Project Management Best Practices - How to lead and drive projects successfully?

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hello and welcome to productivity

compass by zoho projects

today we have a very special guest

amongst us

mr sri srinivasa is the program

management lead

for operational process and systems at

tesla this talk

is an initiative by our team at zoho


we have been very lucky to have some of

the industry stalwarts

share their experiences with the project

management community

zoho is a company that builds sas

software products for businesses

we are over 20 years old now and have

more than 40 products to run sales

marketing hr finance and more

zoho projects is our offering for

project managers

it is used by customers around the world

and in every industry to plan projects

big and small track their progress and

collaborate with

teams we also have focus capabilities

for agile teams

to introduce our speaker mr sreenivasa

is a recent graduate from harvard

business analytics program

he holds pmp certification from project

management institute

he is certified in governance of

enterprise iit from

information systems audit control

association and is also certified

information systems auditor for

audit information security and


mr srinivasa comes with over 20 years of


leading and managing medium to

large-scale i.t applications engineering

enterprise software applications order

information security and compliance

digital product solutions across

technology platforms

his key focus areas include global

operational readiness

and standardizing best practices across

teams he has handled

multiple project portfolios to help meet

business objectives

and advance top level goals and

organizational strategy

he is also a public speaker coach and


he guides startup companies and

non-profit companies on process

project and program framework in the

capacity as a board member

and core management group talking about

his hobbies and interests

he has produced shows at stanford

university college radio for the past 11


his channel its div has a stream of

talks on leadership

he's also a vocal artist and humorist

she has been supporting and providing

pm work for local non-profit


before we start i have a few points to

make the session will last for about 40


which will be followed by question and

answers you can post your questions in

the live chat section

the speaker will answer them after his

talk in case of audio or video issues

please use the link zoho.to

project slide to reconnect to the live

stream for more updates

and future webinars please follow us at

zoho projects

mr srinivasa the forum is now on yours

thank you thank you very much garango

and the zoho team and

it's a great pleasure and honor to be

here and

especially in this unprecedented tough

times with the

epidemic and there are lots of

opportunities available for all of us to

connect virtually and we've

learned something new or shared our


from what we have learned life is a

journey and there's always ups and downs

so we we we learn every day and we

learn we care and we share so thanks for

giving me an

opportunity and it's it's a pleasure to

be with you all and thanks for all our

all the audience

who have given the valuable time uh to

our uh program today

so thank you so uh just wanted to read a

little uh disclaimer here

uh the the content that you're going to


is from my experience that i've learned

from great leaders

and great projects and

any references that we mentioned it's uh

it's quoted elsewhere here on the slide


and also from experience from my present


you know other uh employments where all

over the globe where i was

very fortunate to help support the the


but they don't but again these are my

views from my experience and

it doesn't bind my current or past

employers i just wanted to call that out

and of course this is mainly meant for

educational awareness

training and to encourage discussion

among our learning community

of project managers and cannot be used

for any commercial or business benefits

i just wanted to read that out as you

see here

what we are going to do today in the

next 40 minutes or so is just a

general overview of project management

the main thing here is to just set the

right stage and get some terminologies


and see a brief project life cycle a

sample framework which is

pretty much on the basis of pmi

well-known world institute project

management institute pmi.org

i really credit them for all my

learnings and also the other

organization is isaka i-s-a-c-a dot

o-r-g and you there are lots of

process and technology and how it's

usage and things like that so

i would quote necessarily where


and what do you expect from a project

manager and what is that a

person whose role here they've got a

definitive role to play

in bringing a lot of people together so

what is expected

then what are the critical success

factors that will really help a project

to succeed

we learn every day we look for failures

we fix them

and some which we could not fix we just

try to see

how else can we collaborate to fix so

let's just talk through that

and what are the tool sets that are

available to us how can we leverage some

of the tools

right the next one is tips for leading

projects effectively this is more like a

i would say a summary which gives an

example of in the in the project life


on how we can do certain things again

project management is an ocean

a lot of things a lot of knowledge areas

a lot of processes and stuff

to put everything into the 35 minutes

here is difficult but

i'll try to do justice with some of my

learnings and see

what i was looking for what i learned

etc so

it's again to learn care and share

so let's go to uh general uh the

uh the next slide please overview of

project management

it's an application of knowledge skills

tools and techniques to

to project activities to meet the

project requirements so the key things

as you see it's it's a there's a

definition from the pmi.org

and if you look at this the requirements

is what one has to really pay attention


in in short example you can say what

problem are we solving

who is our stakeholder where all the

people have to come together

to accomplish an objective to meet the


right and how do we really

get to the process from start to finish

right so if you see look at this next

bullet there

project management it includes the

process groups

as defined by pmi is initiating planning

executing monitoring and controlling and


there are a lot of key things involved

sometimes you get an

opportunity to start from the beginning

of the project

sometimes i've seen it the dynamism and

say there is a problem

the project is already underway it's not

going anywhere

you just have to go and find out what's


what has not happened how you are going


just go and solve the problem so there

are always lots of things

a lot of variations that could happen


so the first thing i would say from a

project management perspective

is to understand the context understand

their own purpose

collaborate communicate

be organized so a lot of things i would

see a couple of keywords

as we move through the presentation and

of course one thing we need to

understand the project is

it's unique and it's temporary

that's interesting why you say project

is temporary

because you know this there's not a

project that you always say that oh it

runs for months and years and

a decade it's not like that a project

has got a definitive goals

you have some requirements and then you

face the projects

right and also you just see have a start

date and ended

and you start the next phase start

dating indeed and then you learn from

the previous phase

you just correct yourself it's something

you you would see as a retrospective as

we do in

in agile a methodology right after every

sprint you say what did we do well what

we didn't do

well how can we change is there a

problem with the skill

is our problem with our you know the

various constraints of a project

right so in first place we need to


we have to meet the requirements to meet

the requirements there are

there is a process everything is around

process so what pmi recommends generally

is uh

the the process

groups as you see here let's go to the

next slide please

so as part of the terminology briefing


you can see here on the left the product

portfolio program and project management

i just wanted to just uh

talk through a few points here let's

start reading from the

left top generally you see always people

think about the product is like there is

always a requirement there's a market


there is something we need to increase

our market share there is a

there is a road map of this product that

is being planned

which which will result in a feature and

functionality and things like that

of course who is the main driver the

customer the competition the regulatory

uh right and security what not

so it might result in of course it's a

hardware product or software product

or of course these days everybody's on

mobile is an example for a software


it could be an enterprise-wide system or

it can it would be an individual

it could be like a b2c application uh it

could be a device

that could help streaming or

the the application or media not so

there's this a product a very specific

you know which is uh which has got a

definitive goal

to feature after feature there is a

some people you would have heard minimal

viable product

that needs to be launched at a

particular time and then you enhance the

product you learn from the

industry look at the customer they give

some feedback

look at the competitors and then you try

to get to know

how can we innovate how can

i digitally transform my company to

get ahead of the competition how can i

be efficient all kinds of things

uh you will just focus on the products

out of the equation

then if you look at they see the

portfolio is

it's everything is a project you can say

but again

uh a product that is to be launched

is managed through a project manager i'm

trying to bring the relationship here

that it will be good to understand

so then what happens is right you see

the the

competitiveness the revenue the enhancer

uh then the legal regulatory staff

you're doing some projects for cost


for efficiency gain meaning what i can


in 30 minutes i wanted to do it in in 15


so if say say for example if you are

buying some products now everybody is

going online for

purchasing everything especially in in

this current situation of this epidemic

in covet 19.

