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Project Manage(r)ment
Challenges
Mohan Ar
Consultant
Management
Mohan Arumugam
Technologies Specialist
E-mail : moohanan@gmail.com
Phone : +91 99406 53876
Profile
B...
• Domain Knowledge & Skills
• Communication
• Delegation
• Risks & Ambiguity
• Customer Orientation &
Managing Expectation...
Domain Knowledge & Skills• Domain knowledge should not be mistaken for
technical knowledge; one can have domain
knowledge ...
Domain Knowledge & Skills• Project Manager should be skilled in just industry knowledge (Area A). you can
spew out busines...
Communication• Communication is what takes up most of a project’s manager time, and effective
communication is likely the ...
Delegation• One of the key success factors for a project manager is effective delegation. How
effectively does he get work...
Delegation• Clearly explain the reason for the task or work that must be done. Discuss why the
job is being delegated and ...
Risks & Ambiguity• As a project manager one has to deal with uncertainties all the time. It is thus
important for a projec...
Risks & Ambiguity• Lack of Accountability – A project manager's leadership qualities can shine when
each member of the tea...
Customer Orientation
&
Managing Expectation
• Project Managers are responsible for understanding the need of the customer,...
Time ManagementAt any point in time there are multiple tasks and issues to tackle for a project
manager. To be successful,...
Time Management
Communication(Not Just Status Updates)
It's best to avoid team meetings where you go around the room askin...
Decision Making
• The process of examining your available options and choosing the course of action to
produce most effect...
Q & A
Mohan Arumugam
Technologies Specialist
E-mail : moohanan@gmail.com
Phone : +91 99406 53876
Profile
Thank You
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Project Management Challenges

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Project Manage(r)ment Challenges

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Project Management Challenges

  1. 1. Project Manage(r)ment Challenges Mohan Ar
  2. 2. Consultant Management Mohan Arumugam Technologies Specialist E-mail : moohanan@gmail.com Phone : +91 99406 53876 Profile Blogger Trainer Who Am I ?
  3. 3. • Domain Knowledge & Skills • Communication • Delegation • Risks & Ambiguity • Customer Orientation & Managing Expectations • Time Management • Decision Making
  4. 4. Domain Knowledge & Skills• Domain knowledge should not be mistaken for technical knowledge; one can have domain knowledge but not be an expert. It is true that sometimes it is not a good idea to have a project manager that is also a technical expert because a project manager needs to manage the people who manage technical tasks, and not perform the tasks in their place. • Domain knowledge is essential considering the bulk of a project manager’s job is communication.
  5. 5. Domain Knowledge & Skills• Project Manager should be skilled in just industry knowledge (Area A). you can spew out business terms and understand business process without a problem. In this case you know exactly what right issues under terms and how the process should be handled. But if you are asked to start up a project and put in a governance structure for project management. You'll be in trouble. You'd also have no knowledge of how particular software solutions might be used to meet business needs • Project Manager who is skilled in just generic project management methodologies (Area B) - you can run projects - no problem. But if you face stakeholders from the business who ask you about general cycle of the application. It will tough to answer. You'll also not know how solutions can be constructed to meet business goals. • The same applies to folks in Area C - who only know a solution very well but are not trained in the art of project management and also lack direct industry experience • The folks in Areas D, E or F - who know two sets of skills (e.g. industry and generic PM skills, or solution and industry skills) - will be in real demand out there in the market. • And here's the real killer combo - being in Area G. This kind of project manager has the generic PM skills, plus industry AND solution skills.. This type of folks will led a successful project management.
  6. 6. Communication• Communication is what takes up most of a project’s manager time, and effective communication is likely the common trait of good project managers. There has to be a common “language” between the team and the project manager, and this implies domain or even technical knowledge. First of all, the project manager needs to effectively exchange information and ideas with the team members. This would be impossible or just ineffective without domain knowledge. • Second, the project manager needs to keep all key stakeholders updated with the project’s evolution. Knowing the technical terminology helps the project manager gain the stakeholders’ credibility. • The communication allows better steering, smarter development analytics, and earlier resolution of uncertainties. Leading enterprises have optimized the critical software development operations through metrics, automated instrumentation, and drillable dashboards. They’ve gone from a typical two-week build cycle to a daily build cycles. This has been enabled by real time automation of measurement and reporting, which allows data collection directly from the engineering code and test base so practitioners spend less time in status reporting and more time in code and test.
