Project Management in Real Life

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Sharing my Project Management adventures and some tips. I try to keep my articles brief and to the point. Project Management is an Art, Science, and Discipline.

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The Problem Solver

My Project Management Zen Moment

The Project Manager with dirty hands

I need to make this Meeting happen

Bring in the Business Analyst

The Lean / Agile / Waterfall made to order Hybrid-Plus for software projects

The Project Manager

The architect of the project plan will guide and monitor everyone along the way to stay on course within the defined scope and project timeline.

The PM's Buffet to create a hybrid-plus

  • Function Lean by eliminating waste and looking for ways to add value. Always ask why? Why is it done that way? Can we implement this change to improve the process? Lean is a mindset and discipline. Live it to be efficient. 
  • Be Agile by being quick, adaptive, resilient, and flexible with the appropriate course of action to take.
  • Follow the linear path of a Waterfall with the flexibility to go back and forth on the waterfall as needed when changes are required. The main point is a defined beginning and end. The project manager is your guide to reach the destination by satisfying the project requirements.

The Project Flow

Teams need to complete their tasks on time or ahead of schedule when it is a dependency for another team to start their tasks. Always keep the project flow in mind on how one team affects the other teams.

Business Analyst Team

Gather the project requirements to create the Business Requirements Document that will be the primary work in progress document for the project teams to update and refer too. Define all the key delivery dates in the BRD to monitor milestones.

Design / Development Team

Update the BRD with the technical specifications. The technical specifications in the BRD will be assigned to programmers.

Quality Assurance Team

Validate the work performed by the programmers to ensure that the introduced modifications to the system satisfies the project requirements defined in the BRD. Always perform regression testing. Test as hard as you can to try and break the system.

Summary

Tailor Lean / Agile / Waterfall to meet the approach that will benefit your organization. Take the buffet approach to create a Project Management Hybrid-Plus called the "LAW". The "LAW" hybrid-plus is not limited to software development, it can be used on any type of project. The PM is the architect of the hybrid-plus that will work for their organization.

 

Posted on: December 19, 2017 05:32 AM | Permalink | Comments (13)

The Deadline

When you make a request for information orally or by email be very clear on when it is needed by. Providing a date and time that you need a response or action taken will make it crystal clear.

Mistakes made when requesting information using commonly used acronyms that have different interpretations. We hear them all the time, but do not understand there true meaning. Here are the three common mistakes made.

1. Please provide your status by COB. If the organization is (24 x 7 x 365) there is no close of business. When do you think a response will be sent?

2. Please make sure you get that status report sent out by EOD. Now what is the end of day. If we start at different times and stay late at work and you are waiting for that status report to provide information for a deadline that you are working on. When do you think you will get a response?

3. I need you to jump on that issue ASAP.  You are asking for it on this one. As soon as possible. The keyword is possible. What if that person feels they are not able to jump on the issue because they have too much on their plate that day. It will not get done and there is a possibility that it could slide two days before action is taken.

Using all those cute acronyms will eventually get you a response or results, but you don't know when. Time is being wasted and you send out another email or call the person on what is the status of getting the requested information. Well you left it wide open with no clear date and time.

Summary

Cut out the use of COB, EOD, and ASAP. People will be more accountable when they are held to a deadline with a clear due date/time. 

There are the exceptions to not get your information on time. I have received some good excuses for not complying with a deadline.

My favorites excuses:

- My email is crashing.

- I'm working on it right now.

- I need to reboot my PC.

- I'm working on some issues right now that I need to resolve.

Posted on: December 14, 2017 09:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (10)

Let's Free the Email Inbox

Email Email Email

Let's put a stop to the flood of emails that we keep getting everyday consuming our valuable time that could be spent better. Here are some tips to tryout and also educate the senders of unending email.

  1. Use FYI - on the subject line to indicate it's just for your information. The intent is for no one to reply to your email.

  2. Indicate No Reply Required in the body of the email to emphasize that you are not expecting a reply from anyone.

  3. Use care with the To / Cc. The recipients on the To line have involvement in the subject. The recipients on the Cc line are being included for courtesy situational awareness and should not be hitting any reply button.

  4. If your company uses a chat app then use it in place of an email to get a quick response from the group of co-workers that can address your question.

Just think how much time you spend in the office and mobile mode reading and responding to never ending emails. Make the emails count and spare the amount of wasted time on unnecessary email. Eventually you will miss that important email that is buried in the pile of email waiting to be read.

Posted on: November 29, 2017 08:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (10)
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