so if you look at people are trying to

say okay you can order

on the web and things like that you

don't have 20 clicks to get to

purchase and complete the order can i do

this in five clicks

show a catalog give them a

package where they can just quickly go

and check it could be a bundled product

what not

and then you just have to pay and you


put your address and stuff like that and

hit uh done

or you're going to go and pick it up on

the on the store

on the curbside pickup what not look at

the number of clicks there versus

you just go through like about 300

product lines and you try to

sort through and things like that so a

person has to always look at efficiency

minimize the number of clicks

it's all driven by the customer and the

innovation and how to be efficient etc

so so this becomes portfolio so if you

look at to your right here

uh given some examples on a finance


and a sales portfolio means these are

all right portfolios are vertical

where you can see there are programs

which consists of projects

and each project has got some

deliverables on the end of it

you know you start and you finish so

that you should understand the

relationship because

finance sales marketing engineering

supply chain

order operations for that matter you

know you have

uh marketing you have love i mean


a lot of individual verticals will have

their portfolio

and they all have their budget in terms

of uh

getting some projects to be executed

there is some budget allocation

in organization so we need to understand


but again the question here is uh it

depends on the level of the project

manager also like sometimes you know you

are given and say go and execute it

sometimes you are in a situation where

you will be able to contribute to the


in some cases you are in a c-suite

executive who is just looking at what

projects are what projects or programs

or a portfolio that we need to

allocate the funds so that's kind of so

what we are going to do in the next

couple of minutes is there are two

angles one is the strategic angle

another one is the operational angle

so let's focus on the the operational

angle of these projects how to be

how to drive and lead projects


all right so of course in every uh

uh portfolio or the program you see you

can see

it's a satisfy the business requirements

is our main

uh you know goal our motto right so as

you see programs and projects are

it's basically they're intertwined there

are a lot of related projects

formed together to form a program which

is a key thing for the

to meet the company's goals and

objectives ultimately

we need alignment to the company's goals

and objectives so first thing is

as an executive's responsibility is to

get the mission statement get the goals

and objectives

trickle down to the manager and below

right and as a project manager our goal

is to understand

not only just what problems are we

solving and how is it aligned

and meeting the goals and objectives of

the company this is always like

there's a company's milestone which we

are targeting for

and delivering value so that's the main


all right yeah so let's go to the next

slide please

the project life cycle which is uh

yeah so are we are we good there uh

project life cycle is sample framework


so in this case you know let's just look

at the central uh

the diagram there which is you initiate

you plan you develop and build execute

monitor and support i mean this is just

like a

a broader uh you can say faces

that's kind of fitting the pmi framework

but it's just

my way of doing uh this to keep it


so you there's always you initiate

something then you plan

and you start designing and then you

just start building and

execute monitoring support so let's look

at the i'll peel the onion for you

on the right side you see plan and

prioritize first of all that is very

important because

there are like hundreds of requirements

now you need to also plan what is the

minimal viable product

that will get the biggest bang for the

buck so the challenge here for most of


is if you say the project is going to

take 8 months and 12 months and 6 months

yeah that's what it takes but if you

want to be competitive

if you have some regulatory conditions

that you have to meet

if you think that you you you have the

information security

data privacy or anything for that matter

that needs to be met

now there's no time for waiting six

months eight months like that

and in this competitive world we are all

racing to the occasion right so

what we have to do is prioritize and

then understand

make sure that we have got there is a

process alignment there is a systems


we have the capacity to deliver right


we have to understand the dependencies

between the various tasks that we

are that forms of that contributes to

the deliverable

it aligns with the product roadmap so

what we do is

we will just understand the various


understand the dependencies do some kind

of an estimation

and then create a minimal viable product

kind of a situation where you say what

can i deliver in three weeks

what can i deliver in six weeks so that

way you work towards

shaping up the you know requirements

design more like an agile

way or a hybrid way of doing things and

then get to

the deliverable of this product in in in

a quick

with a quick turnaround that way people

see value

of course with great quality that is

very important

at every phase of the project quality

is the mantra and then of course you

will perform

risk assessment so if you if you kind of

make sure

you assess your capacity you assess the

requirements you did some estimation

you did some process system alignment

and you see how it is aligned with the

roadmap because you can't just go and

get a requirement which is not in your

roadmap right yeah

so i'm just giving it at a high level

every one of them can

really warrant a session on its own

then let's move on to the right here as

you see the build

test validate and these are all okay

once when you know okay fine we all

agreed everybody we got the right skill

resources uh we put a high level project


and uh with milestones established and

everything okay let's start build

of course one of the things is what are

the use cases what are the test


we are going to do it in a iterative

process that means you know you build a

test to validate build the test to

validate like you know

sounds very familiar it's like agile

right and then of course

you always need to have a status check

at a every point of time i always say

you got to keep an elevator pitch ready

hey how is the project going

um yeah you know no you just say

the projectors we have accomplished

three milestones

we are targeting the next milestone

we are having an issue we reached out to


maybe you could help us that's the kind

of that thing

if you if assuming you're meeting an

executive and he's asking this question

and say always the executives always ask

you what can i do for you

what do you need from me i am the

sponsor of this

programmer project and i'm uh i just

wanted to know where you are

then the next that means what does it

mean they are questioning you they're


how can i help you so you need to always

as a project manager you need to have

those data points at all times with you

it's not that 20 things that you know it


the thing that you know to get some help

to get the project

moving and get some resources

reassigned get some additional support

to get the project executed because your

