All rights reserved 1
Managing Your
Project Manager:
A Survival Guide for Data
Professionals
Karen López
www.infoad...
All rights reserved
About me
Karen López is a principal
consultant at InfoAdvisors. She
specializes in the practica...
All rights reserved 3
Agenda
 Warning Signs
 Getting it Right
 Survival Tips
All rights reserved 4
About this Presentation
 We will be using an interactive
format – your opinion counts
 Opin...
All rights reserved 5
Why this Topic?
Because Project Management is
HARD
Many IT professionals do not
understand mo...
All rights reserved 6
Karen’s Contribution
Contributor to Roundtable on
Project Management, James
Bullock (Editor),...
All rights reserved
POLLS…
• Who are you?
• Model Much?
• Manage
Much?
• …
7
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Warning Signs
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Warning Signs
Your Project Manager is:
 Above pitching in
 Unwilling to remove
obstacles
 ...
All rights reserved 10
Warning Signs
The project plan looks
great, but…
 Dates are hard and fast
 Level of effort...
All rights reserved 11
Warning Signs
Issue / Defect Lists
 Rudy’s Rutabaga Rule
 Perception of ‘No changes’
 Lie...
All rights reserved 12
Warning Signs
You have a Methodology, but…
 The deliverables are more
important than the wo...
All rights reserved 13
Warning Signs
Who will have update access to the
models?
 Just the Modelers?
 The Modelers...
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Warning Signs
Done For Now (DFN)
 Milestones are met, for now
 Make up work never complete...
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Warning Signs
Finish-to-Start mindsets
 Nothing, absolutely nothing can
start until the dat...
All rights reserved 16
Warning Signs
YOU think your job is only data
modeling…
 You think everyone will see the
va...
All rights reserved 17
Your Contribution
 What warning signs have you
experienced?
 What warning signs have you
b...
All rights reserved 18
Can you answer…
Who is your Project Manager?
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Just Who is your PM?
 One?
 One from each project
partner?
 One and your Manager?
 One f...
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Getting it Right
Some things to think about…
All rights reserved 21
Getting it Right: How long
will it take?
 1 hour per attribute….
 5 days per subject area…...
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Getting it Right: How long
will it take?
Questions to ask:
 What kind of project is this?
...
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Getting it Right: How long
will it take?
Questions to ask:
 Where will the work be done
 J...
All rights reserved 24
Getting it Right: How long
will it take?
Questions to ask:
 What tools will we be using?
 ...
All rights reserved 25
Getting it Right: How long
will it take?
Questions to ask:
 What process will we be using?
...
All rights reserved 26
Your Contribution
 How do you estimate modeling
efforts?
 Where/how have your estimates
be...
All rights reserved 27
Getting it Right: How much
will it cost?
 .5 FTE per average project …
 2 FTEs if you wait...
All rights reserved 28
Getting it Right: Who
should be involved?
 Data Modeler
 Logical
 Physical
 Enterprise A...
All rights reserved 29
Getting it Right: When?
 Right from the start
 Defining Scope
 Recruiting existing modeli...
All rights reserved 30
Timing is Everything
 When’s a good time to start
modeling?
 Just before the code is deliv...
All rights reserved 31
Survival Tips
Some things to think harder
about…
All rights reserved 32
Survival Tips
Be collaborative (even if
they don’t deserve it )
• Intranet
• PDFs
• Spare c...
All rights reserved 33
Survival Tips
Say Baseline (or whatever
word you chose), not Done
• Baselines: Versions with...
All rights reserved 34
Survival Tips
Don’t be the Data Gang
/ Clique / Opposing
Team
• Do Lunch
• Share Knowledge
•...
All rights reserved 35
Survival Tips
Know the Project Plan
• A plan is not just a Gantt
Chart
• Current and future ...
All rights reserved 36
Survival Tips
Know the Issues List
• Be more ready with stats
than anyone else
• Know the co...
All rights reserved 37
Survival Tips
Win the Confidence of the PM
• Admit to mistakes
• Accurately reiterate others...
All rights reserved 38
Survival Tips
Acknowledge
philosophical differences
• The earlier in the debate, the
better
...
All rights reserved 39
Survival Tips
Be a Professional
• Track your errors
• Track the causes
• Build tools to over...
All rights reserved 40
Survival Tips
Be a Professional
• Know more about the tool
than anyone else on the team
• Be...
All rights reserved 41
Survival Tips
Be a Professional
• Know the limits of your tool
• Leverage its features
• Man...
All rights reserved 42
Your Contribution
 What are your best survival
tips?
 How did you learn them?
 Do you rec...
All rights reserved 43
Finally…
 You will fail if you think your
only job is to produce a high
quality data model
...
All rights reserved 44
Recommended Book
Secrets of Consulting,
Gerald Weinberg, 1986,
Dorset House, 0932633013
All rights reserved
Thank YOU!
blog.infoadvisors.com
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Big Challenges in Data Modeling - Data Modelers and Project Managers

