Aditya Lal

Aditya Lal

Global Head of PMO


  • Years as a PM10
  • Years with PMI10

Aditya's Feedbacks

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My last exercise for the day is to plan for the next day. I spend 5-10 minutes every day before closing my laptop to list down my activities for the following day and prioritize them. Before I start the day, I review the “to-do” list for another 5-10 minutes to ensure that my priorities are not changed or the activity list is still current. During this time, I also go through my emails to better understand of changes, if any. My to-do list also includes the list of meetings and an indicator for my preparedness for that meeting. As a project manager, my first activity for the days is to review my tasks and (re)prioritize them.

In this era of technological advancement where the client wants to see the results instantaneously, requirements are changing with the blink of an eye, budget is one of the biggest constraints, team culture is “global” and the power politics is at its peak, one can safely say that the agile approach would be the best option to produce instant, tangible results with lower cost. For a major bank, we used the hybrid approach to complete the 50M+ USD Dodd-Frank implementation project. It was right at the verge of catastrophe and then we changed our approach to agile. Obviously, for such a large and global project, waterfall is not the right methodology. Furthermore, due to the externally imposed timeline and the tight schedule, the business stakeholders were asking for continuous deliverables. Though we have to implement the necessary checks and balances to overcome the compromised quality of deliverables but the project was completed successfully despite all the setbacks and pitfalls. In fact, being both PMP® and CSM certified and with my experience outlined above as well as with other large and complex projects/programs, I will certainly recommend the agile approach. The only exception to it is when the project is of smaller size and local in nature (empirically not spanning across more than one country or a state within the country) when I would recommend for the waterfall approach. Lastly, with my experience on Wagile – a hybrid approach - I wouldn’t recommend it at all.
Project Managers faces a multiple challenges which varies from one phase of a project to another. We also know that the project is defined as a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service. It is my experience that every project will have its own unique set of challenges and situations. I have never seen an issue that is repeated exactly in two different projects. We can have resource related issue, the schedule slippage or cost overrun but considering the complete scenarios the challenges are unique and completely different. One of the major challenges that a project manager faces today is not enough knowledge about the subject matter. Although per the PMI guidelines a project manager does not require any sort of knowledge on the subject area and it is true however based on my experience a project manager’s ability to manage and direct the project enhances exponentially with the subject matter knowledge. As a practice, I do not undertake any project for which I do not have any subject knowledge. Client’s expectation and its management is another major challenge. In this era of cost cutting, many clients want to maximize the work done at a minimal cost. As a result, I have noticed that, they keep adding the scope of work without the corresponding increase in the cost. As a project manager, I have faced that situation a number of times and I always managed the expectation by doing the complete impact assessment and politely sharing the cost for additional scope. It is imperative to set the right expectations with the clients.
My PMP® certification took 6 years of preparation; In 2006 I thought about getting certified and executed my plan in 2011. In 2012 & 2016, I got PgMP® and PfMP® certifications respectively. I was skeptical about the effectiveness of these certifications. Although I got PMP® certified in 2011, I have read PMBOK® several times since 2006. I started using the tools & techniques, the terminologies, artifacts and templates much before my certification. As a result, I saw my career soaring to new heights and I got promoted from Project Manager to Program Manager. My knowledge, my understanding, my ability to think through and think far and several other skills were advanced after I started practicing the knowledge I gained from PMBOK. It is not the certificate but the implementation of the knowledge gained through the process of certifications that have helped me move from Project Manager to Global Head of PMO. Furthermore, PMI through its local chapters have helped me build a network, market credibility, recognition and a sense of achievement. I strongly believe that PMI has been one of the greatest success factors towards my career growth.