your head is in the line right so it's

such a very enviable uh

situation i would say right so when you

do the development and stuff one of the

things which is often forgotten which i

would like to

again high level is you need to talk

about how are we going to do the

releases are we going to have a weekly

release are we going to have a monthly

release or a bi-weekly release

plan this work with the release

engineers if it is an i.t system project

and and everybody should be aligned

there okay i'll talk more in a couple of

slides there

support planning is of course this is

one thing which is often forgotten

you know who is going to support post

release of this project

is there a customer support team if

you're handling customers then customers

will be calling in who's going to

handle them what is the uh like level

one support level two support

everything needs to be planned right

this stage

and you'll see some stars on top here

they're all

uh with which you can see like uh um

the legend it's the audit and compliance

and information security we need to


those teams as well to see if there is

any financial

data or report that is going to be an

outcome of this project where a

company's decision is going to be

made being a public company we are

obligated to make sure

we are compliant from a stocks

perspective as well

and at the same time information

security is very important as to

how secure is your website how resilient

is your website

right how much of data is being

protected what data are you collecting

that's itself is a separate topic to

discuss but at least what i would like


tell them it's not an afterthought most

of the time the data security

information security compliance is an


so i would suggest that as a part of the

process we should have it there that's

why there is a star there to just to

highlight that

okay let's go keep moving on from the

execute to

the the readiness review uh you know

keep in the same slide please

on the readiness review uh product

deployment go live support more monitor

means monitoring is very important to


how do you know that the this project

has been successfully

uh delivered what is the uh you know


accepting that project so it is very

important to know the user acceptance

post project is also matters just go

survey it

talk to the field understand what's

happened what is not happening

because there are a lot of times you

design something

you execute something and you call the

project is done no

what will be more helpful is go to the


talk to the customer internal or

external customer

understand are they using the project

the the

develop i mean the developed software

application or

the implemented process for that matter

are they using the manner it was

because there's always gaps in the

communication and stuff

so you got to make sure that you you you

do a good job of

doing some field analysis right and some

people have they do pilot

also they should do it in a faced


for a subset of the teams to see

and learn before they really go

full-blown and especially when you're

global when you're implementing

something you got to be very careful


so the last one on this slide you see

the retrospective

then what is the measure success against

the roi return on investment is

you said that you know i'm going to

increase my productivity by 30

i'm going to reduce cost by 25

okay so how do you measure you come up

with those

stats and you tell your sponsor about

this is how

my roi of this project and that's the

need for doing this project you do all


pitching and everything during the you

know the first

strategic angle before to get the


approved but then when after the project

we have to go and learn did really

are we doing this if not what do we need

to do

why is it a failure so you know what

always look for that angle to learn from

the previous project

all right and of course you're in a

maintenance mode of course

you'll have to do a lot of patches

you'll have to maintain and

make sure there'll be some things

missing here and there

people will get new ideas when they

start using it

you need to make sure there is adoption

the user adoption is the best thing that

you can expect

so for all the efforts as a team that a

project manager the product manager

business analyst the developer

engineering qa test

business secretly everybody put together

in front of the customer to

look good for for the company

perspective the adoption

will really get the company from point a

to point b

in terms of you know being a competitor

in this competitive world

let's go to the next slide please so

expectations from a project manager as

you have seen in

various places you need the right

attitude you need to be a

relationship builder you need to be

self-organized that's very important

and you need to have a good

documentation skills that doesn't mean

you need to replace a technical writer

you can always engage a technical writer

to get the technical documentation

but just the basic things that is

required from a project manager is

do you have all the tasks aligned you

you understand the dependencies you have

the business requirements documented

you have a status reporting to talk

about what did i do

what is coming up next uh when what is

the risk what are the blockers

are you organized or do you have the

project sign off at various stages you

need to do all that

and i always tell my project team

you need to understand the business

context understand the business context

say there's always some attitude where

you give me a project

when is it to be delivered then i'll

take care of it thank you that's good

that's a good attitude

at the same time if you understand why

we're doing this

and it will really help and who needs to

do what

the reason is it will help to go

and unblock somebody because at the end

of the day project managers are in a

very enviable situation also

you're a great facilitator a great

communicator who

establishes accountability against

various people so if something is not


you need to just escalate escalation is

good in this case it's not just

telling bad about something you are the

person who brings in the visibility

red green yellow don't feel bad about

calling it as red when you say call it

as red what did you

what are you recommending right

let's go to the next slide please so

just a quickly you all know this you're

all experienced to people

so you see there's always we work on

this triple constraints

you see a scope schedule cost

right always if the scope is not


if it's not properly planned then you

are not able to predict the timeline

in which this project needs to be

delivered right sometimes you are not

given the opportunity and then say

um here are these 100 requirements can

you tell me when this project can be

completed more often you see in this


a date is fixed already you agree i see

you guys nodding your head

and then you work backwards to see if i

need to deliver to match with my company

milestone then when am i to do the pilot

when am i to

deploy when am i to test when am i to do

what in terms of the various phases of

this project

right so you got to be careful with with

knowing the scope very well

then the next one of course cost again

nobody has got a

open wallet and then say okay just take

as much it wants to just go and

develop something some of the startup

companies if you can see

they're all work in a very very uh

stringent budget because