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As we are asked to do more with less, project pressures can lead to compromises, shortcuts and other streamlining techniques. These shortcuts influence the quality and completeness of data management deliverables, yet most project managers have only a high-level understanding of what we do and what we require to do it. How will you respond when your project manager asks you how long it will take, how much will it cost, and how your efforts should be reflected in the project plan? This highly interactive (and sometimes irreverent) discussion will include:

Published in: Technology, Business

Big Challenges in Data Modeling - Data Modelers and Project Managers

  1. 1. All rights reserved 1 Managing Your Project Manager: A Survival Guide for Data Professionals Karen López www.infoadvisors.com
  2. 2. All rights reserved About me Karen López is a principal consultant at InfoAdvisors. She specializes in the practical application of data management principles. blog.infoadvisors.com
  3. 3. All rights reserved 3 Agenda  Warning Signs  Getting it Right  Survival Tips
  4. 4. All rights reserved 4 About this Presentation  We will be using an interactive format – your opinion counts  Opinions are good
  5. 5. All rights reserved 5 Why this Topic? Because Project Management is HARD Many IT professionals do not understand modeling Your project manager will, in part or in whole, define the success of the project
  6. 6. All rights reserved 6 Karen’s Contribution Contributor to Roundtable on Project Management, James Bullock (Editor), Gerald M. Weinberg (Editor), Marie Benesh (Editor), 2001, Dorset House, 093263348X
  7. 7. All rights reserved POLLS… • Who are you? • Model Much? • Manage Much? • … 7
  8. 8. All rights reserved 8 Warning Signs
  9. 9. All rights reserved 9 Warning Signs Your Project Manager is:  Above pitching in  Unwilling to remove obstacles  Compensated solely on Project Plan dates
  10. 10. All rights reserved 10 Warning Signs The project plan looks great, but…  Dates are hard and fast  Level of effort isn’t  The process is cutting edge, but the project plan isn’t
  11. 11. All rights reserved 11 Warning Signs Issue / Defect Lists  Rudy’s Rutabaga Rule  Perception of ‘No changes’  Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics  Analysis issues (every issue) portrayed as ‘Data Model Issues’
  12. 12. All rights reserved 12 Warning Signs You have a Methodology, but…  The deliverables are more important than the work they deliver  You are expected to spend more time preparing the documents than doing the work  More money is spent on publishing the deliverables than the tool used to prepare them
  13. 13. All rights reserved 13 Warning Signs Who will have update access to the models?  Just the Modelers?  The Modelers and the DBAs  The Modelers, the DBAs & the Developers  The Modelers, the DBAs the Developers, the Project Managers, the Business Users, the Project Sponsors, and …
  14. 14. All rights reserved 14 Warning Signs Done For Now (DFN)  Milestones are met, for now  Make up work never completed  Great for an iterative effort, not for a waterfall effort  No scheduled task times for iteration  White Bread Warning  The cost of fixing DFN grows rapidly the further you go….
  15. 15. All rights reserved 15 Warning Signs Finish-to-Start mindsets  Nothing, absolutely nothing can start until the data models are done  No tasks can start or be done in parallel  Outstanding Issues are always called Data Model Issues  No one understands that it is the modeling that is important, not the models.
  16. 16. All rights reserved 16 Warning Signs YOU think your job is only data modeling…  You think everyone will see the value of the data modeling  You think everyone knows what a data model is  You think everyone agrees what a good data model is  You think everyone knows your jargon  You don’t understand it’s the modeling, not the models.
  17. 17. All rights reserved 17 Your Contribution  What warning signs have you experienced?  What warning signs have you been responsible for?  What are “Encouraging Signs” you have observed?
  18. 18. All rights reserved 18 Can you answer… Who is your Project Manager?
  19. 19. All rights reserved 19 Just Who is your PM?  One?  One from each project partner?  One and your Manager?  One from each partner, the official one, your manager, her manager and your spouse?
  20. 20. All rights reserved 20 Getting it Right Some things to think about…
  21. 21. All rights reserved 21 Getting it Right: How long will it take?  1 hour per attribute….  5 days per subject area…  More than you think….  From now until the end of the project….  What if Quality is Job Null?
  22. 22. All rights reserved 22 Getting it Right: How long will it take? Questions to ask:  What kind of project is this?  Strategic, Enterprise, long term value  Tactical, Enterprise, medium term value  Chaotic, agile, extreme, desperate, someone will is probably going to go to jail if we don’t get this done on time….
