Project Management

It is rather interesting when you have experience in project management covering several years and projects the size from what would be equivalent to building a pine wood derby car to multiyear multi team, multiple million dollars such as I have managed in CADAM (now Dassault Systems) , at USAA Federal Savings Bank, Configuresoft, and others.

Looking back at those projects, the "mechanics" of managing them from a best practice perspective in the industry hasn't really changed that much. We still need to create work break-downs, task dependencies, baselines, estimates etc. What has changed is that you now get PMI certificates etc. for something that is essentially a good personal trait, namely an orderly logical way of working through tasks, load balancing based on capabilities, good risk assessment and risk management skills. The later skills are not something you learn by getting a certificate.

The whole subject came to my mind today because a newly crowned project manager at a client I work at has asked his team for written status reports (weekly) and daily stand-up meetings. While I managed 3 teams with 25 members, I never asked for written status reports because I knew what they were working on and whether they were ahead or behind their goal.

There is a similarity between the ability to effectively manage a project and the ability to program well. Programming environments can be classified as to whether they enable, support, or even enforce certain behavior. Nevertheless, none of them are preventing you from doing it in a well organized way.