Among the many hats that I wear for Lextech, the one that most resonates with me is that of Project Manager. By my very nature, I am a people person. I enjoy seeing people succeed at what they do best and at Lextech, I get to lead teams of people who are exceptional at what they do! As a project manager I am held responsible for the success of every project. During those initial project meetings, either internally or externally with the client I like to state that I’m the “one throat to choke” for the client; or maybe its better said the “one hand to high five!” Either way, I enjoy being in the pressure seat to bring our clients’ vision to fruition. How do I do it?
1) Communicate, communicate, communicate…. and then communicate some more.
And when you are done communicating, say it again; just so everyone know what is happening and when its supposed to happen. This is rule #1 of managing a mobile project. By its very nature; development of mobile applications tend to be of much shorter duration than those monolithic enterprise applications. Mobile work flows need to be slimmed down to the “what you need to get the job done” and often do not suffer from the excess bloat. That shortened timeframe requires a lot of communication: between the team and the client, the team and the designers and the designers and the client. We accomplish this quite a bit by using many of the methodologies of Agile such as daily huddles and inviting the clients to those huddles every day! That way they can hear from the developers themselves what the issues are and how they are being addressed. Having customer involvement really helps most things along! When the developers need clarification about how something should work; they can go right to the person is matters to: THE USER! That is way better than playing the game of “PM Telephone”.
2) When? When? When!
Invariably, every meeting I attend has an action list come out of it. As annoying as it may be, I need to know when you are going to get your task done. It makes sure that everyone knows WHEN something is supposed to be done and ready. If that task is approval of the specifications by Ms. Customer, then I’d like to know when you think you can have it approved. That kind of transparency is what turns a “client” into a “partner”. You know what we are doing and see that we have a stake in your success! You, Ms. Customer, is why we are in business in the first place! This parlays nicely into the next rule:
3) Do what you say you are going to do!!
If you say you are going to have the <INSERT TASK HERE> done by noon on Thursday; then you are PM make sure that its done by noon on Thursday. The PM’s job is to keep track of the action items; but its up to everyone to make sure they do their part! I’m just the hammer of “get it done” Again, its the ability to deliver success and do what we say that will turn clients into partners.
4) Process, Process, Process!
We have been at this whole mobile development thing for quite a while and have a well defined process for project delivery! Follow the process! Client interactions + high touch + clear deliverables all add up to a successful project delivery.
Next up; I’ll dive into the project management Lexguide. What it means, how we do it, and why its important to your next project with Lextech!