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Topics: IT Project Management
Project Management in new environment

New department, new project domain and new team.

How to move confidently as a PM?
How project manager should start understanding things speedily?
What are various project management aspects PM should focus at the beginning for smooth start?
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I recommend plenty of open dialogue. Identifying leadership and stakeholders and asking questions, learning from their answers, visions, expectations, etc. Starting off with a level of transparency really builds trust across, which opens up more valuable dialogue. To me, this is how to build a solid foundation from which to build future successes.

Focus on building positive relationships with key stakeholders and establishing credibility through both your actions and speech. Be a sponge - learn as much as you can from as many sources as you can get your hands on.


A few tips to add onto Andrew and Kiron's advice:

Do your homework. I start projects in new domains by doing a lot of reading to understand the domain better, as well as the challenges and best practices in planning and executing the projects.

Identify someone you trust that you can go to for questions. Building relationships with all the key stakeholders is good, but one or two close allies can be a big help.

Write down everyone's names and what they do, including those outside your direct team. I am terrible at remembering names. The act of simply writing them down can help you remember later.

As you are in a steep learning phase, write down your personal questions in meetings and follow up after. Identifying what you don't understand and answering the questions very important to learning and at the very beginning, you could have so many questions that it could take up entire meetings. I write down acronyms, concepts, and whatever I hear that is foreign to me, and then educate myself afterwards, as I build up my background knowledge.

Good luck!

Project team members :- Observe , Listen , identify the Project team members' strengths and weaknesses by interviewing them and get information on their background and previous projects. Try to get a sense of their strengths and weaknesses from their Managers.

Stakeholders :- Observe, listen, get an understanding of the Stakeholders' Power, Influence, Impact , Interests. get first hand information from them on the project and how they think projects have been handled historically in that domain.

General :- Get hold of any lessons learnt documents from previous projects in that domain, check the project charter and business case of this project. Pay careful attention to this organization's Vision/mission statement and objectives and try to see how this project aligns strategically to those.

Gaps :- try to find gaps . have any stakeholders not been identified, has any high level requirement not been identified, Could you use some insight into your previous projects albeit in a different domain but something you did as a due - diligence activity?

Relationship building :- establish a relationship with your sponsor. Try to understand how they work and what they need from you as the Project/Program Manager. Understanding their reporting requirements, Steering committees, organizational hierarchy.

Check if there is a Project Lifecycle used in the organization . Build a rapport with the PMO , if there is one.

Check if there is a procurement manager and have a meeting with them to understand how this company onboards vendors.

Sit with the Finance business partner or Finance manager to understand the project funding requirements, Financial reporting aspects.

1. KT/Transition Plan
2. Follow the plan
3. Make notes
4. Establish New Connections / Stakeholders Mapping
5. Capture Expectations
6. Clearly articulate - your understanding and priorities

Great posts so far :). Thanks.

Interesting to see what other friends have.

-building new relationships
-try to know the environment faster
-have a snapshot of the technical issues and try to be updated

Hi Milind,
Nice discussion topic and thoughts.
Here are my reflections:
- Understand people and systems.
- Identify stakeholders and build relationships.
- SWOT Analysis of the environment.
- Study lessons learned, potential issues, and current directions.

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