager during an Xactly implementation. From risk mitigation to quality assurance and continuous improvement, the project manager becomes the driving force behind a successful implementation journey.

Canidium's commitment to providing a dedicated project manager is not just a service—it's a strategic investment in the success of our clients. It's the assurance that every step of the implementation journey is guided by expertise, communication, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. As organizations embark on their Xactly implementation, they can trust that a dedicated project manager will not only navigate the complexities but elevate the entire process to new heights of efficiency and success.

Now that you know how Canidium's project management team elevates Xactly implementation, your next step is to book some time to learn more about our team members.


Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash