I’ve written before about how to deal with one’s removal from a project. But when it actually happened to me, I gained a better insight into what causes it and the best ways to deal with it.
Set up to fail
We all knew it was going to be a tough project. It was a program actually; five projects that were supposed to interact with each other. But they didn’t. The client had a program manager. He collected information from the various projects. But that information wasn’t shared well among the projects.
The project I was assigned to manage didn’t have an initial scope defined. Our first task was to define the scope. There were many other issues that should have raised red flags from the beginning. It was a very political environment where many people were in fear of losing their jobs. That always creates additional work, frustration and general hoops to jump through. Continue reading How I Handled the Removal from a Project→
I’ve been blogging for about three years now. Today I’m trying something a bit different. I’m participating in a Flash Blog. More than forty bloggers are contributing a blog at the same time on the same day with the same title: What Project Management Means to me: A Project Manager’s Sermon. (To see other participants’ blogs, check out #pmFlashBlog on Twitter)
I’m not a regular church-goer and I don’t intend to get too preachy, but the initiator, Shim Marom specifically chose the S-word to ensure the content is genuine, convincing, rational and emotional. So here goes. Continue reading What Project Management Means to Me→
Early in my career, I was once called at home around 9:00 PM on a Thursday night and told to report the next day to a project in a city, three and a half hours away from my home. The next morning I drove there to find out it was a project in trouble. They were way behind and needed me to write some code and help them catch up.
I was at a point in my career where I was moving out of coding and trying to become a project manager. I didn’t want to code. I struggled silently for the next six weeks working 14-16 hour days to help get the project back on track. I couldn’t wait for the project to get over. I felt like I was wasting away on that assignment.
Not such a bad project
In my next annual performance review, my boss lauded me for “taking one for the team”. He said I had been a real team player by working on that assignment and that I had played a critical role in saving the relationship with that client. Continue reading Bad Projects Can Still Be Career Builders→
Last November when the latest James Bond motion picture, Skyfall was released, I found myself in a conversation with my co-workers about the new movie. The conversation evolved to comparisons of the new movie to previous Bond flicks. It occurred to me that, although I love movies and watch a lot of them, I had never seen a single James Bond movie. It wasn’t on purpose. I just never got around to seeing any of them.
So I started a quest to watch every James Bond movie in order. Starting with 1962’s Dr. No starring Sean Connery I viewed all twenty-four 007 flicks ending with 2012’s Skyfall starring Daniel Craig this past weekend.
As I enjoyed these movies, it occurred to me that there are many project management lessons we can learn from 007.
There comes a time in every consulting project when the project ends for a consultant, normally known as “rolling off”.
Consultants are, by nature, temporary workers. The end of the gig will eventually come. There is always the possibility that the client will ask for you to come back for another project, but at some point, the project ends and you go to work for another client or to sit on the consulting “bench” waiting for reassignment.
Leaving with mixed emotions
I’ve always faced rolling off of a project with mixed emotions. On one hand, one of the things I like best about consulting is the variety of experiences. This includes going to different clients, working with different teams and implementing a variety of solutions. Rolling off of a project means moving on to another exciting opportunity. Continue reading 7 Things to Do When a Project Ends→
I once managed a project for a multi-site organization to implement software at each location.
I held a weekly status conference-call with the company’s executives which included the branch manager from each location. In these calls, I would give an overall status of the project and each branch manager would report the status for their respective branch.
Every company and client that I’ve worked for has had what I considered a penchant for meetings. I’ve seen meetings to prepare for a meeting. I’ve also seen meeting leaders who take all of the time allotted for the meeting. If a one-hour meeting finishes in 45 minutes, they figure out some way of extending the meeting to its allotted time.
Part of the problem with meetings is that they do serve a purpose. A meeting addiction is more like an addiction to food rather than to a drug. We can’t eliminate meetings completely. We just abuse their use by taking them a little too far. Continue reading Stand up: The 15 Minute Meeting→
William was an avid planner. For his new year’s resolution, he decided to plan each day of the coming year. He planned the days he would do laundry and mow the lawn. He calculated the number of miles he would drive each day so he could plan the specific days on which he would purchase gas and have the oil changed in his car.
No change management at all
He planned every meal for every day of the year and wrote his shopping list for each Saturday at 9:00 AM when he would shop. He also planned the clothes he would wear every day of the year. He anticipated the productivity gains he would realize as a result of this planning. Continue reading Change Management: A Parable on Agile→
I don’t watch a lot of TV, but one of my favorite shows is Celebrity Apprentice. Not that I think it’s quality TV by any means; I just get a kick out of seeing how petty some of these washed up rock stars and former Playboy models can act on national television.