they don't have that much of money they

otherwise they have to go to

another venture capitalist and then ask

to ask them to cough up more money

okay and they we are not everybody is

like a

in the fortune 500 or 100 companies

where they have money

because they always have some money

dedicated to

to exploit what the company is doing

right now to increase customer


do operational excellence etcetera and

they'll have to allocate some fund for r


to explore what new opportunity that's

lying outside

so it's always between exploit and

explore the conflict

but not everybody is at that luxury to

do that so you got to be very

sensitive about you know being running

things efficiency minimizing wastage

so you need to have the right resource

first of all you need to have the


fully utilized whether it is the

resources resources

does not mean it is just human resources

it's also the infrastructure resources

the resilient

hardware that you need to run this right

and of course

as a critical success factor you need to

also have a very good engagement

cross-functional teams you need

everybody you need see that's what isa


in in their in their uh you know uh

educational stuff they always say it's

always in in governance and enterprise

id it's not id

at the end of the day so it's a business

and i t together forming a core team

this that kind of a tight will knit

a team you need it's always i always say

in my engagements

we need great business partners with


technology i've worked in both places

all right and of course communication is

super important

if something is not working something is

working keep everybody

you know abridged with what's happening

okay let's go to the next slide please

okay let's get to get to the the meet

project management tool sets

first and foremost is project charter

without going into much detail i'll just

give you

project charter the gantt chart which

you can see on the bottom of the screen

then the work breakdown structure which

is where basically you take the bigger

chunks of deliverable into what does it

take to get to that deliverable

and so that way you can assign the task


individual and then project status is

super important

risk and issue log you need to see what

is the issue what is the severity of the


what is the risk is there is a known

risk is it something which you can


or you can transfer the risk to someone


sometimes people are always fearful


the risk of the risk of not knowing what

that is the risk

and of course you need to have a racy

chart which is you know as you see here

who is responsible who is accountable

who's consulted who is informed

okay so that's super important of course

minutes of the meeting means just

to just a document with action items

every meeting is super important get


uh in consulting that i've seen but

there's always a person who's

taking care of okay what is the end of

the end of the meeting

what are the action item who is supposed

to do what we need to go with a clear


you need to come out with a key walk

takeaways from this and of course we

need to do roi analysis

now i just wanted to focus your

attention to the right side where you

can see the project charter

see if nobody is got that

even when you are put in a project you

say do you have a charter what is a


it just tells you what problem are we


who are the stakeholders when are we

expected to deliver what are my key

assumptions all right

and then which is you can see who is

going to accept it you can see

right what is the exit criteria means we

need to know when

you think the project is success right

and then who is the sponsor because that

way we if we wanted to go for ask for

more money

because uh the project there is a cost

to overrun because some

unprecedented things happen where you

are to spend more money

if we need to uh bridge them so in that

case you know you need to have

this is my charter just a one-page


everybody should have i would self-write

it and say this is the problem i'm

solving this is the customer

this is my assumptions that itself is a

separate topic

the you need to validate your assumption

because you assume getting into a

project of doing something

you assume that it's going to take this

much you assume that somebody is going


help you uh dependent like a vendor

customer or other

teams sometimes you know due to their

priority less

a project we it's always not dedicated

not all the

folks are reporting to the project

manager it's a matrix organization in

some cases

so they work in finance they work in

sales they work in other

departments but to help come and help

you so what happens due to the priority

shifting they will not be able to help


when when when they have other

priorities that coming in their way so

you have to go and reset things like

that so you you

they were allocating 30 percent of the

time to support your project

but that became five percent so you got

to really make sure

what are the assumptions that you're

making how many resources you need

you know and how long you're going to

take everything needs to be documented

and monitored very well

okay again i'm just giving a high level

we can talk

everything is is a is a topic on its own

to see

how to really um excel in such

areas but at least this will give you an

idea again

right uh let's go to an example this is

something i like

let's go to the next slide please which

is example

project marketing campaign management

sounds very simple huh

i'm going to spend five minutes on this

okay where do you where do you start

reading okay

let's just i just put it the color

coding there on the left you can see

where uh the various uh the faces are

given there in this case right

so you okay let's understand the problem

what are we doing

i'm telling the customer expect a new

product that

we are going to launch and i'm sending

an email to the customer

about getting them excited about that or

i'm telling them like um we have already

launched the product

here is how you can place an order okay

or you're saying we are doing a

marketing event

and if you wanted to just to come and

experience the product you can come and

do it for example right

so it's just such a simple thing but you

know you'll be really amazed

in this example you see you need to

understand who's the target audience

because there's like millions of people

hundreds and thousands of people

who's your target audiences your focus

group i mean they will give you you as a

project manager should just know this

because to help steer the project and

what tools are we going to use to get

this data and then

how who are you going to collaborate

what's the time when are you going to

execute it

what is the messaging requirement

because these all will give you

who are the dependent players to make

this project successful

how are you going to monitor that we are

successful and then of course

you will engage the the

folks who will be designing their email

and then to review and

prep all of this then there is always a

tool you use to

get this uh campaign executed and

sometimes it could be a

you know a sales force tool it could be

a homegrown tool

it could be any third-party tools for

whatever whatnot

right a campaign management tool and

then you have to got it tested and

vetted out

here is the fun part that's it my

campaign is done and executed no

look at the email that goes to the

customer then what do you expect the

call to action from a customer


