Sometimes you’re the lion

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An older presentation focused on the various roles of project manager.

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  • An email can be used for multiple purposes – to hound for status, to report good news, to share information, to invite to a meeting, to negotiate change control.
  • We know the female lion does the hunting, male lion takes credit – we’ll assume they’re the executives.
    CEOS are in the shark tank – outside of this ecosystem
  • Study in Timbe Elephant Park December 1988 – restore a grassland.
    Pristine, added elephants, other grazing animals
    After 6 months animals were getting very sick.
    Nobody to clean up the dung.
  • Lion
  • Gazelle
    Lion to insure a closed issue stays closed
  • Gazelle
    Lion to insure a closed issue stays closed
  • lion
  • Lion
    A lion woke up one morning feeling rowdy. He went out and cornered a small monkey and roared, "Who is mightiest of all jungle animals?"
    The trembling monkey says, "You are, mighty lion!”
    Later, the lion confronts a deer and bellows, "Who is mightiest of all jungle animals?"
    The terrified deer stammers, "Oh great lion, you are by far the mightiest animal in the jungle!"
    On a roll now, the lion swaggers up to an elephant and roars, "Who is mightiest of all jungle animals?"
    Fast as lightning, the elephant snatches up the lion with his trunk, slams him against a tree half a dozen times, the lion feeling like it'd been run over by a safari wagon. The elephant then stomped on the lion till it looked like a corn tortilla, and ambled away.
    The lion hollered after the elephant, "Hey! Just because you don't know the answer, you don't have to get so angry!"
  • Dung Beetle
  • Dung Beetle
  • Gazelle
  • Gazelle
  • Dung Beetle
  • Dung Beetle
  • Gazelle
  • Gazelle
  • Sometimes you’re the lion

