March 9, 2010
People with diverse professional experiences and background have totally unique perspective on any issue. When a new team is assembled for any project, its vital for the success of that project that all team member are aware of the ground-rules for the project; similar to any sport. You may have to read it to team and give a copy for reference.
Here is an example list that I have used for a project to keep team aligned. Such ground-rules certainly eliminate unnecessary confusion and your business customer and team members like it defined beforehand. Make sure, you also follow it and implement it.
- Project manager is the primary contact for any project related communication.
- All team members maintain their contact info on the team contact list with contact preference.
- All members attend required meetings and conference calls; if unable to attend, meeting organizer to be notified. If key contributor is unable to attend, request to reschedule the meeting.
- Any planned day off or vacation must be communicated in advance to project manager so that project plan can be updated and impact to work, if any, can be analyzed.
- All project team members have access to project plan and project logs (in a standard document format) and are aware of the assigned tasks and due dates.
- All team members are to be consulted about the reasonableness of the plan prior to management approval.
- All team members are required to validate their assignments and time allocated prior to the plan is baselined.
- All project team members have the responsibility to proactively notify the project manager about tasks, duration or dependencies they believe are missing (or any other needed changes to the plan) and confront issues directly and promptly.
- Project team members have the responsibility to notify any potential difficulties in meeting the schedule for any assigned tasks as soon as it is known by the team member.
- Each project team member is responsible for ensuring anticipated workload conflicts with other assignments are brought to the attention of the project manager. Team members should ask for help if feeling “stuck” or falling behind the schedule instead of waiting for miracle.
- All team members are responsible to own, follow-up and provide updates on the assigned task (including but not limited to any identified risks, issues, changes, approvals, clarification from customer). If any delay is observed, escalate to project manager.
- All meeting minutes, key decisions, assumptions and business rules must be documented and all action items must be followed up and assigned to a resource with expected completion date. These items are usually mentioned in casual conversation.
- All project team members understand the scope of work. Any work performed must be in the project plan and is in the project scope. Anything that is absolutely needed but not part of the project plan, must be brought into project manager’s attention.
- All project team members confront issues directly and promptly.
- Only project manager submits all final deliverables to business customer for sign-off or approval.
What are other key things that you have found useful and we can add to this list?
Thank you for your visit and have a great day!
September 20, 2009
When you got 10 minutes or less to talk to your executive manager, you are well aware of the fact that you do not have enough time to give background of the issue or request and he/she isn’t interested in nitty-gritty detail.
Instead of giving your jargon loaded intellectual talk, paint the picture with words. Try to make it little striking with some recent example. Tell how it’s going to impact him, positively or negatively (again painting a picture with words), and what you need from him.
If you are telling about a problem, tell what solutions you propose. Watch your gesture and prepare to answer the question with some facts; do not let it come to the point where you say ‘I will get back to you on this.”
Hope this helps and have a nice day ahead.
August 20, 2009
I came across 11 leadership principles of Marine Corps in Guide Book for Marines on the Internet and here is my interpretation of 11 principles. I am interested in hearing from Marines about their leadership experience.
- Take responsibility – we need to seek and take responsibilities if we need to grow; never shy away, whatever seems challenging will help you expand your perspective.
- Know yourself – reflect upon your strengths and weaknesses; seek improvement and understand that you can achieve only those goals that you set.
- Set an example– conduct your business in a professional manner; do not loose temper – small minds are bothered by small problems; not only work in your job but also work on your job as well. Be a brand that people want to associate with.
- Develop your subordinates– consider this as part of your job; learn to delegate; as Zig Ziglar said “You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want“; give them opportunities to learn & grow; guide them if they fit somewhere else.
- Be available – in every respect; be available to listen to problems and challenges people are facing; to motivate, to lead and to show right direction; to hear criticism; to take decisions and to act on time.
- Look after the welfare of your employees – the way you want your boss to look after your welfare; develop emotional intelligence; connect with people and find out what motivates them; do something that touches their lives; help them when they are in need. Arrogance and ignorance will not take you to the top or won’t keep you there for long.
- Keep everyone well informed – right communication is the key; make sure that the tasks are understood, supervised and accomplished on time and tell why you need all this done; do no assume – aks and tell.
- Set goals that are achievable – always set the goals – people need to know what they are expected to deliver and by when; let people figure out how; goals should motivate teams to act; measure the results and reward people.
- Make sound and timely decisions– that are aligned with the core principles of your organization and with your job descriptions; there will always be more than one right answer – choose the one that benefits the most and not only you; take decisions like a servant leader.
- Know your job – be technically and tactically proficient in your job; know your people; know the processes and challenges; know how can you add value to the organization or your department.
- Build teamwork– not all people can perform equally but they should complement each other while working towards a common goal; promote team work and diversity; shield your team from external pressure; be flexible with team.
“Leadership is intangible, hard to measure, and difficult to describe. It’s quality would seem to stem from many factors. But certainly they must include a measure of inherent ability to control and direct, self-confidence based on expert knowledge, initiative, loyalty, pride and sense of responsibility. Inherent ability cannot be instilled, but that which is latent or dormant can be developed. Other ingredients can be acquired. They are not easily learned. But leaders can be and are made.” – General C. B. Cates, 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps
Thanks for reading and welcome your input. Have a great day.
August 14, 2009
Here are 6 quotes for I.T. managers from Norman R. Augustine
- Hardware works best when it matters the least.
- A revised schedule is to business what a new season is to an athlete or a new canvas to an artist.
- One of the most feared expressions in modern times is ”The computer is down”.
- It has been wisely said that the world is not interested in the storms you encountered but in whether you brought the ship in safely.
- If a sufficient number of management layers are superimposed on top of each other, it can be assured that disaster is not left to chance.
- The last 10 percent of performance generates one-third of the cost and two-thirds of the problems.
Thank you for visiting and have a great day.
June 5, 2009
Last week I completed Compuware Changepoint training. I had read earlier that Changepoint is in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant (leaders) for PPM tools.
Changepoint is a web based tool for project and portfolio management. The tool enables leadership make right decisions based on dynamic metrics of various initiatives and what value these initiatives add; and realignment of IT efforts with business strategy and vision. Tool is very intuitive and scalable.
In Project and Portfolio management, complexity is the key factor that makes changes difficult and time consuming. Just imagine multiple projects going on in your organization with resources scattered around the teams (or Globe) and you are tracking the progress and reporting the metrics to the upper management. Management wants to see report on status of all the projects underway, return on investment for each project, supply and demand, resource utilization, change management, issues and risks to the projects, etc. to make informed decision on project priorities, strategic planning and funding.
Changepoint makes all the aspect of program management easier by effectively managing your projects and applications, resources and client relationships. You can find out more at Compuware website.
Disclaimer – I am a Compuware employee and opinions expressed here are my own.