the customer what they open so you need

to see is the customer opened or not

so that's a tracking the customer

clicked or not

that's tracking again what do you want

the customer to do that's a call to


do you want them to go to our website

and buy something

or sign up for something now here is the

fun part

is your website resilient enough

to handle such volume of calls that

comes to

you you know what i mean so that is very

important to

let the web team involved and then say

we are going to do this campaign and we

are going to put the link for people to

sign up in a form is the form ready is

the graphics ready the content ready is

illegally written

all kinds of things need to be done

right see that's

that's a huge dependency second thing is

and then if the if the

people have you need to test it the

scalability of the website too right

at the same time you need to inform when

the campaign is going to be launched how

many people

we are sending it so you look at some

past experience to see

uh what is the what is the percentage of

clicks and things like that

that will be you'll be able to gauge

from the metrics to

to plan this and the next part is right

you need to make sure

that the data analytics team is putting

the right tracking code on the website

to see

uh to track all of this correct so it's

such a simple thing

now move to the the you can see the

right here software engineering efforts

as an example is a website

there's a content management there's a

campaign software there is a

the the data source you need to engage

the database team

infrastructure team then the analytics

team the intelligence team

such a simple thing and then say send an

email to potentials and customers

to just get them excited on a new


and then what you just have start

tracking and then you see

how this cross-sell upsell and other

opportunities worked

and how what is the effect of this

campaign isn't it fun

there's so much and of course there is

always approval your you your company's

branding is important companies image is


and also what worked here is it local or

global asia pacific or europe

or what not where where are we doing


so that is super important to know as a

project manager the reason is

um as a project manager just pay

attention to understand the context

that's all i'm saying

so that means it will it now you you'll

start thinking

oh then you will be effective if you

know what is being delivered

who are all involved what are the

nuances that means it's a great learning

and you know what every project you will

have fun

it's tough i mean it's it's very easy

every project you love when you feel


other you feel like i'm just running a

status report to see

whether you met hey can you give me the

status please and then can you see what

is next

that's no fun this is fun you learn in

the project so my

way of doing things which i tell my team

and when i build the teams i build pmos

one of the things i i i learn from the

great leaders

that's what they they do understand the

context i keep repeating that word

you might have seen like a broken record

right okay let's go to the next one


yeah so now the fun part right

tips for leading projects effectively

again it's more like a treat this like a


and the entire thing that what i'm i was

mentioning to you from my learnings it's

there in this slide

have a project chartered for understand

the business case

the requirements assumptions

the timeline and please

who does what that's very

good thing we in the early stage you

need to establish that that's part of

initiating right face

then i mean in the planning phase there

are lots of things but i'm just giving


key things for you plan and collaborate

well this is very important

the developer when you go and ask for


should know this guy is asking for a

good reason

right it's not like you know tell me

when you're done it's question is are

you blocked

can i get you some help because a lot of

uh you know individually there are

different styles of functioning people

have tend to

focus on you give me something i'll be

done like a horse with the blind they

don't know anything about outside

so as a project manager you are just a

step above

to look at everything that's happening

at a 20 000 foot level and then see

oh this is not happening the handshake

is broken this is

not very clearly documented and such

things okay

and then of course understand the

infosec requirements

uh evaluate the compliance meeting

cadence agree on

how frequently are you going to have a

steering committee meeting a status


not too many meetings but at least it's


um what is the off-site of what i say

out of sight out of mind

so you need to have this is the project

status it's available here go and check

it or you send it like

the push this is the project status and

this is the milestones met

this is the milestones upcoming uh these

are all the various dates we are


this is the blocker and in this blocker

this is the help

that we need and this is the progress we

made all in a couple of

couple of bullets you can you can just

simply share in an email or

a slide deck or use a tool see that's

where the tool comes in effectively the

lots of tool

that that is there where you can just

attract the tasks the dependencies the

timeline who does what etc

it's leverage the tool it could be a

simple excel spreadsheet

or it could be a sophisticated tool on

the cloud or it could be

a you know the typical uh gantt chart

that is given by uh microsoft project

kind of a tool or

if there are lots of tools available of

course uh zoho also

right they've got uh the tools so the

lot of things that are that are

available uh in in the

market trello of course so you you have

and i've used very many

application tools like even jira has got

that a lot of you need to compare

based on your company's objectives and

what is the functionality and feature

set and and stuff

and then use and some people even use

confluence for that

so the no matter which tool you use the

thing is you are there to bring


please do that and then the key thing in

executing i'll keep it at a very high

level from a time constraint perspective

please test everything dryden data

migration dry run

if you have some assumptions validate

the assumptions go talk to the field hey

this is what we are planning to build

if we give this to you would you be

willing to be part of a

subject matter expert you got lots of

knowledge in this area why don't you

just come and

help right so they'll be very happy to


people are waiting to ask because if you

are going to solve their problem

definitely they will be very glad to

help you right

and then control and monitoring this is

where again this is a topic on its own

planning the rollout considerations that

is where you got to be very careful with

rollout and face to roll out pilot roll


and what not all right so

again get everybody informed if

you're going to like like i said in the


if you're going to launch a an email

campaign to people and the customer is

going to

uh click on it to do and most often what

happens not everybody will understand it

in first place

uh i mean i cannot generalize it some of


what they do they choose to call so do

you have the support team

enabled uh the customer support to

handle the calls

if they do not know that such campaign

is gone

in this in the example that i shared see

that is what is called rollout

and the dependency understand and


