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How to be a good project manager

I always agree with this view: “The project manager is grown by practice, but not by learning. A person to grow as a qualified project manager is not primarily rely on science, but by dry, of course, science is also very important. In the implementation of a ERP project recently, our group summed up lot of practical experience, of course, these experiences cannot serve as guidelines for the implementation by project manager, and perhaps also a personal misunderstanding, but offers them for your reference.

First, the real understanding of the role of project manager

Understanding of the role of project manager must avoid the two extremes: one is too much emphasis on the technical capacity of project manager that the project manager should be the strongest technical people of team, all difficult problems in project implementation should move to the project manager, project manager to say “Yes” or “No”, otherwise it is nothing to convince the people. The other is too much emphasis on the leadership of project managers, project managers think that the primary task is to put his team a cup of coffee, coordinating the relationship between team members.

Firstly, I think the project manager should have a similar experience in project implementation, have a clear understanding about ERP project, and have a solid knowledge of the industry; he can make a scientific implementation solution of the program, and can help members solve their own problems when necessary, but it does not mean that the project manager must be very proficient in any technical issues, such as network architecture for the project, the project manager can consult the relevant professionals. Nevertheless, the project manager should be familiar with and understand the project in each of the technology, the only way to fully grasp the project.

Second, the project manager should have coordination, organization and the ability to adjust the atmosphere of the entire project team, in the face of setbacks, “warming”, when in the over-optimistic, “cool”; the project manger should communicate and coordinate with customers well, in the face of critical or difficult issues, project manager should find the answer by any ways.

Project manager is different from the professional managers in general, it is a career with strong professional, a non-technical person is definitely not a goog project manager, and project manager should be a combination of technology and management.

Second, the emphasis on the management of the project team, penalties and rewards.

In the ERP project implementation, project manager should establish a set of practical project management rules. This is the only way to ensure the orderly implementation of the project. Standardized and practical project management rules, must respond to companies and vary by project. In general, it is the combination of the principle project management, business / industry characteristics, and project size / nature of business development and cultural / quality of the product, and various other factors. At the same time, to strictly enforce the rules of reward and punishment timely and clear. In the process of rules building, two situations must be avoided: First, no project management rules, only by personal experience in project implementation; the second is implementing by unrealistic theories and dogma.

In order to form a harmonious team, the project manager who must act as incentives for players, coaches, active atmosphere persons, peacekeeping and conflict adjudicator. In addition, the project manager must also focus on reserve personnel development in different positions, when some of the project team members resign in the process of implementation, the project manager can make reasonable arrangements to mobilize and take over; in the same time, facilitate the team compete in the work process, and make reasonable arrangements for the period of leave.

Third, plan, plan, plan

Almost all people know the need for implementation of the project plan. But in actuality, there is still the course of the following phenomena: First, project planning is not precise enough, arbitrary, operability is poor, and therefore it cannot follow the implementation (such as project plans are too rough and inadequate implementation), did not include the task, schedule, resources. Second is the lack of detailed project plan throughout the entire project, or even take a week to develop work plan for next week, week-by-project approach, and its essence is the “legalization of the project out of control.” Third, check the progress of the project (compared with the schedule) and the control is not enough to maintain the solemnity of the project plan.

Perfect plan will always have a bad result, but it not means that we do not need to develop plans. If you do not plan, you’ll lose reference. Project manager should be able to predict changes and can adapt to change. Do things that “if – then” hypothesis, to avoid content with project status, changes in the project to make timely adjustments. Plans always change; the key is planning to keep up with changes.

In the project implementation process, often the entire project will be divided into several small projects, the project manager should effectively make good use of time, between the various projects to achieve effective and reasonable convergence, the overall plan to maintain the rationality and consistency.

Fourth, do not begrudge the time spent in training.

Training is an important part of project implementation, especially, in some small company, the employees have low technical skills, the understanding of electronic information is almost zero. Therefore, they should be trained at different levels and stages, cannot expect that they will be able to understand and master the operation of the software by one training. Training should always run through the project, and the level should be prepared for the operation of the user manual, if necessary, develop “FAQ” sections in the internal web pages. Must avoid the emergence of such thinking and behavior that “it is too slow to make customers understand, dumb, I helped him do it.” ERP project is its own company’s project; no one can take the place.

Fifth, the prototype testing, to do a practical implementation.
Whether training or plan, they must be based on a practical basis implementation solution, or even no matter how good your approach is, it is impossible to achieve good results. Therefore, before implementation, should be adequate analysis and research, fully listen to the views of officers at all levels, multi-data collection, and the angles of the prototype testing, on the basis of consent by project team (including ERP customer), the project manager begin make and carry out the plan of training and implementation. Try to avoid the occurrence of unexpected changes in the process of program implementation.

Sixth, a reasonable reduction in customer demand

Any software is not a panacea, are not one hundred percent solution to all the problems customer meet. In the project implementation process, should be realistic and clearly tell the user that the software cannot do. Some software companies do not want to tell the user the truth, just changes the original enterprise business process to company’s software business processes, resulting in the bad effect. In particular, some problems on a software program, it is unwilling to accept the user’s accusations. In fact, this is totally unnecessary, it only makes user misunderstand and distrust of the company.

A variety of reasons, the management of the enterprise there is always something with its own characteristics, but the company is difficult to change the existing practice in a short time, which requires flexibility and implementation of software modifications. Of course, it should be possible to make the behavior of enterprises operated in compliance with the laws and customs, this is the best result.

Treatment to customer should also be the 80/20 principle, cannot blindly reduce customer demand, imagine a software with eighty percent of our customers’ needs are not met, how to require customers to give up their demand. We are talking about a reasonable reduction in customer demand, should be more than eighty per cent in the settlement, based on the needs or solve a business major, based on the special needs for some of our customers are not expected to meet or solve. In the project implementation process, we can not promise to solve all the needs of customers, if a software can solve all the needs of our customers, we are also not demanding the implementation of, and would not need so much emphasis on the implementation of the method, the enterprise implements ERP will not need any consultation.

These are just describing my understanding about project manager from different aspects; the most important thing of project implementation is to make it success, no matter what method you take. Project manager should determine the proper strategy in accordance with the project environment.

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