Interview with PM Karma

Mar 12, 2009 | |
PM Karma has caught the attention of many; the blog is as successful as the blogger himself. I fortunately had the chance of talking to Sreejith the blogger (over the web), and listen about his strategies. His strategies and experience can help many more I thought and wanted an interview with him which he graciously agreed to.  

Steppingintopm: What would you consider as the secret of your success as a project manager?

Sreejith (PM Karma): From my experience the key deciding factor of success in a field like project management is the 'quality' of relationship between the people with whom you interact during the project life cycle. I have never been dominating, bullying or aggressive in my career. I treat my subordinates and other functional people as 'Team Members'. The real attitude and quality of a person is revealed when he/she has the opportunity to be bad with some one and still he/she doesn’t do that! 

Being good with your subordinates will help you to get the best out of them. I always watch and eliminate any signs of internal politics. There is a great chance that skilled and creative young people get bullied by rather old people in organizations. This is some thing to be watched and plucked out immediately as soon as identified. People shall be promoted and given with new responsibilities based on skill & performance rather than mere 'years of experience'. When a project manager does that, a wave of confidence will blow across the team since the team members get a feeling that their skill and hard work will be rewarded. 

Project management, especially in construction industries has got lots of interfaces. The team usually used to be big of volume ten thousands. Unlike software projects, the team members need not be well educated or highly skilled. How ever delegating work packs, getting progress and performance feedback and implementing corrective actions need lots of communication and team work. 

Being good and loved by most is the best kept secret of my success as a manager in project controls. Creativity, use of technology, reading and learning comes right behind that, though! 

Steppingintopm: Do you think blogging helps boost your career?

Sreejith (PM Karma): Yes, definitely. Blogging has helped me to get connected with lots of people. The range and skills of people ranges from PMI board members to beginners/students of project management. Blogging also got a lot of appreciation from people around the globe. While looking at the 'Google Analytics' dashboard for my blog, I now understand PM Karma has earned readership far beyond my expectation. Readership has covered all the continents and the count is very good. 

I have now started collaborating with other PM Bloggers and the result is quite promising. People are approaching with specific queries regarding tools and techniques detailed in my articles. I started reviewing PM software also in my blog. 

I have few readers to my blog within my company and they quite appreciate that. Getting to be known as a 'Subject Matter Expert' is a very good feeling and I am enjoying that! 

Steppingintopm: Do you have any set of rules you try to stick to and would like to share for project managers who are starting out?

Sreejith (PM Karma): Yes. At some point in my life I have formulated 'The 3 Rules of Life' which I am trying to adhere to: 

At first look they may look like 'losers rules' but trust me; they have helped me in personal and career fronts. I started getting more friends since I started following these rules. I felt like I am more loved (than before) by people around me. Okay right to the '3 Rules of Life’: 

Rule-01: There are no sharp corners in life

This rule is not against perfectionism. It just says 'Perfect doesn't exist’! There are only good and better. Good can be made better and when we make 'better' further better, the old 'better' becomes ‘good’! So just be nice with people even when things are not really up to your expectations. Advice and find ways out to make 'good' better. 

Rule-02: Do for others what you want them to do for you

All the faces we see every day are filled with complaints and they say to me "What about my concerns?" 

Yes, we all need to get some thing done from others. We all need people to be the way we wanted them to be. We all have opinions how others should be.

But how often we thought how we are with others? How we have helped or how we will be helping them when they need the same help which you are anticipating from them. So when ever our mind complains us about some one who has not done the thing which you have expected from them, just imagine yourself in their position and thing whether you will help them in similar situations.

No one wanted to get treated badly by others, so how can we be bad with others?

So just start doing things to others, the same way in which you want them to be with you!

You will not be surprised if they behave badly with you, if you were nasty with them in the past...because you wanted them to be bad with you since you have used my rule!! 

Rule-03: Before you freeze an opinion about some one else, just take a moment, get into their shoe, think and visualize the situation from their view point. You may change your opinion.

It is very easy to frame an opinion about some one based on our view point. But try to create a critic within your mind who debates conflicts. I have been successful in bring up a critic within my mind. 

There are 3 personalities with in my mind now.

1) The Emotional Guy

2) The Critic

3) The logic 

When ever I get angry with some one over an issue, the critic takes the emotional guy to the other person's view point and debates me about his stand.

The emotional guy is not very easy to convince. He has record of all the previous deals and bad words from the other person. He will take them all out. But the critic will place all his cards on the table and keep debating. 

Now 'Logic' is the referee, he watches all the debates and quantitatively and qualitatively analyses the stands and come up with the final verdict. 

I know this may sound quite weird to many people, but I have succeeded to certain extent to implement this setup with in my mind. This evaluation has helped me to change opinion about many people during many occasions when I felt their words or deeds are bad.

Steppingintopm: Thank you Sreejith.

(Picture: Sreejith from PM Karma)