Practical Project Management – Tip Number #1 (NAAA)

Okay, after quite some time I want to share some of my experience in project management. I have seen many sites and books which talk about project management and how to become a successful project manager, etc. But what I want to do here is to more focus on practical project management.

So, going forward,  I will be writing short blog posts with my day to day experiences. Hope it will help for all fresh PMs out there.


So what is this rule number 1 (NAAA)?

Never Assume Always Ask

It is common mistakes to ‘assume’ you know what the other party thinks. You don’t! Stop looking for evidence you were right from the beginning. Listen to their story and hear what they are really saying. Repeat what you have understood to make sure you got the message.

VERY Important: Ask each stakeholder which other persons or parties they think should be contacted. This way, you will minimize the possibility of forgetting a target group.

Popularity: 10% [?]

Why did I become a project manager? Why do I remain as a project manager?

Today I woke up with a terrible cold and bit of a flue for my American friends. :) Running out to my car 15 minutes earlier than the normal time that I’m leaving usually, just to get some quick medicine on the way, and asking myself, “Why am I doing this?”. Well that answer is quite simple. I have a client who needs my help today and have to submit a draft proposal for a potential project.

Becoming a project manager was an evolution for me; evolution in that I kept falling into scenarios that leave me managing people temporarily from various departments and working to build human workflows between the fortress of IT and the ever changing landscape of the business in various types of clients including fortune 500 companies.

I started my career (right after the first degree) as a business analyst and I found that it’s not my type of job. So I requested from my management to assign me a small scale project. But at that time there was no such position called project manager in the organization. But they gave me a project to start work on and I got a perfect superior (who was my line manager) who has extraordinary skills in organizing. He always ensured to direct me in the correct path. He never made my life easier and due to that I did learn a lot from him.

I continue to be a project manager because it is my chosen profession. I choose to continue. I choose to seek out new clients who need my teams help and support. I choose to get scolded form my loved ones and family members for doing work all the time. I choose to work 12 hours per day even in the holidays. But believe me; I really like this work and start digging further towards the end goal.

I guess the bigger question now is “Why do I remain as a project manager?” You see, project management gives me the variety that my personality type desires in the workplace. No single day is ever the same to me. Very challenging and I find it very interesting too. I know there are plenty of opportunities out there that also give you that same variety, but there are plenty of ones that don’t. I recognize in myself that I am the type of person that would get bored easily in other roles.

Being a project manager also helps me because it is the perfect role to leverage my natural strengths: Organizational skills, people skills, communication skills, ability to deal effectively in ambiguous situations, and it just happens I like having the responsibility and control to make a difference. The challenges that come with Project Management keeps the work interesting, and let’s face it, not everybody can do it. I take pride in my profession, and enjoy the opportunity to continuously learn and lead.

Last but not least I must tell that all the teams and each individual was in the team that I’ve managed so far is simply great and awesome.

Popularity: 11% [?]

Presentation @ the IRCMF 2009

Last Friday (11th Dec 2009) I did a presentation @ the IRCMF (International Research Conference in Management and Finance). Presentation was based on the research which I did for my final year project.  “Managing Retail Supply Chain by Effective Replenishment System with Forecasting Capability “was the theme for my presentation. Since it was bit techy research audience were interested about the talk.  So I thought of sharing the presentation slides rather than going to write about the whole speech here.

Popularity: 2% [?]