WHO ARE THESE PROJECT MANAGERS?
Matt recalled the meetings with project managers. He arranged those meetings to get to know who they were. He found that besides not having formal project management training, most of them did not have any experience outside Clement that they could relate to. Also there was a huge lack of internal credibility. Employees in other departments did not understand why they needed project managers. What project managers were really doing was the administrative function; posting project documentation on the website, etc. They knew that they needed to maintain project schedules but they were not trained how to put the schedule together to begin with. They picked up little tidbits of issues. Since they did not have a real project schedule, these project managers could not create any expectation and make any trade - off decisions. They did not know whether decisions they made impacted the rest of the project.
FIRST STEP: CREATING TEMPLATES
With his project management experience, Matt could provide the internal training to the project managers. However, projects were still going on and new ones were continuously coming in. He could not take project managers out of their job and conduct a week or two classroom training. Matt decided to develop templates to help the project managers in the meantime. He started off with maintenance release types of projects since all project managers were familiar with them. He also did some coaching and mentoring.
The template for maintenance release projects seems to have been a success. As Matt anticipated, these project managers were familiar with these projects. They could relate to them right away. The project managers understood key deliverables and dependencies. Matt started to feel a bit relieved that things seemed to be getting along fine. Then one day, he helped one project manager develop a schedule for a new product development project.
This is a typical issue, Matt recalled. These project managers seemed to be busy all the time but they were busy on activities that they should not have been doing. They seem to get themselves into the situations that they do more of the administrative stuff. Helping them come up to speed with the methodology wouldn’t help, Matt thinks. “I have to also help them have their priorities straight. ”