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 Problem Solver

A good Project Manger is the problem solver that needs to know how to respond fast to get a resolution with acceptable outcomes to keep a project moving. Don't just be a delegator. Jump in and work with the team to a find solution. 

Having the ability to sense trouble is an asset for a Project Manager. Staying cool and taking ownership of the issue avoids any confusion on who is the point person to get a resolution delivered. You will work with subject matter experts or become one on your quest for a resolution. 

 

(Note - this article was originally written by Drake Settsu and published on DrakeSettsu.BlogSpot.com in March 2016)

Posted on: September 08, 2018 07:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)

The Project Manager with dirty hands

We need Project Managers that leads by example and jumps in to help any project team member when they are in need of help. I do not like the term "Servant Leader", it sounds like it came out of the 1700's.

Project Managers need to get their hands dirty too. Don't just direct and watch the action sipping your cup of coffee. Involvement with your team to make adjustments to keep the project moving is important. Be there for your team. If there is a task you can do, then do it.

A good example of a Project Manager getting their hands dirty was a Data Center inventory project that I was involved in. I was the Systems Administrator assigned to inventory every piece of hardware / software in the Data Center. The Project Manager got on his hands and knees in the Data Center to help me take inventory and create the Data Center floor plan.

I have gotten my hands thirty on many of my own projects looking underneath the Data Center tile floor to plan hardware projects. 

Just get your hands dirty. It's a rewarding experience when you can help out. There is soap and water to clean your dirty hands when you are done.

Leadership with no borders sounds better than Servant Leadership.

Posted on: June 25, 2018 07:53 AM | Permalink | Comments (16)

I need to make this Meeting happen

 

You need a meeting scheduled with a short notice. You are dealing with project team members on campus, different locations, and remote team members in different time zones. Sounds like fun.

Make a checklist of who needs to attend this meeting and who is an optional nice to have if they can attended.

Start selecting all the players for the meeting on the calendaring software that your company uses so you can see the date / times that they are available. Indicate required attendee or optional attendee. You will see a lot of meeting conflict dates and times because this is a short notice meeting. Just press on with the best date / time to schedule your meeting.

Select an appropriate meeting subject name to express the urgency of the short notice meeting. Give a brief summary of the reason for the meeting. Create an agenda and attach it to the meeting invite. Provide the conference call number for team members that will not be able to attend the meeting in person.

I call this the take no prisoners approach to scheduling a short notice meeting. If you try to accommodate everyone, it will not happen. The clock is ticking and you need answers and resolutions to issues. Explain to your Sponsors and Stakeholders that you are dead in the water because you can't schedule a meeting. People will juggle their schedules when you make an urgent compelling reason for the meeting.

That's why you are the Project Manager. Your job is to make things happen.

Posted on: June 15, 2018 08:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (13)

The Orchestra Conductor of Projects

The Symphony Orchestra Conductor interprets a composer's score to set the tempo for the Orchestra. The conductor stands most of the time on a raised podium with a baton, but also uses hand gestures and body language to convey the emotions of the musical score to the orchestra.

Will an orchestra function without a conductor?  Yes, the show will go on with some inconsistent interpretations of the score. Will there be a good review of that Symphony? Highly unlikely unless they get lucky.

Being a Conductor is an art. Just because you can play beautiful music does not mean you can conduct. The Symphony Orchestra needs a Conductor to be successful on their delivery of music.

The Project Manager is that point person that guides a team to complete tasks on time. The tasks can be completed independently of each other or they need to be completed in a defined order of dependencies to accomplish a deliverable. All the tasks make up a project with a defined scope to deliver results.

Being a Project Manager requires the ability to have a vision on how you will deliver a project on schedule by guiding your team members to stay focused on their part in the project. Every team member plays an important role no matter how small they think their part is. No room for slackers or weak links that will comprise the team's rhythm.  

Will a team function without a project manager? Yes, it's done all the time. Will the project be on time within a budget? I don't recommend taking chances without a project manager because you might be lucky to have some good team members that can guide the team to a successful delivery of a project. That might not be the case all the time.

Being a Project Manager is an art too. The delivery of projects on schedule within a budget is like a Symphony Orchestra Conductor that delivers a beautiful Symphony with a standing ovation at the end. That's why the Project Manager is the Symphony Orchestra Conductor of Projects. They deliver results. No standing ovation, only pure satisfaction for the team delivering a successful project.

 

(Note - this article was originally written by Drake Settsu and published on DrakeSettsu.BlogSpot.com in April 2017)

 

Posted on: February 16, 2018 05:13 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)

Project Management - Qualities of a leader

Leaders are born and made, they rise when they have the calling. A good leader will embrace the respect of the team not having to force their leadership skills on the team. The bad leaders are the ones that try to force their leadership and just do not connect with the team wasting everyone's time with a dog and pony show they put on to call attention to themselves. 

Something to remember on how you conduct your leadership. Put yourself in your teams shoes and step back and look at yourself and see if you like that person.

Qualities of a good leader:

1) Vision - Have enthusiasm by conveying to your team what we are going to undertake and deliver.

2) Good listener - Let others speak their view point to get a good understanding of them.

3) Approachable - Create an atmosphere that you can be contacted anytime.

4) Confidence - Believe in yourself without portraying an arrogant attitude.    

5) Credibility - You must have the trust of your team.

6) Keep one's word - Deliver what you promise.  

7) Accountability - The Buck Stops Here. 

8) Charisma - Inspire your team.

9) Decision maker - Must have confidence to make tough and critical decisions.

 

(Note - this article was originally written by Drake Settsu and published on DrakeSettsu.BlogSpot.com in January 2014 and was modified on this post)

Posted on: February 13, 2018 06:09 AM | Permalink | Comments (14)
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