Project Management forthe Rest of UsCarol Smith, Google, Inc.T3CON North AmericaMay 31, 2013
Who Am I?
Who Am I?Undergraduate degree in journalism
Who Am I?2 years as an administrative assistant
Who Am I?3 years in Googles Network Operations andDeployments
Who Am I?2 years managing software releases half-time.
Who Am I?3 years in Googles Open Source ProgramsOffice
Who Am I?A lot of time spent doing it the "hard way."
Who Am I?Let me tell you about an easier approach.
What is ProjectManagement?
What is Project Management?Maybe youve been thinking of projectmanagement more as a system for releasingsoftware, or maybe...
What is Project Management?I consider project management to be simply asystem of organization. You can apply it toany task...
What is Project Management?I also consider project management to be thesystem of persuasion and negotiation youuse to get ...
What is Project Management?People managers have it easy!
What is Project Management?They can get work out of people simply byhaving the power to hire and fire or affect anemployee...
What is Project Management?People who just have to get other people to dowork have to figure out other ways tomanage it.
What is Project Management?Project management is a skill and an art.
What is Project Management?Its a skill and an art worth developing.
What is Project Management?It can be used in all aspects of our lives, notjust at work, and not just by a select group ofp...
What is Project Management?We all have to do project management in ourday-to-day lives just to keep them runningsmoothly, ...
What is Project Management?The companies that we work for function asmicrocosms of our day-to-day lives.
What is Project Management?They have to be managed to keep themrunning smoothly too, and often we have tohelp that process...
What is Project Management?Here are some examples of projectmanagement.
What is Project Management?Inbox Zero.
What is Project Management?Makers Schedule, Managers Schedule [1][1] - http://www.paulgraham.com/makersschedule.html
What is Project Management?Heres the way it typically goes wrong.
The Perils of the Well-Meaning ProjectManager
The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerImagine this situation.
The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerA new project manager, just hired!
The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerMuch like most of us in this room, she wants todo it right the first time an...
The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerSo she makes a spreadsheet. Or a Gantt chart.Or even just a big project plan.
The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerShe goes to her first team meeting andpresents this document to the develope...
The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerThe developers smile and nod. Maybe theyeven say it sounds like a great plan!
The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerOur project manager goes back to her deskhappy to have gotten buy-in from he...
The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerBut then the time for the first item to be done,and its not done yet.
The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerSo she sends a friendly email asking about thedeadline.
The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerShe only reaches out to the one developer,hoping she will just respond and s...
The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerThe email goes unresponded to.
The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerSo does the next one.
The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerThe project manager ends up in the teammeeting telling her boss that nothing...
The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerHer boss decides to get involved. Her bossstarts emailing the engineers and ...
The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerBy the time the project manager is a month intoher job, she has to re-do tha...
The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerAnd now her boss is managing the projectinstead. Any credibility she might h...
The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerAnd nothing is done.
The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerShe meant well.
The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerBut instead of focusing on the people, shefocused on the details.
Some (Somewhat Embarrassing)Examples
Some (Somewhat Embarrassing) ExamplesWhen I was in Network Deployments, I knewalmost nothing about networks.
Some (Somewhat Embarrassing) ExamplesMy half-time project managing a software team.
The Easier Approach
The Easier ApproachFocus on the start of the project.
The Easier ApproachBefore you get into the details of eachindividual task that needs to get done,instead take an accountin...
The Easier ApproachHas any work been done already on theproject?
The Easier ApproachUnderstand and agree in writing what the mostimportant aspects of the project are.
The Easier ApproachWhats the point of the project? What are youtrying to achieve? Is there an easier way todo it?
The Easier ApproachFocus on the people.
The Easier ApproachColleagues who dont care or dont like theproject theyre working on arent going to bemotivated to get th...
The Easier ApproachMake sure youve got everyone youre workingwith in agreement with your philosophy.
The Easier ApproachMake sure youve got everyone youre workingwith in agreement with your role on theproject.
The Easier ApproachMake sure youve got everyone above you inagreement with your philosophy.
The Easier ApproachMake sure youve got everyone above you inagreement with your role on the project.
The Easier ApproachAssume competence until proven otherwise.
The Easier ApproachUse common sense.
The Easier ApproachThis is a relationship.
The Easier ApproachFrequent, honest communication isfundamental to making the relationship work.
The Easier ApproachDevelop the ability to "read" people andnegotiate with different personalities.
