Thursday 16 December 2021

Project management can't be on paper

Many enterprises and colleges in USA are vigorously promoting the study and application of project management theory. However, IT practitioners, after receiving relevant training, rarely can be flexible to apply to practice.

The main reason is that it is not quite sure how to turn the theory into an actionable implementation method. The first time I pushed the project management system, I failed. I used to work as Director of Information Services at a company. In 1990, when I successfully transferred the civil aviation authority and Air USA's projects, the head of one of the company's learning divisions wanted to be able to use the project management model to manage projects in the country.

The main reason is the hope that the project cost and delivery time can be effectively monitored, and limited technical resources can be used effectively to improve customer satisfaction. For me, this is a big challenge.

This is the first time in more than ten years that I have been in charge of managing a project and have made a formal attempt to establish and promote a project management system suitable for the country. From the Civil Aviation Authority and Air USA projects, I have a little understanding of the implementation of domestic projects.

I spent more than a month to further analyze and understand the domestic project management methods, correct the templates and content used in the project, and plan how to develop the technical staff to take the management approach. After the completion of the program, the program was recognized by the leadership, and officially announced that the domestic delivery project is my responsibility to carry out, all the management and technical personnel related to delivery, to be assigned work by me, and report to me on the progress of the project.

The next two months were the most difficult of my career in project management. At that time, the company's technical staff and management personnel on the project management awareness, mostly a blank, the management system is even more unfamiliar, not to mention the application of templates.

From the announcement of the domestic project management by me, I transferred the main domestic technical director to New York for project management training, let them learn the application of templates and system processes, in a week of training process to learn theoretical knowledge, and then sent back to the original implementation of project management. Since I only studied theory and introduced templates, and didn't let the technician understand how to apply them, in the end, any usage problems came to me to solve. 


The client's inquiry on the project was relayed to me. The concentration of workload so that customers can not contact me, customers began to feel helpless and dissatisfied, slowly began to complain to my leadership, the result, two months later, the leadership announced that the past model of the delivery of all projects, my first project management system to promote this end.

At that time, I was quite dissatisfied with the company, asked myself that every effort had been made, but the company did not fully support the system to promote, a word down, then by my back this black nest, so, then transferred to another company. This experience has made me deeply understand that the promotion of project management can be successful without a word, to go through a process, management theory learning is only a foundation, must train some people to become effective driving resources, help the normal operation of the project, and provide training in the course of operation.

This failure has really improved my management skills and I know more clearly how to drive project management in the enterprise. Unprepared to blindly promote project management, resulting in changes in management culture, the consequences of which are confusion.

Technicians and managers don't know what to do when they run into problems, which can easily become a bottleneck in project operations and lead to failure. 


In fact, USA's project management education to the United States PMI project management knowledge system as the learning outline, is after many experts after many years of practical experience combined out of a set of management theory, such as USA's "sun" to write their own combat experience as "sun tzu military law", later learn "sun tzu military law", to be able to like "grandson" like the content of the military law to play freely, will certainly have a certain degree of difficulty.

Without practical experience, it is impossible to understand how to use knowledge of military law to practice. Build a successful project manager From the above cases, we can see that in order to cultivate the project manager of the enterprise, theoretical learning can only establish a concept, and can not solve the project delay and other practical problems. This takes a long time to drive to bring benefits to the business. 

We must learn to evaluate our management needs in order to be able to match and fit the business objectives of the business, and we need to provide the key competencies of the project manager's soft skills so that they can apply the theories in the project management knowledge system more effectively. We need to strengthen the weaknesses in the IT development process so that our project management approach can be integrated into the IT business. This approach confirms that we meet international standards and business requirements.

We don't manage every type of project in our lifetime, and project management requires experience to manage IT projects properly. 


Therefore, we need a platform where project management practitioners can receive relevant training so that each person can share relevant experiences and lessons, which is the so-called project management hard technique that we advocate, which allows us to understand how theoretical knowledge can be applied in different situations. Enterprises need to establish their own project management needs according to their own business objectives, rather than imitating other people's methods or models, need to "strengthen" the management mechanism of the enterprise itself, "simplify" management, in order to improve efficiency, and finally "unify" the management model of enterprises. 


Theory should be combined with practice At present, the company is working with the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in New York and shanghai NY University Graduate School to open up a new learning path, so that theory and practice can be more effectively combined.

Specific learning content includes: First, the theoretical study of knowledge system based on the American Institute of Project Management (PMI) theory, to promote theoretical learning by case.

Key skills learning Targeting the Seven Key Competencies, an international standard advocated by the Mayer's Committee of Australia, providing the key competencies necessary for IT project management, including:

1. Collect, organize and analyze information.
2. Communication and exchange of information and ideas.
3. Plan and organize activities.
4. Collaborate with team members.
5. Use mathematical concepts and related techniques.
6. Solve the problem.
7. Use of technology and tools.

Third, the application of soft skills includes:

  1. When it comes to negotiations, what attitude should be adopted, what information should be prepared, and what kind of mentality should be maintained?
  2. When communicating, which approach should be used, and how can you build an effective communication plan to enhance your communication skills?
  3. Learn some "brainstorming" information gathering techniques, such as Facilitation and Modulation Techniques. Fourth, hard technique application and methods Of .

Discussion, including:

  1. The integration of project management and software engineering.
  2. Use the Work Structure Breakdown Method (WBS) to determine project milestones, the establishment of stages and steps, and job descriptions in the project.
  3. The run-in between theory and practice Using the company's seven-step software development management system, students can understand how to combine software development processes and management models in the enterprise.

The demonstration let the students participate in some enterprises to practice, improve the practical ability of the students.

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