- Scott North, Epic Data, Irving
Develop a strong repoire with the customer and stay on top of the project.
Do not let the scope slip or creep, that is, do not let the project get off
course or get delayed. That is the main job of a Project Manager.
- Brian Durham, PDX Inc., Fort Worth
Always be prepared and maintain daily communication with your team
members. Stay focused on current tasks that need to be accomplished.
- Billy Vo, TheExpoGroup, Irving
Plan everything early in detail with a great sense of organization. ``Good
things come to those who wait.''
- Steve Felton, Sterling Software, Fort Worth
There are two issues that a project manager needs to have:
- Find out what people want to do and what they are good at
- Trust on people because with a huge project you can't keep an eye on
them all the time
- Always ask for their opinions and inputs
- Project management:
- First is requirements on deliverables
- Second is schedules
- Third and final step is the budget
- Steven McFarland, eLevel, Dallas
Always double your estimates.
- David M. Reece, Alcatel, Plano
Have a good technical education. Enjoy what you do. Be willing to
accept any opportunity that comes your way.
- Ray Pace, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Dallas
Early in the project, when time is not a big factor and people are looking
for things to do, document as much as you can about the operation and
design of the software. This is important later when the project is now
under time limits and must be completed and new personnel are required to
complete the project. The same idea is to cross train and not have only
one person develop an area, if you lose the person, have a secondary person
with the ability.
- Damon A. Dinsmore, Performance Computer Systems, Irving
Always try to develop enthusiasm in your employees. Employees always work
better when there is a personal reward of some sort, whether it be material
or not. This is not always easy, especially during grueling parts of a
project, but it is important in order to finish a quality product or
service on time. A project manager should not hold himself at a higher
level than his employees. There has to be an understanding of the
authority of the project manager, but that authority should not be abused
- Zehua Chen, EDSOFT, Dallas
- Choose right technology.
- Choose right people and do your best to keep them.
- Allocate enough time for design phase. Business design and OO design
must be solid.
- Control Project within budget and scheduling.
- Agger Matina, Fry's Electronics, Arlington
- Communication with project members. Communication is often not
effective or not enough between members and managers. Phone calls are the
most effective way to communicate, not email. Face to face meeting is good,
but should not be called for unless it is absolutely necessary.
- Planning. All you do is make good decisions on this one. If there
is not enough information to make a decision, then the project manager is
responsible to research the subject, or assign members to different
research tasks to collect information and then make comparison among
- Scheduling and controlling the schedule. Scheduling should be
flexible, and should take consideration for unexpected delays. Controlling
the schedule is more important, and it is usually the most difficult task
because it involves awarding and punishing members according to their
performance on the project.
- Brad Felmey, Coastal Computer, Dallas
Do advanced planning and stay the boss. Don't let individuals decide what
they are going to do. Listen, but remain in control.
- Brian Grinage, Motorola, Fort Worth
Learn the technologies as quick as you can to adopt to the new product.
Need to know all the work from the most basic step to the end of the
- Mon Nasser, Engineerica Systems, Orlando, FL
Read books and listen to tapes on management. Provide the best service you
can give both to your customers and company.
- Kendall Creel, USCO Logistics, Dallas
Always multiply the time calculated for successful start up by 1.3.
- Leroy B. Ledet, Nokia Mobile Phones, Inc., Irving
- Be responsible for establishing timetables, priorities, and work
assignments within the development team.
- Identify the most effective use of personnel and resources by setting
process priorities, development tasks and contingencies.
- Manage the daily activity for each development team member.
- Explore solutions to technical problems with the technical staff.
- Ensure that software is developed to the Company's Standards and
- Assist in the creation of the product technical architecture and
choice of development tools.
- Ensure that product architecture is properly documented and
distributed to the development team.
- Ensure that development team members are properly trained and
functional in the use of the chosen development tools.
- Victor Nguyen, Motorola, Fort Worth
- Proficient at communication and presentation.
- Understand the scope of the requirements.
- Have experience in SW sizing and estimation.
- Have established a good network and relationship within
- Know needed critical skills and current resources.
- Know each team member and how to motivate them.
