What we expect in a Project Manager

This entry was posted on November 15, 2016 by Brent W Peterson



This article is a continuation of my series of articles around customer expectations. After reading the article from Pam Ravenscroft from Space 48, "Project Managers, where the hell are you all?", I got thinking about how important that the PM/PO's understand what they should be doing. More importantly, what are their priorities if they could only accomplish a certain amount of things in a week. The list I came up with is by no means a complete list. It is the list I came up in my head on during my 2-minute shower on November 15, 2016, my 5-minute drive to work and finally after reading Pam's article. (Yes I know, too much detail.)

Scenario: PM/PO has to do make sure certain things get done during a one week period.

So if we had to deliver something in a week, what would that be? The deep dive on this exercise is to get the PM/PO to ask certain questions that have to get answered. By asking the questions they can then enable themselves to deliver objective information to the client.

He is my incomplete list, it is broken into two parts. Client communication and team communication. You will see that team questions will answer the client questions.

  1. How long do we still have to spend on the feature?
  2. What is our capacity this week and are we on track to deliver on time?
  3. Have changes impacted the timeline?
  4. Are we working on features we can work on while still getting requirements for additional features?
  1. What is the due date of the feature?
  2. How long have we spent on the feature?
  3. How long do we still have to spend on the feature?
  4. What are the changes on this feature and do they impact the timeline?
  5. Have you communicated this to the client? (REPORTS!)
  6. Have you spoken to the client this week about how they feel about the project?

Hopefully, from the simple list of questions, we can learn all the things we need to know to communicate to the client. The communication needs to happen on a weekly basis and the more you can help the client understand when something has changed the better. So a great example is when you find that some feature will take longer than first estimated. This should be communicated the minute you as the project manager found out.

So now, we had the subjective portion to project management. For this, I want to turn to Pam and her recent article. To effectively answer the questions and in-turn deliver those answers to the client some skills are needed. I only want to add three requirements to Pam's list.

  1. Are you organized?
  2. Are you a planner?
  3. Can you demonstrate the first two questions?

For our own plug: We are based in Minneapolis, Cochabamba, Mexico City, and Ahmedabad. We have REAL offices in each of these cities staffed by REAL Wagento folks who care passionately about their jobs. We are hiring in all of our locations.

Space 48's Article Excerpt

The complete article is again linked here
Now the real requirements

You get your kicks out of a fast-paced environment, and I don’t mean disorganised, I mean busy!

You absorb pressure like a sponge. I don’t mean you’re a punch bag for clients, I mean you can handle it, it’s all in a day’s work. If you hadn’t chosen a role in project management, you’d be a high-flier in the UN.

Problems, you love problems, well you love solving them. That doesn’t mean its nothing but problems, but lets not kid ourselves they do happen but you can deal with them. That doesn’t mean you don’t bitch and rant getting to the resolution.

You don’t believe in process for process sake but you know why it’s needed and how it can enable you.

Pragmatism is your middle name, you strive to make clients happy but also care about making sure what you do is the right thing for them, not necessarily what they want.

You’ve worked for a software development agency (not digital). You’ve ideally worked in eCommerce with at least 1 of the top 10 enterprise platforms, eg Magento, Websphere, ATG, Hybris, Demandware.

You’ll be working in a supportive environment with an experienced team who love what they do. eCommerce is not for the faint-hearted but it is hugely rewarding.

We’re based in Warrington at the moment and on schedule to open a new office in Manchester end of Q1 2017 where you will then be based.

The salary matches our expectations and is highly competitive for the right candidate.

I am linking to some other helpful articles about Project Management Best Practices

  • http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-best-practices-for-successful-project-management
  • https://www.wrike.com/blog/project-management-best-practices-infographic

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