Happy Thanksgiving

This week has primarily been about making my site more interactive and of course some postings.

I want to know more about the people who visit my blog and I decided to have some fun. The "meebo" IM application is my new addition along with the Twitter and the monthly poll. What do you think? Like it? I agree you can't see me online always but you can leave me a message at least. It's instant, so you dont have to take time to write a comment or even email me! How about that? When I login later, I get all my offline messages.

I have been a Meebo fan for a really long time and their idea of an organization is really cool. I love their concept- the fun, innovation and their work ethics, you can read up their blog right here.

Read the article for some serious tips for aspiring PM's this Thanksgiving .

Wishing all the blog readers a Very Happy Thanksgiving!

Twitter

I created my Twitter account a few days back and I like it!

So, I added it to my blog. You can open your own Twitter  account by clicking here.  Its fun and a great way to be in touch. 

I know my Book Reviews due and I will post it soon. I have just turned into a crazy reader these days, simply chasing one book after the other.

Blogs- Source of knowledge and more

If you have noticed, my list of blogs have increased over the days. I try to keep my blog as objective as possible. While I do have my personal favorites, I try to provide you readers (and me) with as much as information as possible by listing the blogs related to the field and which of course I think provides the information we can all learn from.

I have added a new list of blogs named "Powerful Reads" which I often read. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do.
(Picture: Google Images)

Projects and code

I have another interesting read at hand and if you like to read- this just might interest you . Its a free download of the book "Beyond Code" from Rajesh Setty's blog.

I haven't finished reading it yet but promise to write a review once am done with it.

So, bookwormy....
(Picture: Google Images)

It is important to be bored!

How fancy- ever been bored, so bored that you have nothing to do.

Funny but I personally think that these are the moments which are perfect for some thinking and may be getting in touch with ourselves. Once in a while (like this weekend), I delibertely didn't keep any plans and tried to keep myself away from the laptop.

So, now without having anything else to do, I tried watching TV and flip through some Project Management journals. At the end of it, I ended up thinking about things I can change, improvements- some work related issues and the rest mostly about me.

The way I should think, how my way of working might effect others, being more positive, putting in half an hour more for exercise. Simple things which are just about life.

Focussing so much on work, I have realised that I was getting out of touch with myself. I haven't written a poem in a while now, I haven't loitered around in a park just for the sake of walking. I havent even tried cooking new dishes.

Being bored helps I guess. At the end of it, I am refreshed because I havent stressed about deadlines any more and kept my brain as blank as possible.

By the way, I got my first independent project- very excited. I guess all the hard work has finally paid off.

(Picture- Google Images)

Project Management in Politics

The Obama win was historic and wonderful and as i was going through some articles today, I just had to share it here.

It was one of those perfect plans which was executed almost flawlessly. It was a more than a project, something to learn from- a team work that made the impossible possible. It was instance of perfect Project Management strategies that delivered the BIG CHANGE.

The NY Times talked about the campaign and its execution, the management and strategies involved which I thought was fascinating and had to share. Read this here and indulge in some more fasinating reading about the PM strategies used by the Obama campaign and how the project was handled here .

The website, the interactive web 2.0 features, the full proof planning could be all, but nothing would have been possible if he didnt look like a winner. He was confident, smart, well spoken individual and a leader people could trust.
(Image- Google Images)

PMBOK 4th edition

If you are one of those who are planning for the exams by PMI, the 4 edition of the PMBOK is going to be out soon.
If you already have the 3 edition like me, theres a deadline to take the exam, unless you want to take the exam with the latest edition of the book.
PMP® Prior to 30 June 2009 PMBOK® Guide—Third Edition
PMP® After 30 June 2009 PMBOK® Guide—Fourth Edition
CAPM® Prior to 31 July 2009 PMBOK® Guide—Third Edition
CAPM® After 31 July 2009 PMBOK® Guide—Fourth Edition

To know more about the issue, you can click here .

