The most important lessons I learned during 4 years of project management

  • Be reactive
  • Share information
  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions and to ask for help
  • Take notes and write everything

Be reactive!!

  • Send minutes of meeting immediately after a meeting.
  • Send an email with a note of what was said after a phone call.
  • Update the action tracker immediately after defining actions and responsibilities and share it
  • Update the project log immediately and share it
  • Answer to the client immediately (even if it is just for knowledge). A client needs to be reassured. Not receiving answers is very frustrating.

Communicate, share information

  • Set daily meetings with the team (if you don’t use agile methods in managing the project).
  • Ask for progress reports and updates from the different teams.
  • Share working progress with the client, share the planning.
  • Raise risks and issues as soon as possible. This is a very important point, share the alerts, risks and problems early. Don’t make stakeholders stressed about the project, but don’t let them in a dark box. They need to know what is happening. When a bad surprise happens, you will be the only responsible for what happened. But when the problem is expected, it is less shocking.

Ask questions

Write everything !!

Notepad (Microsoft OneNote for me)

  • I use Microsoft OneNote to note everything. I write everything when I am on a call, in a meeting or after a one-to-one discussion. I also write down all my ideas or my questions.
  • For every new event, I write the date an the context (call, meeting …) and I note every little detail. When I write something on my paper notepad I insert a photo of it in OneNote. I do the same thing with the information written on a board during meetings.
  • I synchronize onenotes on the clouds so that I can access to the information if I don’t have immediate access to my laptop.
  • My notes are not shared, if I need to share something I import it or isolate it.

Excel

  • Actions tracker sheet: In this tab, I write actions of the project with related information (owner, team, start date, planned date, status, reference, comments, priority…). I try to keep it up to date.
  • Project logs: I note here the important events and decisions that occur during the project lifetime with the related details (event, type, impact, trigger,...). This file is very useful to answer to questions such as: Why did you develop this feature this way? Why the project is delayed…

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Abir

Abir

IT working girl. Interested in many topics such as project management, self help and trading. Writes in French and English