So, you say you are a project manager…so what? First, let me say that these articles will not be politically correct, and are only a small part of a larger book that I am writing. I tend to be direct, but what I state is the opinion of many, and the best and worst practices I have seen in over 20+ years of experience. These articles, or the book, are not meant to be a training manual, but more of a reminder of what I have seen as best and worst practices, and encourage the continuous improvement in the skills that many of us take pride in. The end result will be a book of LESSONS LEARNED written in collaboration with project managers, written for those in the project management field. My past has always been working with mature PMO organizations, and even bringing PMO organizations through the maturity process. As such, I have had the “pleasure” of seeing the pains organizations go through when trying to mature their PMO organizations, as well as the joy when they have reached the next level.
Too often I run into people that say they are a project manager, or program manager, but when I interview them and ask the simple question of what comes first, a risk, issue or change request the majority answer with issue. This surprises me but has also shown me that some of the basics are not known, and not practiced. Gathering requirements, understanding designs before building or technology components, infusing quality, all seem to be an after-thought. However, it is those after-thoughts that often will cause a project to get into trouble. So why do some people call themselves project managers yet not practice project management? That is the ultimate question. Sometimes, it could be organizational direction, but I have yet to find an organization that is unwilling to learn best practices, or let a project manager actually fully perform end-to-end project management.
You will see references to what others say, what others recommend, and even what others suggest. I am PMP certified and support the PMI, and I have completed my Master’s Degree with a specialization in Project Management and now pursuing my Doctorate of Education, but I do not support only one methodology or principle. What I cannot understand is why “project managers” do not practice the lessons they learn and what they tested for to get certified. This is not an endorsement of the Project Management Institute (PMI), or getting PMP certified, or Prince Certifications, or ITIL, or any other methodologies. This is centered around the practice of project management with real-life stories and experiences, lessons learned, and best and worst practices that I have seen and experienced. This will have some funny areas, some even maybe a little sarcastic, but all of it is meant to be taken seriously and to make you think.
Some of you reading these articles may get angry, some may get defensive, and then there are those that are going to question why they do not do what is being suggested. There will even be some of you that will support what I am are trying to say and reinforce, and just maybe begin practicing true project management again. Even if the company you work for does not have a formalized process, is that any reason you do not do what you know you should do as a project manager?
These nine parts will look at different stages and responsibilities in a project. To simplify, these will be broken down into different sections covering discovery, planning, requirements, design, build, test, deploy and close. They will not provide everything the book will in the future (such as templates), but it will provide a look at some of the basics that we have all learned to do, but for some reason do not.
I hope you will take these articles with a grain of salt, and use these to practice true end-to-end project management, instead of just saying the words “I’m a project manager”. Also, I hope you will watch for my book to be available only through PMforToday soon.
Read Part Two of this Article – HERE
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Author, Speaker, Project / Program / PMO Thought Leader
Over 20 years project management experience with a passion for helping organizations grow their PMO, their project managers, and their teams. My passion has taken me to the pursuit of a Doctor of Education, as I enjoy seeing the proverbial light bulb come on. I am a believer in continuous growth and improvement, and believe that an organizations culture and environment is what drives the growth of PMOs and all areas, and not the other way around.