- Good project planning tool such as MS Project.
- Produce a sound Software Project Management Plan and have development
group understand the expectation.
- Select a respected technical lead to help with technical issues and
lead team members technically.
- Know how to track issues and manage risks, and develop contingency
- Have been trained in SW development methodology such as OOA/OOD/UML.
- Have good understanding of top level SW architecture and interfaces
- Work effectively with SW Quality group to apply processes that help
- Keep track of quality metrics
- Hold phase analysis (lessons learned) at beginning and end of each
development phase or cycle to identify work expectation and setbacks
from previous phases.
- Lucien Osentowski, Via-Cyrix Inc., Richardson
- Take some management courses sponsored by you company
- Have a mentor with several (successful) years of experience.
- Mika Jaakola, Nokia Mobile Phones, Inc., Irving
- Organize work on project and individual tasks.
- Plan and implement project on time, and to the required quality
- Be prepared for the project.
- Plan and schedule for tasks on project.
- Patience is the key to success
- Robert Nissen, Compaq Computer Corporation, Houston
- Do things one at a time and think about it. If your gut says its not
right, look harder.
- Listen and learn and leverage (in the case of mind share, make the 1
+ 1 + 1 + 1= 6 work, a new idea by the team is almost always better than
any individual). As the Project Leader the better you are at getting
your own critical ideas to manifest themselves as ideas from the team/team
member the better your long term success. This is a communication
and education process, but this process allows you to become a leader and
not a dictator.
- Be flexible in vision but rigid in practice (don't close doors you
open during a project without looking through them, but when 3 doors open at
once take them one at a time).
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate (everyone your project touches
will be a better resource if they are educated which requires GREAT
- Think, Think, Think and then Think as Team (at times we get caught up
in the routine and don't think; opportunity missed!)
- Foundations are meant to be built upon but often when you are pushing
the envelope they are made to be broken but breaking is only good when you
have an idea how to re-build.
- Often praise (success), a thank you, a let me do that for you, a get
out of here see you tomorrow will accomplish the goal faster than being a
- Pay attention to details, it is the little things (often unpleasant
things) you need to identify and resolve quickly and unemotionally.
- Learn, Learn, Learn, in general we do not know much but will know
more each minute and also learn we know less each minute. Maintain the
interest and passion to look, learn, understand, challenge.
- Work hard (focus) and play hard (as a team and individually).
- Last but maybe most important, define your own definition of
success/failure for the project (in the end it is you who has to live and
learn from the experience).
- Oh, and our motto: Better to be Lucky than Good but Much Better to be
Lucky AND Good!
- Jim Yates, Union Pacific Resources, Fort Worth
Make sure that you understand the requirements of the project before you
begin development. Make sure that the potential user of the application
understands what you are going to deliver.
- Mike Cochran, International Linguistics Center, Dallas
Make sure that you do not get pulled down into the details of software
development efforts but at the same time you must identify good metrics
that can help you to assess how well the project is proceeding.
Key concepts to remember include the following:
- Identification of key stakeholders who will use and/or pay for
- Involvement of stakeholders in the definition and scope of what
the software system must do and the constraints under which it
must operate. User requirements that the user community can
interact with (not to be absorbed into software specifications).
- Careful identification of risks associated with the project and risk
mitigation strategies to ensure the risk is bounded (e.g., prototypes, key
identified decision points where there are go/nogo decisions made).
- Dan Tembe, ISManaged, Plano
Get involved with the company's sales department so that when on site, one
will be familiar with the products and services that clients obtained from
- Janet Southern, Siemens ElectroCom L.P., Arlington,
Be able to trust your group to get assignments done. Focus on motivation
and bonding between members of the team for better performance.
- Alex Soya, Pelesoft, Palm Bay, FL
- Should know about the role of project manager.
- Should understand the project.
- Should understand system.
- List the tasks of each group, subgroup, and individual in project
- Make sure of everything.
- Communication is very important.
- Regular meeting to discuss, solve problems.
- Learn everything about the project and the context in which it is to
be used. Your customers do not always know what they want.
