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Project Management

By ozair_rasheed ·
I would like to know if there are people who can define the role of a project manager and that whether completing a project, on time, within budget is beig a successful project manager OR following methodology, procedures and guidelines?

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Leading Is The Key Role

by Wayne M. In reply to Project Management

A project schedule and budget are predictions and like all predictions are subject to error. There is no one to one relationship between being on time and under budget for a single project and being a successful project managers. Successfull project managers do have a better track record, but they also have their occassional flops.

Likewise, following a methodology, procedures, guidelines, what have you will not make you a successful project manager. You need to understand the intent behind all of these and satisfy the intent. Often times this means following the standards, but it also means, on occassion, trying something different to improve your projects chances for success.

The issue is leadership. How to get your development team as close as possible to total success (even when they may fall short). This means using standards, etc. as tools and not carved in stone mandates. It does not imply being a loose canon, nor being a "procedures zombie." Take the best of whatworks and modify or discard the parts that hold you back or fall short.

Lead your project and the other issues will fall into place. Focussing on the other issues instead will cause your leadership to falter.

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Definition of Project manager

by JamesRL In reply to Project Management

Just happen to have my textbook close by.

The classic text"Project Management, A Systems approachto planning, scheduling and controlling" defines succesful project management as meeting the following goals:

Within Time
Within Cost
At the desired performance/technology level
While utilizing the assigned resources effectively and efficiently
Accepted by the customer

I help mentor new IT project managers, and I also facilitate their use of our adopted project methodology.

In my experience, any methodology, procedure or guideline is an aid to good project management, not a subsititute for it. I use a methodolgy to get consistancy and to enforce some due diligence and project disipline. But there is no way to make a methodology perfect enough to substitute for common sense and project management experience.

James Linn

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Two Aspects to it

by gnitbhu In reply to Definition of Project man ...

I think the role of any manager, is two fold.. I think I read this in some document from Proctor and Gamble.

1. Build the Revenue/Profit etc in the company - This has to do with proper analysis , planning of the project
2. Build the organization- as in building a conducive environment to work in. Building the culture that fosters productivity in the organization ..or something to that effect...more the organizational behaviour aspects of a manager....motivation, team building etc...

methodology just helps keep track and optimise the planning process so that it is repeatable. Just a process to make sure you dont reinvent the wheel in terms of missing out some things that are commonly overlooked ... If using methodology does not helpin any way(u would have done the process correctly even without the method..this is rarely the case)...then u should devise ur own method to cover ur bases....
Anyway I am just a novice to this field of project management and u guys should take my opinion with a pinch of salt...

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Success is measured in many ways. . .

by bill In reply to Project Management

While all the things you mentioned, are in fact, 'guideposts' to being a successful project manager, there are many, many aspects to the position.

Being effective at bringing a team together, at serving as a liason between clients and the team, knowing *when* the team is in trouble, knowing the difference between 'real' problems and 'team' problems. These are just a few.

In the final analysis, an individuals project management ability will be measured by their ability to bring projects in on time, on budget and up to specifications.

How they get there, is rarely something anyone but the team ever 'sees', but that shows up loud and clear in that final analysis.

As a verteran of all sides, of a wide variety of projects (well over 1000), I can tell you this much. If the project is on time (or early), at (or under) budget, and meets (or exceeds) specs, no one (except possibly the team) will care 'how' it got done correctly. On the other hand, if it fails in one or more ofthese categories, everyone involved will want to know *exactly* where it went wrong, and why.

Hence the reason the we need to document everything along the way. Methodologies help in this regard as well, as does good project management/time linesoftware keeping all concerned up to date as the project progresses.

Rarely does a project begin, and end, with exactly the same set of specs, those changes along with documented time line changes along the way, help to diffuse problems before they begin.

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comic relief

by JohnB___ In reply to Success is measured in ma ...

We have identified the attached action item, in order to add value to the process and avoid bottlenecks we will take ownership of the challenge. Drill down and identify deliverables after taking ownership of milestones. With the proper focus, we will incentivize knowledge transfer so that we don't reinvent the wheel. Use proper metrics and leverage off existing infrastructure to meet the cost analysis and take it to the next level. To keep everyone in the loop we will touch base next week, any sidebar conversations can be taken offline. To be proactive, someone will be the point of contact and keep an open door policy. Rely on responsibility assignment to the proper resources with buy in from principals to achieve value added results. Turn to scope change procedures to prevent scope creep and maintain the moral compass of the project. Obtain a subject matter expert with the proper skill set and form a team.

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This is absoultly true

by nturkestani In reply to Success is measured in ma ...

I agree with what Bill stated. I would like to thank him for the way he presented this to us.

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Thanks...

by bill In reply to This is absoultly true

You're most welcome.. and thanks for the acknowledgement. I just understand things from my perspective... a result of the various 'wins' and 'losses' during my career.

If we don't keep learning in this business... we are destined to end up in another business!!

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Project management - the balancing act

by Dilbert! In reply to Project Management

In my experience Project management is about balancing decisions. Developers love nothing more than being given a loose objective and an infinite amount of time. The result is a long project that is forever refining itself but never actually completes.

The art of Project management is to capture that enthusiasm and to focus it to delivering to a desired specification within a set time frame.

Meanwhile you need to deploy the usual man management skills to ensure that the developers feel valued and motivated.

You can tell when you are being successful as the work place has a feel to it. There is excitement in the air, problems get discussed openly, people want to deliver their part of the project successfully.

The interesting area's of project management in the IT industry is trying to guess what technologies to train people in. We all know that to get on a training course takes a minimum of 4 weeks, yet by the time we know what skills we need it is just too late. To carry out no training is the wrong message to send to staff but sending people on a training course and then not utilising that technology upon their return means that they do not build on the course. The other issue is that customers do not want towait for software - they always want it today. Management of this expectation is again a balancing act.

So what defines a good Project Manager? - I wish I knew - I am a Project manager myself and I go home at nights and ask myself - am I a goodproject manager? - well we are delivering consistantly to time and budget, the staff turn over is low, and morale is high but am I succeeding....who knows?

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A Good Project Manager needs..

by davidnesbit In reply to Project Management

My humble offering to the thread is that there are really only 3 fundamental ingredients required for a good Project Mgr:

1.. Leadership Skills -
to ensure all team members are willingly working towards the same project outcome

2.. ManagementSkills -
to ensure requisite resources are provided and, that appropriate HR/IR policies and procedures are applied to control the project

3.. Project Mgt Methodology -
to follow the most appropriate methodology and structure for the specific project at-hand

[following URL leads to number of excellent Project Mgt and Methodology resources and articles]

http://www.techrepublic.com/article.jhtml?id=t01220001207liz20.htm

Good Luck
Dcn

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A combination !

by hsvenky In reply to Project Management

A PM essentially needs strong leadership qualities (values esp.) to drive processes through People,using strategies & other resources!
Well, the proportion of each? That can be best answered by the experience a PM has with him!

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