One of the must-have skills for a project manager will be the ability to oversee technical projects for which you’ve got small or no specialized technical expertise. For experienced and new managers alike, difficulties arise when creating a project schedule and you might have limited knowledge of the inner workings of a brand new software package, how to go about creating a selected application, or the time it could take to successfully address all of your client’s support requirements. Even in these circumstances, is it probable for you to effectively produce a well-defined schedule that gives management and sponsors an accurate picture of when their deliverables can be expected? To that question I give a resounding “Yes!”, and here’s why:
The role of project manager comes with its very own support team. You can find a couple of significant inputs to project scheduling that your skilled support team really should allow you to to create to ensure which you aren’t flying blind via the project life cycle. Here are some examples:
- The Activity List – Your technical team can assist you to to break out each business requirement into related program requirements and lower-level tasks for completion.
- Activity-Scope Relationship – You and your enterprise analyst (could possibly be one and the very same on some engagements) can tie each and every activity on your list back to original organization and scope requirements to make certain you’ll find no gaps inside your delivery.
- Activity Duration and Sequence – Once again, your technical team will assist in estimating how lengthy each activity will take to total, regardless of whether that task is design, development, or testing.
- Resources Required and Availability – Functional managers in a matrixed organization will function with you to determine which developers, architects, testers, and so on. will probably be offered to you and when so that it is possible to sort out your project’s plan accordingly.
Project preparing is an ongoing, iterative procedure. The project schedule is not a fixed, immutable document. It is going to often change slightly here and there to accommodate the following:
- New task duration estimates
- Issues encountered throughout design, development, or testing
- Scope adjustments initiated by the customer
- A more thorough risk analysis
Due to the fact of this nature of the schedule, you’ll find no expectations of absolute perfection. With the help of technical professionals as well as other support team members, you are able to use the inputs above – resource availability schedules, the generated list of activities, along with their durations and sequence – to develop a baseline. This baseline indicates planned commence and end dates for project milestones and is employed to track your team’s progress towards project completion.
As project manager, it’s your job to see the entire field of play, leaving the bulk of the technical details to topic matter specialists, so that you’ll be able to maintain focus on the large picture and make schedule tweaks where necessary to accommodate variables. Merely make certain to manage stakeholder expectations by maintaining a consistent plan of communication to ensure that everybody understands the impacts that slight schedule modifications can have on other dependent plans.
Should you love food as considerably as I do, you can liken this support/lead relationship to the support a head chef gets from his kitchen staff: sous-chef, saucier, grill chef, pantry chef, pastry chef?- and on, and on. Whilst the head chef will be the one in charge, he couldn’t create as fine a result without his assistants, professionals in their own correct in their respective fields. Too, what chef doesn’t oversee every single station and make modifications to his dishes along the way? The exact same is going to be accurate of you as you keep an eye on overall delivery of your project and make room for adjustments as you go.