  7. 7. Delegation• One of the key success factors for a project manager is effective delegation. How effectively does he get work done? Delegation must happen through empowerment without interference and/or losing control. I often ask the following questions to determine if the candidate is good at delegating. • Delegation is a two-way street. That's right! Delegation is meant to develop you and the people you work with. Consider what you are delegating and why you are delegating it. Are you delegating to build people, get rid of work you don't like to do or to develop someone? • To delegate effectively, you need to let go. You can't control everything so let go and trust the people you work with. Hand over those tasks to other people that are stopping you from reaching your full potential. • Create a delegation plan. Use a delegation matrix that shows your people, the main task components and how you can develop your people and get the work done. This will help your people understand the expectations being set. • Define the tasks that must be done. Make sure that the task can be delegated and is suitable to be delegated. Some things you have to do and others can be done by someone else. Be clear on what the task is and is not. People like clarity when being delegated. So ensure you are clear about what you expect. If you are not clear your people will not be and you will be disappointed. Worse, your people will feel like failures. Not cool!
  8. 8. Delegation• Clearly explain the reason for the task or work that must be done. Discuss why the job is being delegated and how it fits into the scheme of things. Don't be afraid to negotiate points that are discussed when appropriate. Don't say it is because we are told to do it. For your people to own the task you must own the task. Reframe and rephrase it so you have ownership. • Get agreement on timeline and deadlines. Include a status reporting feature to ensure things are getting done. When is the job to be done? What are the ongoing operational duties? What is the status report date and how is it due? • Provide and get feedback for the teams and individuals. It is important that you let people know how they are doing and if they are achieving their aim. Don't get into blame-storming. You must absorb the consequences of failure, create an environment where failure is an opportunity to learn and grow, and pass on the credit for success. Pay it forward, if you can.
  9. 9. Risks & Ambiguity• As a project manager one has to deal with uncertainties all the time. It is thus important for a project manager to identify and prioritize critical risks and appropriate mitigation actions required in fuzzy environments, and communicate adequately and appropriately. It is equally important to manage others’ concerns in changing environments and enable change. To assess competency in this area, it is best to ask scenario based questions. • Improper Risk Management – Learning to deal with and plan for risk is another important piece of project management training. Risk tolerance is typically a desirable project manager trait because projects rarely go exactly to plan. Gathering input, developing trust and knowing which parts of a project are most likely to veer off course are aspects of the project manager's job. • Ambiguous Contingency Plans – It's important for project managers to know what direction to take in pre-defined "what-if" scenarios. If contingencies are not identified, the entire project can become mired in an unexpected set of problems. Asking others to identify potential problem areas can lead to a smooth and successful project. • Inadequate Skills for the Project – A project sometimes requires skills that the project's contributors do not possess. Project management training can help a project leader determine the needed competencies, assess the available workers and recommend training, outsourcing or hiring additional staff.