alrighty good so so if

so in a nutshell if you take care of

some of these key things and

look for failures so that as you have


right in them in the model that i've

learned from amazon and all like you


you have an idea from a team just go and

execute fail fast learn and then put

your learnings

to improve refine and successfully take


and then you come out successful but pay

attention to understand the context and

project manager has to understand the

purpose of

them being there all right

so let's go and do the right thing

so that kind of what i wanted to share

today and

definitely i'm here to answer a few

questions so garango could you mind

sharing any questions we have from the

team please


yeah so um i think yeah so i got a few

questions here

so um hope you can still hear me right

so how to automate the project

management workflow

we can they wanted to share some tips

so again the question here is first of


automation is very good because it

expedites things and

you'll have better tracking visibility

so please evaluate any software

that's available and which can help get


bring the visibility on a task-based

approach a task with the owner

with clear deliverables with the


with uh also estimation and

also can get a roll-up summary and gives

a visibility of the multiple uh

projects that you are tracking to the


so i would say the first thing to

automate is we need to be

disciplined to have some of the process

understood thoroughly

and with a standard best practice within

the team who are

project managers that is very important

and also we need support from the

c-level executives to support for


i mean there are i've seen in companies

where they say just get it done

i don't know how you do it that's one

approach other thing is

you know what we have to follow a

process so that we learn from our

mistakes and correct

ourselves so follow-up process tell me

what do you need to

get that automated so definitely you can

leverage any of the

the software tools that are available to

do that

the main reasons for uh projects fail is

this because

again not understanding the context uh

uh very well

and also the factor is you always plan

for happy path

i would always uh be a little bit uh um

nervous and they say if everything works


yeah that's not the ideal world right

the ideal world is

we expect to that to be so look for

failures always ask the question

where can it fail if it fails what do i

do always think like that be the devil's

advocate and then see

if it fails always have plan b people

say no we work with one plan

that's the plan we execute it thank you

you're good

but always keep some thing in the back

pocket and see if it fails what do you


if the resilient hardware it could be

have multiple

failover with one field you have the

second one the second

the other the factor is a thorough


to make sure that uh you know testing is

done and uh you learn from that results

and also i would say one key thing

between qa scenarios

qa scenarios and always take business

scenarios too

and then test it and pilot it learn

go to the field next question is

successful project manager quality is

understand the sense of purpose

you are collaborative like i said in the


you you just look at the the the

attitude keep an open attitude mind has

to be like a parachute

it works only when it's open okay and


you you have a you are in a very uh

you are the core center which connects a

lot of people great facilitator

communicator organizer you can say all

of that

um yeah i will send some

recommendations for the book but i would

say at least once you know

pmbok is a very good book to learn the

various knowledge areas and processes

that pmi recommends and definitely we

all learned

from this from pmbok right and of course

you can always look at some agile books

and stuff i'll send my recommendations

to the team later

so they can share it in an email um

metrics should be used to convince

executives to sanction which is a very

interesting question i like that

very interesting question what metric

how do we convince executives to

sanction a budget or a project you know

this one is very important because this

is again

you partner with the marketing team the

sales team

or your you know supply chain team

and then you work with them they all

have a business case and say this

increases my productivity reduces my


and then it reduces the clicks for the


it gets us competitive because you know

the same customer

which has been a customer for you for so


will go to another company if they know

that other company can

they can get the product for the same

money or less money

which is highly productive with the

greater benefits

so one of the things we all learned in

customer value creation is

you need to make it easier for the

customer to

interact with you and that's all about

digital transformation

we can cover a separate topic on that so

i'm very much interested so

so the point here is to convince the

sponsor of course

you can always say this is the problem

we are addressing

by addressing this problem and this is

the benefits

across the various five things which i

mentioned as an example legal regulatory

compliance information

security efficiency productivity cost

and then put a matrix and then say this

is the true savings

for doing this and in employee morale

safety and making it a better likable



yeah well again see this is the question


yeah how do you compare the pmi model


the question is you company see

agility is very important for for

ability to

understand what's happening and your

ability to

to to make some refinements

change tweak and react to the market

fluctuations and what's happening

so but that does not mean you should not

have a process

you should have a framework an agile

agile is

is you understood what's happening

you know your capacity you have an

ability to

switch gears and react to to do this

with a high quality product okay and

again the the way they implement like

you know it's a waterfall methodology

you have agile methodology or a hybrid

methodology every company does different


uh which suits their process culture and

their structure

and their strategy so we got to do what

works for

every individual company based on some


so i would say

nothing or

i will put it in a positive sense if

your organ self-organized that's the

best thing

you need to do will help


so again um

the teach i mean i would say i'm sharing

my learning that's one question is about

the teaching shared by you i'm just

sharing my knowledge of

the learnings here so it's like

everybody will have their own learning

just pay attention to how your last

couple of projects went

what did you learn why it didn't go well

or if there are something that

went well just follow that all right

and uh project there's another very good

question about

maintain project stability with the time

constraints and maintain quality

yeah that's that's a challenge on its

own because quality

is what even if you take more time

quality do not compromise because the

customer that's what they expect

if you give five features that features

better be

better work okay so

there's no point in giving 50 features

where i'm using only 20 of the time

if i give you five features which i use

eighty percent of the time

and i do that well that's what the

customer wants

so if suppose say you you planned for

some say mid-june and you have some


look for early indicators where the

