A Day in the Life of a Project Manager
Every day can be a new adventure for project managers. This is Mitch’s day in the life, and how he and other project managers use the strategies and tools to get through a typical workday. This is for your approval…
Mitch rolled through TeleroCorp’s security gate and gave the guard his usual nod as the barrier was lifted. Although the sun was still a grapefruit-tinted haze above the horizon, the guard barely looked up as Mitch packed his coffee thermos in his backpack. It would have been quite unusual for Mitch to not arrive during the shift change in the early morning.
Mitch loved to be a software project manager and would often get in the office before everyone else to address any outstanding issues before the first meeting of the day. He found that a few emails and a few phone calls before small problems become big problems made a huge difference in making the day run smoothly.
His project management colleagues called it “eating the fowls”, but he found the phrase offensive, so he called it “drinking the espresso”.
He sipped a cup of black coffee with no sugar and fired up his laptop to ask Alexa for the day’s news. After about 30 seconds, he decided to give up and ask Alexa to play smooth jazz instead. A Wednesday without hope and despair is not the best way to start it.
Another day, another project
Mitch hoped for better news as he checked his voicemails and was happy to see that there weren’t any major fires. This is to say that the building was still standing, and that nothing was actually on fire.
There were some minor issues that were discovered during software bug testing. However, nothing that could not be addressed during the morning standup meeting which was still two hours away.
Mitch’s current project was Drive XL, an accounting software package specifically designed for professional sports teams. Mitch was the project manager and was responsible for ensuring that Drive XL was completed within the budget and on time. He provided all the necessary information to the development team and communicated with stakeholders to ensure that the product met their expectations.
He was an athlete in his own right. He played right wing for a semi-professional water polo team called The Kissimmee Mermen.
Drive XL was experiencing some problems with its user interface. Mitch had been spending a lot time with Daryl, the lead programmer, to ensure that the development team had all they needed. Mitch had to also determine the impact the issues would have on the project’s schedule and budget so that he could inform the stakeholders.
Ronnette, the product’s owner, sent him an email asking about adding augmented realities functionality to Drive XL.
Mitch prioritized UI issues and marked Ronnette’s email for a follow up meeting.
“Why would accounting software require augmented reality?” As Mitch paced around his office, he noticed that he was able to move a tennis ball from one side to the other.
As others began to file in, Mitch sat down at his desk and logged into TeleroCorp’s project management software.
Project management secrets:
Mitch first looked at the Gantt chart of the Drive XL project.
If you want to complicate a peanut-butter sandwich, here is a sample Gantt chart
It quickly revealed to him the tasks that needed to be completed today to make the project move forward and keep on schedule. Also, which tasks could be done simultaneously by different teams including TeleroCorp wordaidoc>