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  • #2275828

    New to autonomous Project Management


    by pmj_2003 ·

    For the last 18 mths I have been outsourced to a global finance company as the IT Coordinator for the process of moving people around the building, be it 1-5 or 5-500.
    I took over from my current boss about 12 months ago, and took over a very good system. I was also part of a ‘well oiled machine’ which was the ‘Move team’. I wrote the procedure manual for my tasks and that of my team of engineers.
    Recently this contract was put out to tender, and we lost it to a (much) cheaper competitor. (We went as low as we were prepared to and any lower wasn’t profitable, so no regrets)
    I have just passed an interview as a Project Manager in an evenlarger global finance company, where I’ll be one of around a dozen PM’s all running their own projects, from 1-4 each.
    My concern is that I have zero experience with Project Management other than the previously mentioned, well structured position.
    In a week or two I start in a company where I will be in a totally autonomous PM role, running an as yet unknown project or 3, and I really feel like I have ‘bitten off more than I can chew, and I’m about to start chewing like mad’.
    Any advice on the basics of PM, where to start and recommended reading, would be very much appreciated! I have been reading the PMBOK, but I would love to have some reference material on the ‘coal face’ specifics of PM.
    Possible projects might be:
    Java Upgrade, Software Encryption, Unix Infrastucture.
    I have about 7 years IT experience, with a support core, but more sales or operations management experience.

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    • #3314760

      Reply To: New to autonomous Project Management

      by mdow ·

      In reply to New to autonomous Project Management

      There are several good books on Project Management but the “book” is the PMBOK. You can purchase it at almost any bookstore.

      Also, as a new PM myself with loads of technicial experience, I find that reminding yourself that you are managing the project, responsible for the sucessful conculsion. You will have to use your people skills and have the ability to deligate, to find those people in your company that have the skills you need and to work those people to complete their assigned tasks.

      Project Management is tuff, what you are used to doing (hands on) is gone, you now have to use other skills that may not be completely developed. Over time you will find what works and what does not.

      Good luck

    • #3314292

      Reply To: New to autonomous Project Management

      by ponderworks ·

      In reply to New to autonomous Project Management

      The PMBOK is not a great resource for getting to understand the basics of project management at the “ground level”. In addition, it does not provide any specific methodology. It has a wealth of information but is meant to provide a standardized language and recommended approaches to practicing project management.

      You need to (very quickly) get some practical guides and start looking through them (list below). Also, look through the techrepublic archives and you will find a wealth of practical advice on just about every aspect of project management. What you don’t find, just ask. I will tell you that depending on the size and scope of the project(s) you are going to be assigned, you may have a lot to deal with. But, unfortunately, many people get into project management this way.

      Fundamentals of Project Management
      James P. Lewis

      Project Management For Dummies
      Stanley Portny, Stanley E. Portney

      Software Project Survival Guide
      Steve McConnell

      Project Management Jumpstart
      Kim Heldman

      For dealing with MS Project
      Project 2002 in Easy Steps
      John Carroll

      Microsoft Project 2000 Step by Step with CD-ROM
      Carl S. Chatfield, Tim Johnson

      Fast Forward MBA in Project Management
      Eric Verzuh, Eric Verzub

      Good Luck!


    • #3314026

      Reply To: New to autonomous Project Management

      by jamesrl ·

      In reply to New to autonomous Project Management

      Different types of projects…..

      I too started off as a project leader, not by design, but because my job was being outsourced and the company wanted to keep me on board.

      PMBOK is a very broad outline of project management, and sets a standard for everything from IT projects to engineering projects like building bridges. While they all have phases in common, there are some specifics with software development you might want to understand, even if you never manage a developer.

      The “Bible” to me in IT projects is Project Management: A Systems Approach Dr. Harold Kerner. Read and understand that, and you’ve come a long way.

      Your global company might have developed a specific methodology or bought one – find out.

      As far as the basics; a few words of advice.

      It is always more expensive to fix something the farther along it in the project you discover it – so emphasise lots of good planning, and good testing. Constantly monitor and adjust.

      People will underestimate the amount of time needed for planning – don’t let them skimp on proper planning. Good software projects spend as much time gathering requirements and planning as they do building and implementing.

      Good project managers communicate early and often. Don’t be afraid to share bad news – better to get it out up front than to have people discover it later.

      Good project managers listen well – to the stakeholders, to the team members.

      Good project managers are flexible and pragmatic – few projects happen exactly as planned. Keep your eye on the end goals and acheive them, and your stakeholders will be happy.

      Probably enough for now.


    • #3316259

      Reply To: New to autonomous Project Management

      by dlukyano ·

      In reply to New to autonomous Project Management

      All answers from collegues are good. But self-education have some weak point – you have not real assistance in your theoretical progress. What do you know about on-class education? Now exist many qualified education providers in this area – see,, etc (aspesually any brouser). As for me, I was had great help for my understanding PM methodology after some programs in IBM learning centre. And after strong expirience for last five-six years. And self-education, of course. With www-sources and different magazines and books for PM-pros. For this goals very applicable membership in professional associations in PM area (see, ) – you will have access for interesting and applicabling information.
      Unfortunately, this is not a free service – but results will be more greatest than you money for this purposes.
      Sorry my english,
      Dmytro Lukianov, CPM (IPMA level B), IPMA member.

    • #3053198

      Reply To: New to autonomous Project Management

      by justn_time ·

      In reply to New to autonomous Project Management

      I am in Baghdad on an IT project and it seems your future tasks may be a little easier. Here are few tips to keep in mind:

      -Aligning your project goals with the client.
      -Constant contact with the client.
      -Ongoing presentations with client showing status of project or product
      -Controlling your team and depending on your IT project some micro-management may be needed (like or not).
      -Time management with your team is crucial and team moral.

      Remember your client pays the bills but your team make you look good.

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