During my work in one of the mobile operator company from Telekom Austria Group the most interesting project I led was the project with Russian division of the IBM SPSS Inc as a vendor.
That project included 2 major parts: special analytical software implementation and development and implementation of an analytical model that could give estimates for future behavior of company’s subscribers. Part of work was done by SPSS and part with our own recourses. Both time and budget were very limited.
At first I had to form a good team of professionals which is quite tricky in a big company as far as everyone (especially the best ones) is involved in lots of activities. Good relationships with departments’ heads are very useful in this case.
Then a very accurate estimation and planning of the project had to be done both with distinct goals formation at every step. As there were very limited timeframes a lot of work had to be done in parallel. Here it was vital to acquire all the necessary information from every team member and vendor and define with their help what can be done simultaneously in certain moments of the timeline to stay within timeframes.
In order to report to high management (sponsor) and to keep them in touch with the project I needed to receive full information on the progress and encountered problems from everyone involved at each stage of the project. So that was also a matter to be arranged from the very beginning. That constant reporting (short, not to spend too much time) allowed to keep all the milestones in place.
And of course at some moments project management is about solving problems. And no matter what kind of problem that was I never made people solve it. I always made them want to solve it in the most efficient way as there is no person that can do work better than a person that wants to do it.
Of course all the PM principles described in innumerous books and articles are vital for Project Manager. But you can find out that there is a common thing that helped in everything I had to do during my project: ability to communicate and set up communication with project team, vendor and sponsor (customer), ability to make people want to participate in the project and work for the success. To develop that ability to communicate to people is the most important tip. Project Manager can hardly achieve success on his own though it is much easier done with his team.
As a result the project was absolutely successful in all the aspects — time, quality and budget. That is how my work was described by SPSS Consultant Director:
During the work on the project Mikhail showed maximum flexibility in working with people, concentration on the goal and professionalism in carrying out tasks that were set up which resulted in great organization of work.