Monday Blues

So, its almost nearing Monday and I decided to skip my association with the treadmill right now and talk about how I have been changing my morning schedule a bit these days , hopefully all for the good.

I switch on my computer in the morning most days, when I am expecting a feedback or email/s for the ongoing project while sipping on my coffee. This is how it helps me-
  • I know my days work, before I step into the office and I plan it while on my way to work.
  • I know the areas and issues I or the team has to work on and I can send emails when I know them or let me know as soon as I get into the office. Gives the assigned person more time and less excuses for not getting the job on time.
  • My Project Manager (the one I work with and a great mentor) has all the answers to the questions when he walks in and I am ready (because I have already checked my email and have my day's plan done ahead).
  • It doesn't take more than 15 minutes and I am more prepared and better informed than everybody else every single day.
  • The new girl ( am not the newbie anymore), who I am mentoring should have the best possible example of work ethics and how things can be done. Even when you don't spell it out you are always watched. More so by the person under your wings. I think she deserves it, because I have learnt a lot from my mentors.

So, I have to sign off, but if you have your own plans of getting things done on Monday and every other day- do let me know. It will not only be a learning experience for me but for all the others who would like to improve every single day.

(Picture: Google images)

Resources

My current project has been one eye opening experience about managing resources.

Generally, everyone has the tendency to slack on work unless supervised. So, I decided to take on a different route to make sure that the work was being done on time and that Friday's shouldn't be a 8pm issue.

Here are the changes which actually worked-

  • Provide with plenty of work which is feasible for the day.
  • Make sure the designated works comes with the exact timeline.
  • Let everyone know why we are working on strict deadlines (everyone gets to go home on time).
  • Appreciate the hardwork of the team.
  • Build more team style working than individual basis.
  • Everyone is inspired when deadlines met.

Work should be done in a way that everybody sees how it can help them, their resumes, their learning, their growth. If they get it, work will be done much more easily.

Picture- Google Images

What does a PM actually do?

The last week was crazy, we had a deliverable for a project and days seemed much longer than usual. The deadline meant, more quality assurance, last minute check lists and keeping the team calmer.

I have found my strengths in the last few months and had some tough time with my weaknesses. To have any sucessful project , team handling is required. As easy it may sound, it was more than tough. A team has different kinds of people (read personality) which is great, but here's what I found-

Group A- Team players, who are more likely to like the people they work with and have affinity for their job. Easier for the PM to handle. They abide by the rules and have a clear vision, polite and professional in most cases- they are a PM's dream come true of a perfect team.

Group B- The loners, they like working on their own and having control. A nightmare to handle and if they have the added syndrome which says- if you are not a developer (or hard core technical), what do you do actually. You can loose some sleep over it, its hard trying to get the person understand, because he/she doesnt want to understand.

I personally think, its a common problem and just because I don't code and not in my 40's (or 30's) and I'm a woman doesnt mean I am stupid. I make mistakes, learn and grow with them and treat people with lot of respect and not merely resources who have a list of deliverables to follow. I think its basically hard for people to understand what a PM is about and why the person is in charge?

I had my share of bad days. When the Group B person likes the idea of the project being organized and easy to work and yet will not thank you for anything. Instead, it's the almighty mood that has the drivers seat. Very hard to work with. I had my days, when a 5 minute meeting ended up with me taking another 15 minutes pacing up and down; so that I could stay cool and not loose my temper. Who says being a PM is easy?

I have had people telling me; its wonderful that you want to become a PM because the pay's really good and its easy- after all its the team that does the work. Ok, so what am I getting paid for if I am not working? Most people are far behind in understanding what the PM really does and how it helps? May be I didnt understand a lot about it, till I wanted to be one and started working towards it.

It's (being a PM) more work that it shows. So, every PM should perhaps educate a few more about what the person does and why it's important? If you think it's easy, trying being one even if it's just for a day. How about that?

(Picture: Google images)