The Easier ApproachMy colleague who put tiaras on our engineersheads.
The Easier ApproachMake sure you are a "poop umbrella," not a"poop funnel."
The Easier ApproachBe flexible.
Project Management for the Rest of Us
Project Management for the Rest of UsGood project management isnt aboutmanaging projects.
Project Management for the Rest of UsIts about defining whatever system oforganization is going to work for you (andyour c...
Project Management for the Rest of UsIts about working with people.
Project Management for the Rest of UsIts about making sure your colleagues areexcited about the work theyre doing,whatever...
Project Management for the Rest of UsAnd its about keeping the communication openand honest.
Project Management for the Rest of UsThink about it.
Project Management for the Rest of UsWhat in your life do you wish had clear goals,everyone involved excited and intereste...
Project Management for the Rest of UsWhat about your last family vacation?
Project Management for the Rest of UsOr maybe your last big life decision?
Project Management for the Rest of UsThe last project on your house?
Project Management for the Rest of UsOr maybe just your last talk with your spouse?
Project Management for the Rest of UsThis is simply a way to organize your life andcollaborate effectively with the people...
Project Management for the Rest of UsI hope it helps you!
Project Management for the Rest of UsThank you.
Project Management for the Rest of UsQuestions?carols@google.com
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Project management for the rest of us

  1. 1. Project Management forthe Rest of UsCarol Smith, Google, Inc.T3CON North AmericaMay 31, 2013
  2. 2. Who Am I?
  3. 3. Who Am I?Undergraduate degree in journalism
  4. 4. Who Am I?2 years as an administrative assistant
  5. 5. Who Am I?3 years in Googles Network Operations andDeployments
  6. 6. Who Am I?2 years managing software releases half-time.
  7. 7. Who Am I?3 years in Googles Open Source ProgramsOffice
  8. 8. Who Am I?A lot of time spent doing it the "hard way."
  9. 9. Who Am I?Let me tell you about an easier approach.
  10. 10. What is ProjectManagement?
  11. 11. What is Project Management?Maybe youve been thinking of projectmanagement more as a system for releasingsoftware, or maybe youve just been thinkingof it as the job the person who nags you has.
  12. 12. What is Project Management?I consider project management to be simply asystem of organization. You can apply it toany task or group of tasks to make your ownwork more efficient and productive.
  13. 13. What is Project Management?I also consider project management to be thesystem of persuasion and negotiation youuse to get people to do work.
  14. 14. What is Project Management?People managers have it easy!
  15. 15. What is Project Management?They can get work out of people simply byhaving the power to hire and fire or affect anemployees performance review.
  16. 16. What is Project Management?People who just have to get other people to dowork have to figure out other ways tomanage it.
  17. 17. What is Project Management?Project management is a skill and an art.
  18. 18. What is Project Management?Its a skill and an art worth developing.
  19. 19. What is Project Management?It can be used in all aspects of our lives, notjust at work, and not just by a select group ofpeople.
  20. 20. What is Project Management?We all have to do project management in ourday-to-day lives just to keep them runningsmoothly, often whether we like it or not.
  21. 21. What is Project Management?The companies that we work for function asmicrocosms of our day-to-day lives.
  22. 22. What is Project Management?They have to be managed to keep themrunning smoothly too, and often we have tohelp that process along.
  23. 23. What is Project Management?Here are some examples of projectmanagement.
  24. 24. What is Project Management?Inbox Zero.
  25. 25. What is Project Management?Makers Schedule, Managers Schedule [1][1] - http://www.paulgraham.com/makersschedule.html
  26. 26. What is Project Management?Heres the way it typically goes wrong.
  27. 27. The Perils of the Well-Meaning ProjectManager
  28. 28. The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerImagine this situation.
  29. 29. The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerA new project manager, just hired!
  30. 30. The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerMuch like most of us in this room, she wants todo it right the first time and impress her bossand her co-workers.
  31. 31. The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerSo she makes a spreadsheet. Or a Gantt chart.Or even just a big project plan.
  32. 32. The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerShe goes to her first team meeting andpresents this document to the developers.
  33. 33. The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerThe developers smile and nod. Maybe theyeven say it sounds like a great plan!
  34. 34. The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerOur project manager goes back to her deskhappy to have gotten buy-in from hercolleagues so early in the process.
  35. 35. The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerBut then the time for the first item to be done,and its not done yet.
