Engagement management and Delivery management are two inter-related threads of high level project management that have quite different dynamics involved. Engagement management is the primary function of a person who handles a client engagement. The primary responsibilities of an Engagement manager revolve around building and enhancing client relationships. He typically deals with the business and the IT counterparts of the Customer. He must be able to communicate seamlessly and build relationship with the client.
Engagement manager needs to be well–equiped with soft skills and written skills. He must be an effective communicator and understand the customer better. Typically an engagementmanager needs to be from the same geography as the customer. This makes it easier for him to go along with his customer counterparts. He needs to play a pioneering role in the creation of the SOW. Delivery manager is a person who deals with the solution delivery team. He has to interact more with his execution team to make things possible.
Although a delivery manager needs to interact with the customer but the responsibilities he needs to take up are related to the planning and execution of the delivery activities. Generally, the delivery manager needs to ensure that he takes care of the execution aspects ofthe delivery. While the Engagement management takes care of the different engagement attributes like finance, budgeting, legal clauses, escalations and vendor manager.
If you consider the working in a normal IT company then the engagement manager typically operates from client site and works closely with the vendor manager. There are a lot of soft issues that he might need to handle and look into the operational part of the engagement. Delivery manager operates from the vendor’s offshore office. He generally needs to manage the expectations of his delivery team. He is responsible for the day-to-day execution activities of the project.
In a typical setup, all macro level inssues flow across the Engagement manager whereas all micro-level issues flow across the Delivery manager. Although the roles are analogous and work in tandem for successful project management, the further growth path for a Delivery manager is generally Engagement management.