October 19, 2007

Project Management

We had this great session on Project Management at OSEF last week. The panel and the audience were both very opinionated. I think it made for a great session because people had a firm stance on what it means to them. We touched on the various aspects and challenges of the role - scheduling, scope, estimation. Notice I mention Role, and not job - one of the big point that was driven home last night is that all the members of the team have to be a project manager some sort - we all have to evaluate, track etc. The estimation can't come from the top, it has to be something the team converges on. We briefly talked about the differences in services and products estimation - in services you rarely know who is going to be executing on your estimate, while in product it's clearer. An interesting concept - if you keep your delivery pulse regular and often enough("Shipe like a clock"), you will have less requirements creep to deal with. Why? it seems that because there is regularity people tend to buy into the fact that if you say next release, next time, they know there will be a next time, and makes us all more reasonable about the addition of requirements. All in all you want your project Management to be transparent, flexible, accountable and a team effort. This will lead into buy in from the troops and as the team delivers regularly and on time the top brass will also buy in.

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