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Your monthly dose of Project Management articles.

As a project manager, what is the first thing that you check | do on daily basis to manage your project?

 People do things differently, as long as it works for you then it's perfect. We might get inspired from different ways and approaches of other's doing things differently. Therefore here we learn from experienced project managers how do they start their day and what keeps them focused.

 

Corinna Martinez 💬

Sr. Project/Program Manager

As a Senior PM the first thing that I check or have on a daily to do basis to manage my project is...all status of ongoing activities and the look ahead items that were pending some response. This can be via phone, email or system messages. All items that are outside my project but to which my project has a dependency...those are the ones I eyeball extremely closely so that lag time, if any, does not get eaten up. I also check for the people factor - illness, hospital trips, other absence factors and how it impacts today and rest of the week activities.


Milvio DiBartolomeo 💬

OGC Gateway Assurance Expert | Author | Agile, Project, Programme & Portfolio Management and Better Business Cases Specialist

A day in the life of a project manager. Given this crucial role is accountable for the day-to-day management of the project within the constraints set out by the project board.

A primary activity done on a daily basis that underpins project success is to ensure that required products and services are designed, developed, assured and delivered in accordance with agreed time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefit performance goals. That is, through continual planning and scheduling for the day, week and month/s ahead (that forms the project stage) with enough lag to accommodate unforeseen business changes. Project control, therefore, occurs daily as progress is more about bidirectional information flows with the project team, key stakeholders and any suppliers than delivery - since communication and engagement is key to collaboration and transparency.

As a project manager, your continually tracking daily burn rate against budget; periodically arranging independent assurance activities as well as identifying, assessing and responding to business, service and environmental risks. Where required, seeking approval from the project board about requests for change to a baseline. Most importantly, however your enabling the required business changes to realise the forecast benefits but above all else, maintaining the project information and evidence to inform decision making.


Mubashir Memon 💬

Product/Program Manager

All projects - regardless of size and complexities require clear priorities. Knowing how to prioritize work affects the success of your project, engagement of the team, and your role as a leader. Having a tool may help prioritize but as a leader it is vital to ensure you understand the tasks which are necessary and how you can incorporate strategy & innovation to achieve progress.

As a Senior Product/Program Manager, I like to have daily stand up meetings with the various teams that are contributing to my projects in order to ensure alignment and clarity of goals for that day. These meetings are relatively short in nature (10-20 minutes) however, make an immediate impact as all team members are able to share what they're working on, what barriers they may be facing, what are some wins the team can celebrate, and how you as a leader can help support & drive progression.

This methodology may seem simple conceptually however, how these meetings are strategically led make an immediate impact. I find it vital to give the team a voice and ensure we are always marching towards the same vision, mission, and goals for each and every initiative and project.


Marc-Yvan PANDJA FALEU 💬

Director of Quality & Customer Experience 

The first thing that I check on a daily basis regarding my projects is the alignment of the triple constraints to the respective baselines: The scope, the time and the cost (in this very specific order ;))

  1. The Scope : Am I doing the work required by my customer ? Am I respecting the scope statement ? Am I gold plating ?
  2. The Time : Is my project ahead or behind schedule ? Do I have enough margins? How can I exploit them? If behind schedule, Should I crash or fast-track ? What is the feasibility of both ?
  3. The Cost : Is my project under or overbudget ? If underbudget, is it because of efficiency or because of poor management of the budget ?

To this triple constraint, I add one 4th constraint, which is the RISK. For me, Project Managers are firstly communicators (Which is the number one skill of a project manager) and secondly risk managers. The risk management is implicit for every project managers. The risks are everywhere and mostly in the triple constraint.

So here we are. What do I check on a daily basis to manage my project : The Quadruple constraint (Scope, Time, Cost and RISK!)


Tamy Baddour 💬

IT Project Manager

As a PM, the first thing I do on a daily basis is have a brief catch up with the project team’s main members to get any concerns/ road-blocks they may be facing. Addressing issues from the beginning of the day contributes in efficient & timely deliveries.

Moreover, engaging with the team from the early hours of the day, also helps in understanding the team’s energy and supporting them to get into a better state of mind. Projects success, from my experience, is highly linked to project’s team performance and working environment. Thus, it is the project manager’s responsibility to take on servant leadership in supporting his/her team.


Eman ElRashid 💬

IT Projects Manager | Program Manager

The interesting thing about practicing project management is that we often don’t do the same tasks in the same order every day, we shuffle between different tasks to serve the project in the best possible way targeting to eventually achieve its objectives, we have the flexibility to tailor our daily tasks according to the followed methodology and project need.

For me as a project manager the first thing that I do is to check my prioritized tasks list of the day, some of them might already have reserved slots on my calendar according to the needed time for execution and my available time, the daily tasks are usually planned beforehand such as a due issue action item, a mitigation plan execution for a certain risk, a meeting that I need to prepare for, or a due management activity related to the project. The priority of the daily tasks might change according to the daily important events that take place and need our intervention, however, it’s important for us as project managers to drive the change and not be driven by events in our projects and this requires a previously planned proactive effort for the project activities and expected events.

 

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