- Ken Smith, Boeing Defense & Space, Irving
- Planning is very important. It is a key to successful project.
- Communication is also important. He must make sure everyone
understands their jobs and other peoples' jobs. The person who does the
previous jobs must make sure to do it right, not leave a mess for others.
Documentation must be clear, so the next person who works on the same job will
know what has been done and what's left to do.
- Project manager must makes sure everyone is keeping to the project plan
because every partial job must fit together in the whole project. The work
atmosphere for the team members must comfortable. Do not put too much
pressure on the individual. People do not do well with too much pressure.
Every team member must respect other jobs and trust other team members'
- Get feedback from the customers, e.g., module easy to fail or
defective module. Find what caused the problem and a new way to improve
the quality. Inform other team members not to make same mistake.
- Keep track of the status of the cost of finished jobs. Log
- Sridhar Nagabhirava, Nortel Networks, Richardson
- Make sure you stick to initial project plan.
- Make sure workload is distributed evenly, and everyone is involved.
- Lee Roden, Kronos Inc.
- Never underestimate the importance of communication skills. Most of
the battle in the war of software development can be easily won if
communication between ALL parties involved, from marketing to engineering,
in handled is a clear and concise manner.
- In order to successfully design, engineer, and implement a software
project, always give the utmost attention to the details of the project.
- If you don't enjoy it DON'T DO IT !!!.
- Derek Pham, Electronic Transmission, Dallas
Each team member must log everything that he does. Furthermore, a project
manager must estimate the time for the project as precise as possible. If
a project needs more time, he must talk to his manager immediately to
rectify the problem. Finally, he and all his team members must have a good
and open channel of communication.
- Sandy Foster, Nortel Networks, Richardson
- Good communication skills are very important, they have to be able to
convey what they intend to.
- Utilize active listening skills, which involves not interrupting
who's speaking and actively hearing what the other person says.
- Scott Dill, Motorola, Fort Worth
- Define the project well, try to understand as much as you can.
- Completely understand which skill of each member in the group has.
- Making sure each person of team know what they're doing.
- Knowing the plan of the entire project ahead of time.
- All the resource should be inline.
- Strongly enforce the task's schedule.
- Get full commitment.
- Never wait till the last minute.
- Joel Davis, e-Rewards, Inc., Dallas
A project manager is essentially a facilitator - a person who removes
barriers, facilitates solutions/decisions, creates and maintains a plan,
ensures ownership (and accountability), balances workload, organizes a team
around a plan that enables the achievement of the desired solution, manages
scope, etc. I look at these responsibilities from both a systemic and
business case perspective.
Systemic: Endeavor to understand the entire system - the underlying
business processes (and business drivers) from a systemic
perspective. Frame your mindset around a process flow perspective. Only by
doing this can you adequately gauge the priority-structure (and impact
analysis) that strongly define a project manager's function.
Business Case: The business case perspective refers to
the fact that seldom is there only one solution to a given problem. And,
even when there is only one viable solution, the problem must be clearly
understood before the appropriate solution becomes intuitive. Everything a
project manager evaluates must be evaluated from a business case
perspective - understand the problem, classify the problem, determine the
possible means (solutions) for overcoming the problem, flush-out the pros
and cons associated with the potential solutions, make a recommendation,
and verify that the recommendation is successfully
implemented/deployed. The key here is to arrive at a recommendation - often
project managers will raise issues/problems without solutions - don't get
caught in this trap.
- Aziz Rahman, Sabre Inc., Solana
The most important skill of a Project Manager is effective communication.
The success of a project manager depends heavily on good communication
skills. A Project manager should also know all the ways and means of
communication with the project group. Must have good understanding of
people's demands and must be effective in response. Another important
issue for successful project management is interpersonal skills. Without
good interpersonal skills, the project wouldn't go as expected and would
lead to failure or wastage of time.
- Bettye Middleton, Computer Sciences Corporation, Fort Worth
I would recommend first taking course work on the concepts of good project
management and then working under an experienced project manager who could
mentor you and teach you the ropes. I would also recommend putting extra
time into selecting the team and building teamwork and into thorough
planning up front.