Dear Software Developer,
I know that we have sometimes not seen eye to eye but I wanted to give you some insight into the life and role of the Project Manager in projects and hope that we can both learn from each other to have a solid and productive working relationship.
First things first: I’m not trying to add work to your plate or try to make your life difficult. As a Project Manager, I need to make sure not only that our plan is accurate but that you’re aware of your tasks and are taking the necessary ownership of what needs to be done. The request for updates is simply to ensure that we are not falling behind. In my projects, I trust and rely on your expertise to tell me when something is wrong or inaccurate.
What does a Project Manager actually do?
I can assure you that I do not just sit on my throne barking out orders and drinking tea (although I do drink a lot of tea…). The role of the Project Manager is to lead and ultimately deliver the required project and it’s all requirements to the organisation. A project is defined as: “It’s a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources”.
When I start projects, I sit down with team and set out a list of ground rules for how I run projects, what I expect from them and more importantly, what they can expect from me. During this session, I also get feedback from them for how they want to handle updates/meetings and how they like to work. It’s important for me that everyone is honest and open regarding their expectations and requirements.
What is my role within the project and team?
I think of myself as a Servant leader. I am the orchestrator of projects but my main aim to create an environment in which the team are able to perform at their best to be able to deliver the project to the requirements. I see my role as a facilitator, mentor, supporter and guidance. I will be managing the overall project but how we get there… that’s up to us.
What do you need?
Every project is different and it might be that you need to help or support to gain skills to be able to perform your role. This is not a weakness but a fact of what is needed to deliver the project. If you need something from me, please let me know as soon as we start working together or as soon it becomes apparent so that I can work with your Manager or work in the planning to get you what you need. This isn’t just about skills. Is your PC not up to spec? Have you been waiting for approval to get monitors for your home office? Let me know, so I can remove those small impediments that make your working day that little more difficult.
How do you like working?
Well…. That might be a hard question to answer but I want to know the best way to be able to support you. Within my teams, I like to be able to treat each member in the most effective way for them to work, I create a “bubble” for them to excel in. Do you need something to make sure that this bubble is the best bubble for you? Lets talk about it.
Let’s talk about when things go wrong:
This can happen in projects and one thing that I’ll never do is”play the blame game”. It has absolutely no use! My main goal is to understand what has happened, how it happened and what we can do to rectify the issue from happening again. So, let’s work together and support the project and team to move past this issue.
When things get tough:
Yes, they will get tough. Yes, there will be times when the days are longer than you’d like and I’m asking a lot… but I hope that these days will be few! I will try my hardest to not ask more of you than I’d ask any member of the team and I will try to make sure that there is some equilibrium for the extra hours and dedication that you have put in.
I believe in recognition for good work and teamwork. I will say thank you but I will also inform HR/Management if you’re doing a good job. I do this so that you can get the recognition that you deserve for a good job, well done. This is not to promote my career or the project. My job is to make sure that you can shine in the sun!
I know that things can be hard and sometimes I may not seem that approachable… but please always contact me if you need anything. Need to have a chat? need to get some advice? I’m your gal!
So, let’s start the project on the right foot and work together as we’d both like!