  23. 23. All rights reserved 23 Getting it Right: How long will it take? Questions to ask:  Where will the work be done  Just on the other side of the cube  In a few corporate locations  Here, there, and everywhere  Days away
  24. 24. All rights reserved 24 Getting it Right: How long will it take? Questions to ask:  What tools will we be using?  Our favorite data modeling tool  A data modeling tool  A modeling tool  Tool? You need a special tool? How much are they?
  25. 25. All rights reserved 25 Getting it Right: How long will it take? Questions to ask:  What process will we be using?  CMM-5 / Best Practice / ?  Our usual methodology  Process? What do you mean by “process”.  Here’s the project plan – that’s our process.
  26. 26. All rights reserved 26 Your Contribution  How do you estimate modeling efforts?  Where/how have your estimates been the most inaccurate?  Shouldn’t we just double all our estimates?
  27. 27. All rights reserved 27 Getting it Right: How much will it cost?  .5 FTE per average project …  2 FTEs if you wait too late in the project  More than you think  It depends…how much money do you have?  The Orange Juice Test
  28. 28. All rights reserved 28 Getting it Right: Who should be involved?  Data Modeler  Logical  Physical  Enterprise Architect  DBA  Process Modeler  Requirements Analysts  Business Analysts  Subject Matter Experts  ???
  29. 29. All rights reserved 29 Getting it Right: When?  Right from the start  Defining Scope  Recruiting existing modeling resources  Preparing modeling environment  Tailoring standards  Recruiting People  Training
  30. 30. All rights reserved 30 Timing is Everything  When’s a good time to start modeling?  Just before the code is delivered “Can you fix this”?  When they need a database “Please Hurry!”  When the other modeling is happening “Our tool can’t generate a working database…can yours?”  From the beginning “How can I help you?”
  31. 31. All rights reserved 31 Survival Tips Some things to think harder about…
  32. 32. All rights reserved 32 Survival Tips Be collaborative (even if they don’t deserve it ) • Intranet • PDFs • Spare copies of Diagrams • I think I can… • Feel their pain
  33. 33. All rights reserved 33 Survival Tips Say Baseline (or whatever word you chose), not Done • Baselines: Versions with expected changes • Done: No expected changes • Baseline everything, not just the data models
  34. 34. All rights reserved 34 Survival Tips Don’t be the Data Gang / Clique / Opposing Team • Do Lunch • Share Knowledge • Sit with the team • Talk the team up, not down
  35. 35. All rights reserved 35 Survival Tips Know the Project Plan • A plan is not just a Gantt Chart • Current and future tasks • Provide insight to the PM on Risks and Contingencies • Identify problems when you have proposed solutions
  36. 36. All rights reserved 36 Survival Tips Know the Issues List • Be more ready with stats than anyone else • Know the complexity of Issues • Make sure that Issues are really Issues
  37. 37. All rights reserved 37 Survival Tips Win the Confidence of the PM • Admit to mistakes • Accurately reiterate others’ viewpoints, even if you don’t agree • Feel the pain • Know the political goals as well as the project goals • Get to the point where the PM asks you first
  38. 38. All rights reserved 38 Survival Tips Acknowledge philosophical differences • The earlier in the debate, the better • Once the decision is made, don’t waste everyone else’s time revisiting it • Know how to express the pros and cons of all sides
  39. 39. All rights reserved 39 Survival Tips Be a Professional • Track your errors • Track the causes • Build tools to overcome these errors • Document your procedures • Leverage your tools
  40. 40. All rights reserved 40 Survival Tips Be a Professional • Know more about the tool than anyone else on the team • Be literate in other modeling techniques and tool • Know the lingo of other approaches
  41. 41. All rights reserved 41 Survival Tips Be a Professional • Know the limits of your tool • Leverage its features • Manage the Sizzle • Produce readable diagrams • Produce really readable diagrams  • Never present a diagram without the model…
  42. 42. All rights reserved 42 Your Contribution  What are your best survival tips?  How did you learn them?  Do you record formal post- project reviews?
  43. 43. All rights reserved 43 Finally…  You will fail if you think your only job is to produce a high quality data model  Carry your ammo, but don’t be trigger happy  Be able to address every problem / challenge / issue with Cost, Benefit, and Risk
  44. 44. All rights reserved 44 Recommended Book Secrets of Consulting, Gerald Weinberg, 1986, Dorset House, 0932633013
  45. 45. All rights reserved Thank YOU! blog.infoadvisors.com

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