    1. 1. Sometimes you’re the Lion Sometimes you’re the Gazelle and Sometimes you’re the Dung Beetle A Perspective on various behavior patterns of a Project Manager David L. Davis, PMP March 2005
    2. 2. Objective 1. Define perceived animal personalities 2. Present a Project Management Situation 3. Personify the animal behavior in that situation 4. Apply good project management principles to that animal in that situation across multiple knowledge areas: 1. Communication / Human Resource 2. Quality / Risk Management 3. Integration Management March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 2
    3. 3. Fundamental Assumption • Project Managers need to assume different personalities based on different situations in the life cycle of a project. 1. Effective Project Management Skill 2. Business Acumen 1. The business is an ecosystem 2. All people in the ecosystem assume different personalities 3. When, where, how to use tools depends on the situation and the personality. March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 3
    4. 4. Why This Approach wa Daughter Addie March 2006 hes tc Talk about life, Relationships, Danger WOW – this is what I go through Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 4
    5. 5. The Lion • • • • • • Proud Brave Fierce Hunter King of the Jungle Mighty Roar March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 5
    6. 6. The Gazelle • • • • Fast Quick on its feet Able to sense danger Understands wide open spaces and the dangers of the unknown • Prey for the lion – thinning the herd? March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 6
    7. 7. The Dung Beetle • • • • • • • • Does the dirty work Overlooked Bug Clumsy Unappreciated Small / insignificant Stinks??? Truly has a shi**y job March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 7
    8. 8. Get Cliché’s Out of the Way • Paradigm • Structured Project Management Methodology • Laws of nature – can’t make a baby in nine months by concurrently impregnating nine women • Deliver on time, on budget, with quality • Oxymoron's – Business logic – Almost Finished – Flexible plan • Blocking and tackling March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 8
    9. 9. Component of Project Management • Next series of slides will show various aspects of the day in the life of a PM • It will then show how this might be handled by one of the 3 animals • It will then show an example or more details on a best practice – Analogy – Used for example only, do not hire a Gazelle as a project manager March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 9
    10. 10. Sending Out Meeting Announcements • An aspect of the job is to insure that people are aware of meetings and conference calls. • With virtual teams they often are geographically disperse. • Need a quick / easily consumable message. March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 10
    11. 11. Dial in number and codes in Subject Line – participant can see information without opening meeting request. Also in Location Reminder Set Color Label – Need Preparation Big Font / Color for Dial In not a m o n l acti r C i r f I i evt c ef E i f Hyper Link / No Attachment Categories
    12. 12. Obtaining Updates from Team Members • Needed in order to provide accurate project status. • Often a second tier concern of stake holders. • What is the measuring stick? – Program is always 90% complete – That will be finished tomorrow March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 12
    13. 13. Obtaining Updates • Need to establish expectations and timeframes at initial kickoff. • Recommend asking for this information on Thursdays • Send email reminder the morning it is due • Send email the morning after it is late with threat to boss • Send email to boss the Friday afternoon if still not received. • Put big red question mark on report that status was not received – team should know it goes to executives. March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 13
    14. 14. Issues Management Review • What is the issue? • Planned review meetings should cover status. • Getting people to accept accountability. • Make sure focus is kept on the issue – Don’t allow distracters / deflection – Relationships among items • What is the status of the issue March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 14
    15. 15. Issues Management Review • Governance announced at beginning – What constitutes an issue – Issue status work flow / state diagram • Assign accountability to one individual. • Keep ahead of the problems • Make sure closed issues stay closed March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 15
    16. 16. Hey Dave • This manager type is always following the company line. • This manager type is never willing to challenge any ‘senior executive’ • This manager type manages up instead of managing the project. • This manager type does not know how to lead, but is a good follower. A Lemming March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 16
    17. 17. Change Control • Agreement / consensus to a project component at a ‘Snapshot in Time’ • Triple constraint is dependant on the baseline – Requirements – Quality – Schedule – Time – Work Packages – Cost • Change control is a process as opposed to a phase March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 17
    18. 18. Change Control • Obtain commitment at the highest practical level • Document Management – Common data store – Numbered / naming conventions • Requirements • Test Plans • Put all baselined snapshots in PDF file • Workflow in governance model March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 18
    19. 19. Meeting Minutes • Many decisions / project issue resolutions occur during meetings • Official artifact of the project • Who committed to what • Within 24 hours of the meeting • Agenda – Blocks of time – Certain players at certain times so they don’t need the entire calendar March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 19
    20. 20. Meeting Minutes • Agenda / Minutes / Agenda Cycle • Utilize tools – Web meeting / overhead – Real time through the PPMS • Roster of all invitees – Check on who attended – Identify who missed (label excused) • Number the minutes and reference in other project logs • Keep on the agenda • Collateral sent prior to meeting – – – – Agenda Logistics Project Status Action Items / Issues March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 20
    21. 21. Hey Dave • This manager type avoids confrontation • This manager type is easily scared and quite gullible • This manager type is a pessimist and always fears the worst • This manager type does not know how to push back on challenges. An Opossum March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 21
    22. 22. Declaring a Jeopardy • A threat to meeting the triple constraint unless an ‘issue’ is resolved • A ‘Colonoscopy’ of the project • Enterprise view March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 22
    23. 23. Declaring a Jeopardy • The emotional heartache – Anything but a jeopardy – Executives will get the wrong idea • Should not be held until the last minute • Must be tracked on status until resolution • Back to change control • Fight with facts – not excuses March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 23
    24. 24. Minutia • The act of documenting so many things: – A roster – Email distribution list(s) – PowerPoint Executive Summary • Closed issues and resolutions • Insuring all baselined signatures are captured March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 24
    25. 25. Minutia • Make a task / time in your schedule to manage your project • Use this data for project analysis – On track, not on track – Correlate to governance • CSI – forensic evidence – Process compliance – Methodology adherence March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 25
    26. 26. Hey Dave • This manager type is always poking into other’s peoples business • This manager type is a socialite • This manager type talks a lot and strives to get attention • This manager type does do good work, but only after driving other ones nuts. A Meerkat March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 26
    27. 27. Prioritization / Replanning • What item will people / resources be working on • Dependencies • Effect of a milestone delay • Real world – Production emergencies – Layoffs – reassignments – Budget cuts • Consensus March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 27
    28. 28. Prioritization / Replanning • Analysis • Detail options / alternatives – Option 1 – impact – Option 2 – impact • The elusive silver bullet algorithm • Make sure the cure is not worse than the disease March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 28
    29. 29. Bringing it All Together • Animal Kingdom – Rules of the jungle apply – An ecosystem – every one has their role • Sometimes you assume different roles • Assume the role most appropriate for you at the time • Merlin was in the tent, while Jim wrestled the alligators • Any night you get to nest down means it was a good day • Very few animals kill for pleasure ! Movies March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 29
    30. 30. Just Don’t Become • Be careful – too much contemplation can lead to a reputation. • Treat people with respect. • Accept that sometimes you gotta be the hunter, the prey, or the one who cleans up the mess. March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 30
    31. 31. David L. Davis, PMP AT&T Six Sigma Green Belt Executive Chairman PMI eBusiness SIG 513 826-6424 dave@att.com March 2006 Copyright (c) David L. Davis, PMP 31

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