Project Management- art or science?

Sep 21, 2008 | |
Introduction into PM always initiates with a debate, the authenticity of it being either a scientific process, more of a technique done perfectly well only by technical experts or the art of doing it all well and keeping the team intact. What is more important supervising the software architecture or having a perfect team?

PM I think is both an amalgamation of art and science. Fascinating!

The technique, methodology, planning, software usage, efficiency calculations are ongoing features for a project; however soft skills are an equally important counterpart. As they say PM is 90% communication and is all about the people.

No technique or scientific analysis can solve the issues of resource management. What do you do when an I-am-all-technical brains doesn’t co-operate with the other team members? There are no calculations available to save the day.

You cannot say -Here's your project. Come back in six months with it done right. Odds are it’s easy to become technically sound to an extent but it’s tougher to work with various personalities and keep your team together. So, for all the to-be-PM’s (including me) it’s more important to understand your team and the people you work with.

Here are few pointers that I try to follow-

  • Respect- Treat others as you like to be treated yourself.
  • Welcome- Give new members a hearty welcome and make them feel comfortable.
  • Plan- Your work should be water-tight-compartment-like planned ( I try).
  • Care -Once in a while I bring in chocolates for the team.
  • Listen- Try listening, or better understand the real issue (in most cases hard core technical people don’t have the best of expressive behavior).
  • Trust- Rely on your team and let them trust you ; don’t discuss their issues publicly without prior permission if need arises.
  • Patience- Don’t snap at people if they don’t agree with you and at the same time don’t let others take you for a ride.
  • Smooth- Make the entire process of working as smooth as possible and people will thank you for it.
  • Respect for yourself- Keep your word/promises always. If you promised something , well do it.

(Pic: Google)


Anonymous said...

Soma, for what it's worth, I sucessfully made the move you're trying to make. I started my career as a lowly buyer with no engineering experience and made my way into project then program management. I'd be glad to offer my thoughts if you're interested.