Adopting new technologies is sometimes as simple as installing an application and letting users play around with the controls for a while until they’ve learned how it works. But for the other kind of development or adoption initiatives, you’ll probably need a project manager. As technologies grow more far-reaching and deeply enmeshed in every aspect of our work lives, the role of project managers becomes ever more critical to success.
In this week’s episode of Tech Club, James and I interview Project Manager and certified Scrummaster Andrew McNair about how he guides clients through the series of stages leading up to a completed project. To liven things up a bit, we’ve decided to use dating as an analogy. Some of the parallels are obvious: the importance of communication, the aligning of goals, etc. But we go into a bit more detail.
Andrew guides us through topics including:
- How beginning a project is like a blind date
- What the main goal of the initial meeting should be
- What the initial stages of project planning entail
- How a kickoff call is like a first date—but with multiple attendees
- What is discussed during the kickoff
- When the decision is made to use an agile approach or some other approach
- How Scrum projects differ from fixed-bid projects
- What the ideal timing for status calls usually is
- What role daily standups play
- What the secret is to putting people at ease when discussing their project
- Why the 60-80% point of projects is so dangerous
- What the goals of the project manager should be as the project nears an end
- What the project lifecycle looks like from 10,000 feet
Andrew is exactly the kind of guy you'd want coordinating any complex project. Even when he’s joking around, you can still get a sense of his deep and wide-ranging competency. And he has a way of communicating with people on their own level that puts them at ease, reassuring them that everything is proceeding aboveboard and all issues will be ironed out post haste.
Here are some links to help you learn more: