CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT SERIES
Location: Mumbai, India
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I am an Agilist by profession and passion.I truly believe that Agile can help organisations and customers around the world by making the value available to customers at a fast pace.The world which is accelerating at a fast pace.
What I enjoy most about being a project manager is:
I enjoy seeing my teams solving problems and providing customer delight by tireless efforts that they spend on building our products and projects.Whenever I manage any project, I ensure that a team, starts by establishing a vision in mind and I have seen teams that I have worked with over the years, self-organizing themselves and coming up with creative solutions to solve customer issues and provide them delight by their innovative solution.Nothing can beat the thrill of seeing your teams succeeding and achieving their results which creates win-win situation for both developers and customers.I enjoy this facet the most.
The three most important skills I use to successfully deliver projects are:
The 3 most important skills that I use to successfully deliver projects are as follows –
1) Early flagging of risks to right stakeholders- If a project is at a risk or if I see an issue surfacing during software delivery lifecycle, I highlight it to correct stakeholders early on so as to keep everyone posted.I believe that transparency is one of the core values of agile and teams should be transparent about issues and progress with stakeholders.Because transparency is the building block of trust.
2) Courage- I think being courageous is an imperative skill for me.Taking unpopular decisions if they are backed by noble intentions and for the benefit of the products and our companies is important.But taking unpopular decisions require massive amount of courage.Sometimes people in your teams dont trust your decisions and your way of working.You are being questioned in boardrooms for your methods.But, if you have conviction that you are correct and that your methods and decisions will reap benefits to entire product line and organization, then never back down and have courage to follow your methods.And one day you will prove yourself and your success will be your answer to the questions that your naysayers raised.
3) Mindfulness- I use focus and mindfulness a lot during project management.IT is important to stay focussed,calm and centered while interacting with your team members. Mindfulness and focus brings calmness while interacting with others in stressful situations.When you are peaceful, then you allow people to open up to you and talk about the issues that they are facing in the projects.On the other hand, if you are being dictatorial and being someone who is not ready to listen, then your team mates won’t talk about issues that they are facing in their projects with you.This will never lead to any solution.Hence, creating an environment where your teammates can discuss their issues with you is highly important and it requires mindfulness and focus.
I build and nurture my professional network by:
I leverage conferences and meetups to build and nurture my professional network. The purpose of attending the conferences is to learn about new ideas that are emerging in the industry and network with inspiring people. You come out refreshed and rejuvenated after attending a conference and ready to try new ideas shared by speakers and attendees.Conferences provide a great platform to increase your knowledge base and connections.
At the start of my career, the one thing I wish I had known is:
If there is one thing , I wish I would have known at the start of my career, that would have been that during delivery of projects we should think holistically or end-to-end from customer’s point of view.I as a developer was so focussed in delivering technical aspects of a feature by the agreed upon deadline that I missed to think about customer usage metrics in the software lifecycle.I used to think that real success of a team is achieving the milestone goal of deploying the code to production, but it is not so.The real success of the team happens when you are building the right products that end user will actually use.I wish I had this thinking when I started my career as a software developer.I have learnt great deal about project management principles over the years and I can proudly say that those learnings have made me a strong PM today.
Women who have inspired me so far in my career journey are:
I respect all females who have reached great heights in their careers. But, when it comes to inspiration, I believe in the motto “That I am my own competition, motivation and inspiration.” I am in competition with no one.The only person I have to become better than is my own self.Hence, I constantly evaluate myself to understand my own strengths and weaknesses in order to work on myself to become better than myself.As an individual, we should set up a vision or goal for ourselves that we can achieve.Become your own inspiration ladies.
The most valuable advice I have ever been given is:
The most valuable advice I have ever been given is that while managing a project team you cannot keep everyone happy.If you are spending all of your time in keeping everyone in the team happy then you are not focussing on delivering high quality product to your end users.Hence, managing a project is about walking a tightrope where you have to ensure that team stays focussed on delivering high quality products to the customer.And in the whole process, you will receive pushback from the team.And a strong leader is someone who helps the team in reaching their goals in spite of pushbacks.
My advice for women on finding success as a project manager is:
No matter how many meetups and conferences we attend on women empowerment.But, the sad reality is that women still receive pushback in male dominated corporate world.I am not saying that all males are alike. There are a handful of males who respect women and their views, who support them and guide them by being their mentors, but there are still a large chunk of males that exist in the corporate world who are ready to mock at every idea that comes from female mind.I think the sole reason for this is sheer immaturity and insecurity. We still have got miles to go till we achieve the elusive dream of gender equality.And Accolades for all mature men in corporate world who think that women are wonderwomens and if we are given an opportunity, we can help men in transforming the world by making it a better place to live.
Hello amazing women of the project management world!
My observation after two decades of working in the project management industry is that our voices as women are simply not heard enough online in articles, podcasts, and across social media channels. Let’s change that!
- If you’re a woman working in project management, I want to hear from you! Submit your profile today to make sure to be included in this years event which has already begun.
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