The First 100 Days ...

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Categories: Leadership


Taking over a software project in mid-stream can be difficult depending on how well the transition is handled. I should know, I was recently in this position when my current employer hired me as project manager about one year ago. It was my first position as a project manager. I was ready for the challenge, but anxious as to how I would best hit the road running ...
   In the first 100 days of the job, my top priority was establishing trust between myself and my team members. I needed to trust my team to execute the plan and they needed to believe that I would get them what they needed to accomplish the plan. To gain their trust, I used the following strategies:

Listening: One of the qualities of being a great project manager is communication. In my situation as someone new to the team, I practiced active listening. This is important because each project team is unique in terms of its culture, strengths and problems. And I listened to the answer. I was able to quickly diagnose the issues to start plotting the right course.

Learning: When one of the five projects that I inherited was behind schedule, I asked the crucial question "Why?" By asking this question, I began to see how best to adjust the current plan.
   I also took the time to understand past project decisions, team members' strengths, as well as stakeholder expectations. Being able to understand our stakeholder allowed me to better communicate/manage expectations for the path forward. Knowing my team members' strengths enabled me to effectively align the planned tasks with the right individuals. With good working relationships and a view of the big picture, I had one more piece to the puzzle to put into place.

Leading:
I truly believed that in order to earn my team's trust and the stakeholders' confidence I must act with highest integrity and transparency. How do I accomplish this in my day-to-day activities? By consistently communicating what I plan to do and doing what I planned.
  
   There were bumps and bruises along the way, but by the end of the first 100 days, my team and I trusted each other to accomplish the goals we set forth.
   Questions to my fellow project professionals: What was your early project management experience like? And what was challenging about the experience?  
Posted by Neal Shen on: February 19, 2009 03:50 PM | Permalink

Comments

Arul Varman
From the description given, it appears that effort can be best described as a Project Administration since there has been no new techniques adopted or a revised work-flow has been done ...

My early Project Management experience has been very hectic and main lessons from that experience is to maintain a traceability in all the actions strongly supported by valid Data.

Second learning is to ensure that there is no dependency on a Resource i.e all effort must be directed by a Process and replacement timeline must be in the range of 8 hrs to 40 hrs max.

Third learning is to improve the ability to assess or foresee Risk in the project . a minor unimportant info can become a major Risk or insignificant info can become a major risk (e.g. Katrina, Tsunami or Economic crash). To foresee and visualize these info requires a detailed insights & participation at micro-management level .

Finally, strategic directions set for the Project must all be in focus at all times and all actions and activities must always revolve around those strategic directions so that it is accomplished at the end project. This is the Essence of Project Management

These are learnings & experience of my first PM experience



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