From where I stand, at a small agency, there are 4 major function of a PM's role:
Fostering Clear Communication
Project Planning and Maintenance
Time and Budget Tracking
That list is proof that project management creates a perfect storm of activities that no single app can handle. Right now, our PM setup is a collection of tools that are good for a single purpose within project manager. I am in the middle of assessing the tools we use and find myself wishing for the unicorn of all apps. (We all know unicorns don't exist, right?) Read more
I loved Tetris as a kid. I played the gameboy version for hours. I now have it on my phone and iPad and find myself playing it when I'm on a flight, or bored, waiting for something to happen (which is never these days). Whether I'm playing the game a lot or not, the idea of making tiny boxes fit in neatly and clearing out rows of work in ingrained in my brain. It's what I do on a daily basis when sorting out who will work on what; it's what we often call "resourcing." And it's one of my biggest project management challenges, for sure.
All projects operate on some sort of budget, and the work that we do as project managers is scoped as a part of that budget. It's hard to measure a lot of what we do, because there are few "deliverables" tied to managing a project. But how do you estimate the time you need to manage a project when there are so many variables, like changing timelines, client requests, team meetings, and so on?
For any other work, a budget is a budget and you need to work with it, right? The same can be said for project management. We need to do what is right for the client and the project, and keep our work within the constraints of the project budget. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, as I have hit my hours budgets on projects earlier than expected, or have seen a trend toward using my hours before a project is done. I had to take a deeper look at what I was doing on those projects to see just where the time was going. It's true, you read it here first: I'm not perfect. I completely exhaust budget hours! (If you don't, you must have some amazing budgets to work with.) Read more