A Project Manager needs to balance many aspects carefully to achieve the project objectives. From my many years of managing projects and project teams globally, I put together this list of key considerations that a project manager always needs to keep his focus on. The following aspects are from practical experience and hence I believe these would resonate well with practicing managers.
Forming the Right Team: 80% of the Projects fail due to lack of right team. Assuming the estimations are done well, the project manager should strive to get the right team based on the project type, including system architects, development and test leads and a solid configuration management expert.
Commitment to Customer: It is essential that the manager sensitizes the team that release plans once locked-in are sacrosanct. On-time delivery is key. Hence it is extremely important that the entire team is fully aligned to the customer’s requirements.
Dashboard driven: Metrics can be overwhelming and hence should be viewed as dash-board (aka cockpit panel or a car dashboard). This will provide the right amount of information to know if the project is under control. Standard metrics like schedule/effort variance are of course essential.
Thinking” Plan-B: The changing dynamics in the project makes the manager’s role extremely challenging and it is important that the manager does not get into the Panic mode. It is imperative that the Manager “thinks” ahead of the team and is able to predict potential issues and be prepared with alternate approaches (often called plan-B).
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