Thursday, May 20, 2010

Few point about a good project manager

My First experience of Project management

Crisp way: If you are in Delivery of any project, if you are the person who will actually work and give the output, don’t consider any client as very very important because all are important for you. Consider everyone like same and if some problem they are creating, just shout.

This is first time; in my life I felt work pressure. May be stress is the right word to say. My fingers were shaking; my leaps were running randomly and my brain? It got fucked. Whole day whole night working is not a new thing for me. I have done it so many times but freely. Here it was different. I worked 24 hours and next day presented the whole stuff to the client. Grown bear, mustache and long hair. People started feeling that something really tough is happening with me and my team. Here is the story which I don’t want to enjoy again in my life but yes! Don’t want to forget also.
When I got the call from Rabin, I was swimming in the SPSS codes. I got an idea that some important MIS (simple business reports) generating project is coming. He appointed me as a project manager and gave a resource who will be actually working on the data. It was clear, my role was just to manage him and get the job done. Abhinash my resource is a married guy. Technically soft but needs motivation for work. I became surprised when next day I got another resource for the same project. Picture became really clear when I got another call from Robin saying “be prepared to make your hands’ dirty”. I understood some big shot fish is coming to eat me.
This was my first project as a project manager. I was having lots of plans to do a wonderful job. Making the client happy, giving something more than what they want or some intellectual stuffs. You can see all these are kind of the language of hard work and non selfishness. But life was waiting for me with something else .To change myself, to give a call from myself. Sometimes yours spirit gets devastated, your mind and heart will stop talking together, you will lose the option to say “I can’t do it”. That is the point where you have to understand that you are going wrong. May be people are taking you granted, may be people are fucking your ass and told you “sorry next time I will use a lotion”. Let’s go back to the story again.

Before this I was great team member but not a team leader. I never asked anyone to complete the work in 2 hours. In spite of that I used to finish their work, thinking ultimately the work done matters. This was the first thing I learnt. I asked to give me one data; my one team member did a useless work. He went home just like it was not his responsibility. I finished his working whole day - night and in the morning had a discussion with the client to finalize the output. My client manager used to shout on me about why I am working so hard. Slowly it changed my attitude. Lots points I have learned a lot and will suggest you the following points:

• Don’t ever underestimate your resources. The difference between you and a terrorist is you use a human and they kill a human to solve a problem.
• When you are part of a delivery team, don’t ever differentiate your clients. Big people will always come and say this client is most important blah blah blah but that’s why you have two ears.
• Try to be friend with your team members but push them hell when it comes to work. That’s the only way to get the job done.
• Please escalate the first mistake which one has done and you think it will affect you. Don’t suppress it because otherwise everything will come you.
• Don’t ever show an attitude that you are ready to work in weekends. This is a free passport to everyone to give the shitty work that they don’t want to do.
• Be aggressive about your work.
• Don’t work whole day & whole night. It sucks, kills your health and will give you nothing.
• Without practice don’t go for client presentation
• Don’t entertain anything which someone thinks will be good for the client and not present in the plan which has been shared to the client.
• Don’t work after having beer.
• Don’t show the last minute work mentality. As a project manager, you should never do that.
• Explain the output of your team members. At any situation they have to be very clear about what they are doing.
• Sleep well and leave the office work in office only.
• Last but not the least , you are the boss so be proactive and politely , confidently ask “ where are we on this???”.