  36. 36. The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerSo she sends a friendly email asking about thedeadline.
  37. 37. The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerShe only reaches out to the one developer,hoping she will just respond and say, "ohyeah! Im almost done!"
  38. 38. The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerThe email goes unresponded to.
  39. 39. The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerSo does the next one.
  40. 40. The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerThe project manager ends up in the teammeeting telling her boss that nothing is doneyet, and she doesnt know why.
  41. 41. The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerHer boss decides to get involved. Her bossstarts emailing the engineers and "helping" to"get things moving."
  42. 42. The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerBy the time the project manager is a month intoher job, she has to re-do that Gantt chartfrom scratch.
  43. 43. The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerAnd now her boss is managing the projectinstead. Any credibility she might have hadwith the team is lost.
  44. 44. The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerAnd nothing is done.
  45. 45. The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerShe meant well.
  46. 46. The Perils of the Well-Meaning Project ManagerBut instead of focusing on the people, shefocused on the details.
  47. 47. Some (Somewhat Embarrassing)Examples
  48. 48. Some (Somewhat Embarrassing) ExamplesWhen I was in Network Deployments, I knewalmost nothing about networks.
  49. 49. Some (Somewhat Embarrassing) ExamplesMy half-time project managing a software team.
  50. 50. The Easier Approach
  51. 51. The Easier ApproachFocus on the start of the project.
  52. 52. The Easier ApproachBefore you get into the details of eachindividual task that needs to get done,instead take an accounting of whatshappening with the project already.
  53. 53. The Easier ApproachHas any work been done already on theproject?
  54. 54. The Easier ApproachUnderstand and agree in writing what the mostimportant aspects of the project are.
  55. 55. The Easier ApproachWhats the point of the project? What are youtrying to achieve? Is there an easier way todo it?
  56. 56. The Easier ApproachFocus on the people.
  57. 57. The Easier ApproachColleagues who dont care or dont like theproject theyre working on arent going to bemotivated to get things done, no matter howbig a spreadsheet you make and how muchyou email them about deadlines.
  58. 58. The Easier ApproachMake sure youve got everyone youre workingwith in agreement with your philosophy.
  59. 59. The Easier ApproachMake sure youve got everyone youre workingwith in agreement with your role on theproject.
  60. 60. The Easier ApproachMake sure youve got everyone above you inagreement with your philosophy.
  61. 61. The Easier ApproachMake sure youve got everyone above you inagreement with your role on the project.
  62. 62. The Easier ApproachAssume competence until proven otherwise.
  63. 63. The Easier ApproachUse common sense.
  64. 64. The Easier ApproachThis is a relationship.
  65. 65. The Easier ApproachFrequent, honest communication isfundamental to making the relationship work.
  66. 66. The Easier ApproachDevelop the ability to "read" people andnegotiate with different personalities.
  67. 67. The Easier ApproachMy colleague who put tiaras on our engineersheads.
  68. 68. The Easier ApproachMake sure you are a "poop umbrella," not a"poop funnel."
  69. 69. The Easier ApproachBe flexible.
  70. 70. Project Management for the Rest of Us
  71. 71. Project Management for the Rest of UsGood project management isnt aboutmanaging projects.
  72. 72. Project Management for the Rest of UsIts about defining whatever system oforganization is going to work for you (andyour colleagues).
  73. 73. Project Management for the Rest of UsIts about working with people.
  74. 74. Project Management for the Rest of UsIts about making sure your colleagues areexcited about the work theyre doing,whatever it is.
  75. 75. Project Management for the Rest of UsAnd its about keeping the communication openand honest.
  76. 76. Project Management for the Rest of UsThink about it.
  77. 77. Project Management for the Rest of UsWhat in your life do you wish had clear goals,everyone involved excited and interested in,and everyone was openly communicatingabout it?
  78. 78. Project Management for the Rest of UsWhat about your last family vacation?
  79. 79. Project Management for the Rest of UsOr maybe your last big life decision?
  80. 80. Project Management for the Rest of UsThe last project on your house?
  81. 81. Project Management for the Rest of UsOr maybe just your last talk with your spouse?
  82. 82. Project Management for the Rest of UsThis is simply a way to organize your life andcollaborate effectively with the people in it.
  83. 83. Project Management for the Rest of UsI hope it helps you!
  84. 84. Project Management for the Rest of UsThank you.
  85. 85. Project Management for the Rest of UsQuestions?carols@google.com

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