SIGIA-L Mail Archives: RE: SIGIA-L: Project management
RE: SIGIA-L: Project management
From: Hansen, Lauren \(FUSA\) (LaurenHansen_at_firstusa.com)
Date: Tue Jul 10 2001 - 10:42:21 EDT
> Chris Chandler said:
> How much project management do the IAs out there do?
I do a fair amount of project management in my role as a Functional
Designer, which also includes varying proportions of IA, usability, and
defining requirements. How much project management I end up doing depends
how good the actual project manager is.
> How hard is it to find good project managers?
I think it's very hard to find people who are good at all aspects of
management. Many PMs are strong in some areas, but not in others. For
example, I've worked with PMs who are good at finding the right people to
answer critical questions, but fail to communicate frequently with other
project team members. I've seen others who know their project management
methodology inside and out, but lack the flexibility to adjust the rules
when circumstances call for it. Some others, unfortunately, are just plain
> How do you know when you have one, and how do you know when you don't?
Knowing whether or not you have a good PM is seldom a black-or-white
question--it can be a pretty big gray area. However, a well-managed
follows a detailed plan that is reviewed frequently with the project team
and updated as needed. All stakeholders know where things stand, what
they're supposed to be doing, and when it needs to get done. The project
clear goals and milestones. Scope changes and their impact are
to all stakeholders and are added to the project plan. The PM and team
members are committed to and enthusiastic about the project. The project
on time and within budget. The customer is happy. At the end of the
the PM and team members evaluate what went well, what didn't go so well,
what they'd do differently next time.
Reality is never that perfect, but a well-managed project has at least
of those qualities.
> How would you pick a project manager if you got to pick?
I've never had that luxury or authority, but there are some traits I'd
in a PM. One of the most valuable qualities a PM can have is the ability
remain calm and in control, even when things are at their craziest. A good
PM knows when to adhere to the process and when to diverge from it. A good
PM knows the importance of planning, and gives that phase of the project
attention it deserves. A good PM needs to be committed to meeting the
of the customer without sacrificing the needs of the business. A PM needs
be able to communicate effectively with a variety of people, from clients
programmers to upper management. A PM needs to motivate team members
pushing them too hard. Having a broad understanding of the subject matter
makes a difference. And a PM should treat each project as a learning
experience--no one's perfect, and each project is new and different in
way. I have no idea where I'd find such a person, though.
I could go on and on. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts on one of my
Bank One Consumer Internet Business Group
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: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 22:54:47 EST