  10. 10. Risks & Ambiguity• Lack of Accountability – A project manager's leadership qualities can shine when each member of the team takes responsibility for his or her role in achieving project success. Conversely, a lack of accountability can bring a project to a complete halt. Finger-pointing and avoiding blame are unproductive, but all-too- common features of flawed project management. Learning to direct teams toward a common goal is an important aspect of project management training. • Poor Communication – Project managers provide direction at every step of the project, so each team leader knows what's expected. Effective communication to everyone involved in the project is crucial to its successful completion. • Proper communication can help increase morale by establishing clear expectations • Good project managers keep communication and feedback flowing between upper management and team leaders
  11. 11. Customer Orientation & Managing Expectation • Project Managers are responsible for understanding the need of the customer, and responding in a timely, efficient manner to meet customer expectations. They are also responsible for establishing and maintaining effective relationships, and gaining the trust and respect of customers. Here are a couple of questions I usually ask to gauge the candidate's customer orientation. • Impossible Deadlines – A successful project manager knows that repeatedly asking a team for the impossible can quickly result in declining morale and productivity. The odds of successfully completing a project under unreasonable deadlines are generally not feasible expectations. • Resource Deprivation – In order for a project to be run efficiently and effectively, management must provide sufficient resources. Project management training shows how to define needs and obtain approval up front, and helps project managers assign and prioritize resources throughout the duration of a project. • Lack of Stakeholder Engagement – A disinterested team member, client, CEO or vendor can destroy a project. A skilled project manager communicates openly and encourages feedback at every step to create greater engagement among participants. • Which means the improvements in integration, collaboration, and optimization must span the broader software supply chain. The systems and software lifecycle is expanding. There are more stakeholders, more roles in development, deployment, manufacturing, and operations.
  12. 12. Time ManagementAt any point in time there are multiple tasks and issues to tackle for a project manager. To be successful, the project manager has to choose his battles wisely. Also, resources available for the project are always limited, and need to be utilized in a wise manner. That is prioritization in action. Time is a valuable resource for the project because once lost it cannot be recovered easily. As a result, Time Management is one of the key skills for a project manager. The Project Manager is responsible for creating efficient ways to execute tasks. To be a successful project manager, you must be able to manage your time well. The best project managers ensure they are productive for most of their time and avoid time-wasters at all costs. Here are some tips that can help you manage your time more efficiently. Planning What does this have to do with time management I hear you ask? Well, if everyone knows what they are doing and have a plan with regular milestones to focus on, you as project manager will spend a lot less time dealing with issues brought about by a lack of clarity. 80/20 Rule The 80/20 rule (or the Pareto Principle) is the idea that by doing 20% of the work you can produce 80% of the benefit of doing the whole job. The value of this for a project manager is that it reminds you to focus on the 20 percent of activities that matter. Of the activities you do during your project, only 20 percent are important. Those 20 percent produce 80 percent of your results. Identify and focus on those activities.
  13. 13. Time Management Communication(Not Just Status Updates) It's best to avoid team meetings where you go around the room asking each person to give a status update. These meetings have little value and waste time. Instead, spend that time focusing on risks, issues and opportunities. Use the team to brainstorm solutions and create ideas. Have an agreed agenda that you stick to in team meetings. If you schedule an hour for the meeting, make sure it lasts for an hour and no longer. Take significant issues off-line if they are likely to cause a meeting overrun. Don't make everyone sit through lengthy technical discussions that don't involve them. Stop Micro Managing Avoid delving into the detail of the work. With software development projects, it's not necessary for the project manager to get involved at the code level, leave this to the developers. You've selected the right team for the job. Let them get on with what they are best at, while you concentrate on steering the project to a successful conclusion. Don't Do the Work Many project managers make the mistake of getting involved in 'doing the work'. Avoid this at all costs. Managing projects is a full-time job and taking your eye off the ball (even for a short period) can lead to problems. Create a To-do List Email fixation is a modern-day problem that can distract you from doing the tasks you need to, or plan to. Creating a daily to-do list keeps you focused on achieving your objectives. Scratching tasks from your list can create a real sense of achievement and drives further activity.
  14. 14. Decision Making • The process of examining your available options and choosing the course of action to produce most effective results. • In the decision making process, we choose one course of action from a few possible alternatives. In the process of decision making, we may use many tools, techniques and perceptions based on FVME(Facts, Values, Means and Ends). • Facts • If you want to make a decision, the basic requirement for the same is gathering relevant information. Appropriate use of this information will be helpful in deciding about ways to reach to the goal or an objective. • Values • Decisions are primarily based on situations. An action to a particular situation is determined by values. • Means • It is the way you reach your objective based on already devised values and significances
  15. 15. Q & A
  16. 16. Mohan Arumugam Technologies Specialist E-mail : moohanan@gmail.com Phone : +91 99406 53876 Profile Thank You

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