Seniors’ advice: How to Pimp the Knowledge of Junior Project Manager

11. juni 2018

Some of our developers share practical advice for the IT industry in Ukraine.  Check out Conscensia’s developer and project manager Ihor’s article about how a junior grows as a project manager, published at the biggest online media for developers in Ukraine Ihor has 21 years of experience in the IT sector.

“Life is interesting and multifaceted, so there are no identical projects and therefore, the roles that are often referred to as PMs are very different. So, if you are not going to become a PM for some particular project, then I’m not even sure where to begin… In fact, it is impossible to put all the advice into a thick book, let alone in a few lines.”

Still, we advise you to read more on the profile topic and analyze how this may or may not be applied to your project. It is important to analyze not only the behavior patterns of other people, but yourself above all, since everything that will happen on the project will largely depend on you. We would also advise you to always look for the root of everything, and first of all – of your project, for example, why it came up, what goals it pursues or what problems it solves.

Try to imagine yourself in the customer’s place. Such a view will help you to clearly understand the movement directions, as well as “what is bad and what’s good” specifically for your project. There are many temptations and pitfalls pulling the project goal away in the notion we call “agile”. We often want to improve a “new feature” just “becausewecan”, or select “cool tools” we really want to work with.

Make plans, agree and stick to them, though not very tightly. Plans need to be smartly adjusted, keeping the goals in mind. For the same reason, we would recommend to study not only the “scrum”, since it is very likely that it will be more efficient to apply something else in order to achieve the project objective. It is also necessary to realize that the goals of different participants, such as the developer and the customer, often differ significantly, and this is to some extent normal. Your role is to make adjustments to get everyone in your boat rowing in the same direction applying their own motivation. It is harder doing than saying, so analyze, try and grow as a person, do not stop … never!

We are frequently asked what is worth reading but the internet is full of such lists. It’s probably clear from everything said above that “there is no silver bullet” but continue searching for it. We advised reading but there is a tweak – do not read more than you can digest. And yet, no matter how banal it is, PMBOK describes a PM work without unnecessary additions, so this book is a must-have. There are more good PMBOK-like books, simpler and adapted to the IT interpretation, such as “IT Project management. Efficient system “from scratch” in any organization” by Ivan Selikhovkin, etc. Just in case you failed to cope with PMBOK. Though … If you lack strength, then you should think about other professions and directions that are as well useful. Already threadbare but still useful — “Rework”. From the last things I really liked— “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman.”