Project Management in the Real World

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Presentation on project management from the University of Pittsburgh's Panther Leadership Summit in February 2013.

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Project Management in the Real World

  1. 1. Project Management In the Real World
  2. 2. About Me Kate Daly BA in English from Westminster College Senior Project Manager at ONS Graduate of LDI XVIII bassist, knitter, ENFP @tikikate
  3. 3. About You What are your goals? What experiences (negative or positive) do you have with projects?
  4. 4. What is a project manager?
  5. 5. “A project manager is the person responsible for delivering a project on time, within budget, and within scope.” - Random Boss Guy
  6. 6. A project manager • Works with stakeholders/customers to understand their needs and wants (and the difference between the two) • Translates requirements into words and pictures that can be understood by team members of all skills and interests • Understands the status of the project and can discuss it with the appropriate level of detail with staff at all levels
  7. 7. A project manager • Discusses and presents solutions • Motivates the team to do good work • Understands the project management process enough to see when things are missing • Sees and communicates the “big picture” • Manages everyone’s expectations
  8. 8. (To name just a few.)
  9. 9. “Project managers were the only ones who could talk about the process, not just the product. And, usually, [they] were the only ones who had the charm to do it.” - Author and PM Frank Ryle, in a 2012 interview with Fast Company
  10. 10. Well, What’s a Project?
  11. 11. “A project is a temporary group activity designed to produce a unique product, service, or result.” - Project Management Institute (PMI)
  12. 12. The Three Factors Common to All Projects
  13. 13. SCOPE TIME COST
  14. 14. GOOD FAST CHEAP
  15. 15. The Triple Constraint aka “Golden Triangle” aka “Scope Triangle” aka “Something you can’t ignore”
  16. 16. You can’t fix one without affecting the other two ...and they rarely work in harmony.
  17. 17. Find out which constraints are most important and work to help others understand the impact.
  18. 18. Want it fast and cheap? You got it! And you understand that we can only build one feature -- are you cool with that?
  19. 19. High quality awesomeness for half the price? No problem! I’ll have that to you two years from now.
  20. 20. Oh! Fast and awesome? Great! Do you happen to have your checkbook with you?
  21. 21. Ignoring the triple constraint can cause a project to #fail.
  22. 22. Why? It’s all about expectations.
  23. 23. Expectations Everyone has their own mental picture of what the end result is.
  24. 24. The Analogy of the Swing (as told with illustrations from projectcartoon.com)
  25. 25. How the customer explained it.
  26. 26. How the project manager understood it.
  27. 27. How the product was designed.
  28. 28. What the programmers wrote.
  29. 29. How marketing sold it.
  30. 30. What the QA folks found.
  31. 31. How it was documented.
  32. 32. When it was finally delivered.
  33. 33. How much it cost.
  34. 34. What the customer really needed.
  35. 35. So, how do I avoid that? Start with a vision, apply a framework
  36. 36. Project Vision Purpose (why?) Description (how?) Desired Results (what then?)
  37. 37. Share the Vision Write it down. Talk about it (a lot). Use it to measure success.
  38. 38. Two Popular Frameworks Waterfall vs. Agile
  39. 39. Diving Into the Waterfall •Sequential process with defined phases •Each phase is completed before the next one starts •Predictable and structured
  40. 40. The Benefits of Waterfall •It’s easier to uncover issues earlier in the process •People like predictability
  41. 41. But I Might Drown! •People rarely know what they want until they see what they don’t want •No one knows for certain that what you’ve designed will work •Ch-ch-ch changes happen constantly
  42. 42. Get Agile! •Individuals and interactions over processes and tools •Working products over comprehensive documentation •Customer collaboration over contract negotiation •Responding to change over following a plan
  43. 43. Agile 101 •Self-organizing teams commit to delivering pieces of functionality •Features are defined in “user stories,” which represent bits of the final product from the user’s perspective •Work is organized into iterations, or “sprints”
  44. 44. You want me to be a what? Agile, and particularly Scrum projects, have structured roles and meetings.
  45. 45. Product Owner Decides what will be worked on next, and how each user story will deliver business value Scrum Master Removes “impediments” from the team and encourages following the process Team Self-organizes and self-assigns, then demonstrates how their work delivers value
  46. 46. Sprint Planning Everyone meets to discuss the product backlog and decide what they’ll commit to Daily Scrum A short, daily meeting where commitments and impediments are discussed Sprint Review The team meets to show off their work Sprint Retrospective When the team discusses what worked ...and what didn’t
  47. 47. The Benefits of Agile •Allows for continuous feedback and refinement •Encourages group effort •Embraces inevitable change •Helps customers see something sooner •Progress is defined by how well business needs are met and real deliverables, not speculation
  48. 48. Not So Fast There... • Requires continuous feedback from engaged stakeholders • Everyone has to be OK with less predictability • Sometimes it’s hard to define “done” (this is where an MVP comes in) • Failure is part of the job
  49. 49. Processes and Frameworks Are Nice but...
  50. 50. Never Favor a Process Over People (we’re only human)
  51. 51. Leadership and Project Management
  52. 52. Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something because s/he wants to do it. Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower 34th president, military general, and all-around nice guy
  53. 53. No Matter the Goal, No Matter the Framework 10 Ideas to Lead with Success
  54. 54. 1. Care About People Embrace your emotional intelligence
  55. 55. 2. Care About Making Good Stuff Do what you can to ensure the best work possible, because you want to
  56. 56. 3. Share the Vision When the stars align, the vision will match both your personal goals and your company’s goals
  57. 57. 4. Be, Like, a Good Communicator, OK? Work to gain understanding, be a good listener, and use spell check
  58. 58. Seriously. Be a good communicator. Explain complex concepts in appropriate terms and respect your audience.
  59. 59. 5. Challenge Yourself and Others Keep ‘em interested: no one wants to feel like a widget-maker
  60. 60. 6. Be Engaged Speak up, and recognize others who do
  61. 61. 7. Be Open Ask questions, be honest, admit your mistakes
  62. 62. 8. Learn the New “No” “No” is never just “no;” always work to present a solution
  63. 63. 9. Get Out There Find a community, read blogs, talk to other PMs, go to conferences
  64. 64. 10. Be Yourself This above all, to thine own self be true,  And it must follow, as the night the day,  Thou canst not then be false to any [employee, boss, co-worker, or friend].  Polonius, in Hamlet, Act I, Scene III (with a wink to the Bard)
  65. 65. Questions and Thoughts?
  66. 66. References and Sources Books and Guides Interactive Project Management: Pixels, People, and Process N. Lyons and M. Wilker Project Management: A Practical Approach FranklinCovey The Complete Signet Classic Shakespeare S. Barnet, Ed.
  67. 67. References and Sources Interwebs http://www.projectcartoon.com/ http://www.paragoninnovations.com/ http://agilemanifesto.org/ http://www.versionone.com/ http://www.allaboutagile.com/ http://www.scrumalliance.org/ http://en.wikipedia.org/ http://www.fastcompany.com/1822525/what-hell-project-management-anyway http://www.pmi.org/
  68. 68. Thank you! (go forth and do good!)

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