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Some experience working on a large project

As a project manager, I’m now responsible for an IT outsourcing project, all of the development team, including myself, there are 75 members. Following is my impression about this project.

Because I act as PM of IT outsourcing project development, and the technology we use is unfamiliar to me, so I always thought that in the project, the most important thing is planning and staffing.

First of all, a detailed and realistic plan is required. In the project plan, work breakdown structure (WBS) is the most important. In order to make a detailed and realistic WBS, you need full historical data and a clear estimation model. These are most critical, if not, you’d better not be responsible for large projects.

Secondly, for staffing, they must be trusted. Choose the person, who knows how to communicate with people in “English” and have a good master of technology, as team leader. I am here to say “English “, that is, I found many of the technical staff like to use the technical words to express thoughts, so I stressed repeatedly to my group leaders, that using the language that I and customers all understand to communicate is one of their important work.

There are some other factors, that the PM should be very clear generally, such as watching top 5 risks, measuring process and products through quantitative indicators, making reasonable milestones, arrangements for backup in a key node, and so on.

At the same time, I never thought project manager is a leader. I always think I’m just a support manager, and only support is not enough, but also including rapid decision-making and problem solving. In fact, support has a broad concept, which of course, includes the negotiation, risk management, leadership and other significance. In the hope that everyone in the team has any problems (of course, the problem can also be private), he can ask PM for help firstly.

Another important thing I think, since the day of project start-up, I was looking for and training a member in this project who can replace me, that is, even if I leave, the project can still normal afloat.

In fact, in the same time of responsible for this project with nearly 80 people, I was also responsible for another two small projects with 10 members. Because each project has my backup, so I can prioritize various projects to deal with things. And, I can also find the vacation time.

It should be stressed that these Backups are not born there, and really need to find and develop. Through coaching, through decentralization, through adequate support, let them grow.

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