project is not tracking well so you look


something and then you see that

this is not going well so what you do

find out what what is the risk and how

you can mitigate the risk

uh either cut down the scope or increase

the resources

that can help you to still meet the

target or

worse scenario is just uh bring

everybody to a discussion and say this

is the situation

it looks like we need to spend some more

time to get this project

delivered so what do you think in terms


our options can we just take a couple of

days more or

to just do this right thing and in fact

most business executives they

understand the situation nobody's wanted

to put some product

in the market and then say uh yeah just

go for it you know what i mean

yeah so yeah this is a very interesting

question from somebody

how do you some of the best practices to

use to organize multiple projects and

stay up to date

yeah the question here is just to assign

a person can have for example three to

four projects

if a person has got 10 projects it's

going to be difficult just form a team

i'm not saying you need to have 40

project managers but again in this

economy and stuff you know you need to

make sure

you get your homework done and get these

data spend some time do some good


by proper planning good support from the

executive management

good understanding with the project team

and collaboration you will be able to

manage this

portfolio management is an art it's not

an easy thing you need support from


and that's one of the big challenge we

all learn from every project

and one project is not the same like the

other they're always some variable that

is being cost here

okay um

again the pmi there's one question about


um um again i have as you have seen i'm

i've not

tested any product here i'm just sharing

what are the things that are out there

um so my question here is

use the pmi model to get to know what

you need to focus on like you know

procurement management

your resource management risk management

the quality

the integration management right of

course time cost schedule

um right so all of these uh you just you

go through the knowledge areas uh

that is recommended like about 10 of

them there and then understand the

processes to get

what is the structure that looks like

and what we need to do

and the applicability of each of them in

your current projects

and so please um do your homework there

that's what i would uh i would suggest

and this is a another question it's an

interesting question too how do you

plan taking it upon uncertainty see

uncertainty is always there right

nothing is certain especially situations

like this a lot of projects are stalled

now in this coveted situation

isn't it so what do you do you need to


when you're going to resume this project

is it still valid

first of all in the current situation

right and

that's one scenario the other thing is

you're doing a project and

suddenly the business objective change

the business is going in a different

direction see ultimately

all the projects that you do is to

satisfy the business need to the


they know exactly where the company is

moving in which direction they are


due to the market demand the feedback


the market survey the feedback that got


the market the companies tend to decide

you know what maybe we need to refocus

our attention readjust the scope like


there are always things like that happen

so stay closer

that's why the communication is

important the status

report is important the one thing which

i all

often seen people saying i don't know


what's happening in the project do you

guys know i don't want to be in that


i always say it's i will communicate

this is the project this is what it is

and these are the challenges this is we

are on target

we are not on target but unless you take

care of these things

always have a proactive communication

all right

i mean you can provide a remedial

solution just in this call right now


every scenario is different you gotta

understand that as well

but it's a good question risk analysis

perform a six month project yeah i mean

there's no time bound i would say as a

project manager you need to have the

risk matrix list all the risks their


and evaluate it every couple of weeks to


is that risk still there or is it


is it mitigated or something which

we cannot you know sometimes

always we we always present the risk to

the executives and say this is what is

the risk we identified here's the

mitigation plan we do

and here's what sometimes you know the

business executives they say

i take this risk i assume the risk

because they also evaluate

they are responsible for the board at

the end of the day right so the board

member the

board is looking for a huge project

multi-million dollar projects

right they have to respond to the board

and what's happening to the to the

project the migration project or

is a new product that you're launching

what is the risk of

not meeting the milestone or what is the

risk that if the customer

behavior changed what is the regulatory

things change

so they always have to report so you you

should know even if a slightest doubt

just ask all right

yeah this is a very good question

how to check information security

aspects in planning phase itself as many

things come

as during execution of project see

information security

is very important at every stage of the

project i would say so understand what

is the information security goals work

with your

security team and within the

organization and understand what is

their goal what is that policy and


get them engaged early enough into the

project and give them a glimpse of what

you are doing

then they will put their minds to see

you know how

is it what website here we are launching

new what kind of testing needs to be


what data is being collected and what

are we doing with the data what is the

archival strategy and

whatnot and we want to cover it in a

separate topic on this okay

but definitely engage them early okay

um but it's very good question

how much of contribution culture of the

division of the company

yeah so i you're right culture that


see again if you are so geographically

distributed you need to have a you know


important aspect about what works

communication wise what works

security wise what works their

process-wise and also vendors

customers vendors are internal partners

for you if the vendor does not follow

your process

and thorough documentation and stuff

like that if you are dependent on the


the project will fail so you got to make


the culture is not just within the

organization within the i.t

within the business it's also with your

external party like customer

and other folks so you got to be careful

that's called

engagement model that's called who does

what go back to the basics so all we are

covering in this

is go back to the basics never ignore it

just okay this is the timeline i'm just

going to hit it there's no magic

so everybody has to have a clear

expectations you know what

the vendor has got their own release


do you know that you you'll base every

assumption of this

based on okay vendor is going to give

this in time what if the vendor does not

deliver on time so that's where contract

management comes in

you write it in a contract that you are

supposed to you are obligated to do this

if you don't do this it's heavy uh

you're penalized for this

so people write contracts to talk to

vendors so that itself is a the

