We spend most of our waking hours at work, yet for many among us the time spent there is unrewarding, unfulfilling, and often just unpleasant. If that sounds familiar, then we can help.
Today we are going to be talking about Enlightened Project Management with Joe Drammissi, PMP (http://enlightenedpm.com/about). At first, this sounds like a method that comes straight out of a new age textbook, but it is in fact a worthwhile concept that helps us project managers not only make a positive difference, but also puts us at the leading edge of change. So keep on listening!
In our interview, Joe and I talk about what enlightened project management is but then quickly talk about the traits that an enlightened project managers has. We review what such a PM strives to do, believes in and how she or he works with stakeholders.
We close out the interview by learning how EPM is applied on a project manager's day-to-day work, and Joe gives us a technique that is easy to apply to get us started -- all based on his book 101 Tips for the Enlightened Project Manager.
Leader and Leadership:
A leader is the one who leads others. Thus a person can be called a leader if he leads some people. The level of leadership varies from a leader of some people to that of group or a business enterprise. The type and nomenclature of leadership vary as per the organization a leader heads, e.g., political leadership, military leadership, business leadership, social leadership, national leadership, global leadership and so on. However, the characteristics and implications of leadership remain, generally, similar in all cases.
Leadership, Competitors, Competence and Performance:
Leadership is full of power, glamour and elan. Its charm attracts many. The post of leadership, thus, becomes highly contentious and competitive. Consequently, a person who desires to be a leader has to compete in the race for leadership, and prove himself better than his competitors.
At some point in their lives, many projects need the expertise of external third parties to ensure that certain activities are carried out. Much research and advice is available in the practice of supplier and vendor management, ranging from procurement techniques to establishing Key Performance Indicators and Metrics management. In this article, we point out a few key elements that the three of us usually find important when working on a project with suppliers and vendors. As a project manager, it is important that you embody the philosophy you want your team to adopt with suppliers and vendors – it sets the tone for success.
This paper describes a technique for determining how well a project is performing relative to an agreed upon plan (often known as a baseline). Overcoming some of the limitations of traditional performance tracking, this new approach puts an emphasis on identifying how much variance from the plan occurs over time. Further enhancing this valuable insight, is the ability to also apply this analysis technique to different groupings or sections of a project and determine which of these best complies with the project plan. In summary: this approach allows for a quick determination as to whether your project is being executed as planned, and if not, where the areas and time periods of non-compliance are.
The technique is applicable to both project execution as well as post-execution for firstly keeping the project on-track and secondly for determining lessons learned as well as a powerful means of understanding root cause of project delays during a project forensics exercise.
Let’s face it; virtual teams (where we work with colleagues in remote locations, be they close by or in different countries) are now a reality in the workplace. If this trend in the workplace environment continues, virtual working will increasingly influence the way we operate, and the ‘effective virtual team worker’ will be a valued asset. A key benefit to forming virtual teams is the ability to cost-effectively tap into a wide pool of talent from various locations. There are several definitions of the virtual team worker, but within the context of this article, we are talking about people who work on project teams and who display the following attributes:
- They work primarily from a particular office (maybe a home office, or maybe a fixed work location), and they are not expected to travel each week as a part of their job (i.e. road warrior) or be physically in the office on a daily basis.
- They likely work from home one or more days per week.
Most project managers with a few years experience or more are likely to have managed a project where some or even all of the project members were remotely located. How different is managing a virtual project team from a co-located team? Are there additional considerations or risks involved in managing a virtual team? Before we answer these questions, one must first understand the dynamics of the virtual team worker.
“Happiness is the full use of your powers along lines of excellence in a life affording scope…’ John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States
‘An Analogy… Years ago as kids, when we all didn’t know (or worry about) what project management was, our PMBOK’s were comic books (we acknowledge that many adults read such material today). We couldn’t wait for the next monthly or weekly issue to come out of Superman or X-Men, or the Fantastic Four, or Spiderman to name just a few. Of course, not all comic books involved superheroes, but many of them did. Each superhero in our imaginary worlds has at least one or more special skills or powers that made them champions for justice and “the greater good”. Let’s not forget the arch nemesis and villains like Lex Luthor, Magneto, or Dr. Doom that had similar powers but used them for the wrong intent.
Today we probably all know some of our colleagues as ‘superheroes’ for the efforts they give or the results they achieve individually and/or with their team. Are they considered our champions or Olympians in program and project management? Do you admire them for their strength the same way one might respect a person who can undertake admirable feats of physical endurance or run at incredible speeds?
This is about Risk. There are visible and invisible risks in any software project and those risks may appear any time during the project life. PMBOK has a separate knowledge area on risk management. YES it’s that important! So ..Then why most the SCRUM practitioners are so silent about risk management ( Ok we Agilists think the word “management” is evil ;-) So I will use the word “risk handling”). I think risk handling is one of the most unspoken areas in agile processes.