procurement management

team so engage the right team to talk to

them on that behalf

right um

do you have some more minutes and

because i have a few more questions here

i can handle a couple of minutes more

i just wanted to share uh

um again my knowledge and experience

what best practice need to follow if

project budget exceeds to

completion budget yeah so that's a

that's a very interesting question see


i wish i have a magic wand to answer the


best practices if project budget needs

to completion

uh i mean completion project see the


this is one area where people are people


a good support from a tool to track the

cost allocation of the project

to get ahead so this is one thing again

start with any tool that you you got or

do some analysis for a better tool to


the budget allocation and see how much


it is going to take what what does it

take to

do this project because it's procurement

of hardware software licensing

and things like that the development

cost then the operational cost people

often forget

right and the support they also forget

then the supply chain cost they forget

so it depends on project to project

so first of all get some kind of a

ballpark estimate and this is one area

where people are still improving i don't

think they've got them

they've mastered that there's always

cost to overrun

but i would say here's the best thing to

do just

get some ballpark estimate and validate

your assumption

learn from it so that next time when you


estimation technique again you can you

can be better at that

and it's always fun to at least when

nobody asks for it you better do that

that way it's you good for your own


all right um let me just go through some

of the questions i see if i have not

missed anything thanks for asking these

questions uh dear listeners

i hope my answers are

okay enough to i mean i have answered

your question uh i'm still trying

um okay

so i ultimately process uh

matters and also one thing you you have

to see is like

um have a clear understanding with the


on always check with them is that

meeting your needs

do you want any different way of doing


also work with the matrix organization

if somebody's reporting into you from

another department

that's another challenge my manager gave

me a new job

i can't focus on this project anymore

you will find such surprises so you got

to be

these are all your dependencies again as

a project manager it is your


to make sure your assumptions are


and your dependencies are always you


you can depend on them it's kind of

funny to say right

you depend on your dependencies and make

sure you bring some predictability

yeah so um

yeah the the

okay i think i think fairly we covered

fairly we covered and thanks for asking

some questions

uh uh last one are there any best

practices you can probably help get

yeah deliverables needed from a client i


i'm just thinking see that's again

it's an understanding right who needs to

do what start with that

and then say for what you need for a

project there's always a relay race

right it's a handoff from one point to

the other point

so you got to work with them and see

set expectations i expect you to deliver

this for example

if a vendor you're doing a let me go to

some technically here

uh if you're depending on a vendor where

you give some request and the vendor is

giving a response in an apa signature

for a technical project

so in that case the vendor needs to be

recipient be available to receive your

request and provide a response

and the question here is what if you are

not able to connect to the vendor

what if the vendor is not connect to you

how do you get your acknowledgement

working i'm

look at an example like a middleware

technical aspects of this project

so that needs to be thoroughly tested

but that needs to be thoroughly

wetted out all the requests they should

be in a position to

receive and they need to they their

software tools and stuff needs to be

prepared for that so that's all the

expectations which is again

work with your engineering team and


one thing i wanted to say this whatever


heard oh it sounds like we have to do

everything not necessarily

just be aware be open

understand what's happening then you

will be able to help people

at the end of the day you are your goal

as project manager

or our goal as project manager uh or pmo

program manager what not

is your facilitators you are remover of

impediments you are there to

just make life easier for them and then

it's like a question of

doesn't matter who who gets the credit

we are a team

have a team approach so for the success

of the project

together we succeed okay all right

um let's see

yeah the blind spots

uh project managers need to be careful

about yeah actually that's very true

blind spots is just talking to have a


and uh and outside of just asking for

startups with your project team just ask

them how is it going you know is there

anything i can do for you

is there anything what would make it

easier for you to do what you're doing


uh is there any way i can help ask like

that open conversation will really help

and again assumptions one thing if i can


don't assume even if you assume

something because we all make


validate your assumptions

yeah this is a very good question for

startups one person will be handling

multiple projects any suggestion

uh which thing we need to focus on in

project phases

well see multiple projects again you


that's a that's a little bit like

juggling too many balls in the air right

so you got to make sure go by the


go by the deadline and things like that

every project there's no big or small

we need to succeed in those projects so

i would suggest is

dedicate your time to each project and

focus on that project

and just to see that don't just do okay

this project i take care of this and

then i go to the next project

just have some focused time have some

core team discussions with the project

and say guys we have a deliverable

thank you for partnering with us what

what are the challenges blockers that we

need to focus on

how do i unblock you it's like your

agile uh you know daily stand-up stuff


are you blocked hey who can help here

right do you need help from the

executives do you need help from within

or there is always somebody who has done

this before right and

i would even say i tell my team all the

time project managers can help other

project manager too

and then get some help and say there's

always somebody has done that

and one thing i would say use a tool

or tools standardized so that all the

project managers use that

and also set expectations with on how

the reporting needs to work between

the project team so that everybody uh uh

follows that so i'll say

tools will be one of the very good

aspects of bringing some

standardizations at end of the day

all right okay thank you guys

i guess i've tried to answer most of the


to my knowledge all right again i wanted

to throw a disclaimer there

once again these are from my experience

and doesn't bind any of my employers

current or past and

just sharing what i learned from leaders

and from other books and i'll share the

other books and stuff through

to zoho team karungo and

pratik thank you thanks for the


thank you mr speaker your talk was very


thank you dear participants uh for more


about our future webinars please do

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channel thank you thank you very much

thank you stay safe