Chaos. This word will often be repeated in my article. I'm not suggesting anything, but it is extremely important in the context of this publication. As I write this article, I am at the very beginning of my PM career, and I believe that most people who will read this are in a similar situation.
I would like to start with a short story about how the concept of a Project Manager appeared in my life. Just a few years ago, I couldn't even imagine having anything to do with IT, especially managing projects in this industry. I was always interested in organizing processes and looking for solutions. I wondered what a PM was, and what the difference was between a Project Manager and a Product Manager, but I didn't do it professionally in IT. A year ago, my life changed dramatically, I took a job at Elite Crew and entered the IT world up to my ears. I understand that not everyone is as lucky, especially a woman. According to the latest BulldogJob survey* from 2022, women make up only 14% of IT employees. Incredible, isn't it?
But getting to the point, while working at Elite Crew, I observed the work of our CEO and COO, who each managed various types of projects to varying degrees. Sometimes, I would ask how it all worked. During a casual conversation, I asked the CEO if he could train me, and he fully accepted my proposal. And then, a project appeared!
And now we come back to chaos again. What does a person which want to be PM have at the beginning? Usually, PM beginners have basic textbook knowledge about the project lifecycle, sometimes we manage to organize ourselves independently, and after various trainings, you have a lot of knowledge that you cannot translate into real actions. In practice, PM have a team, a defined goal, and a deadline. So, what do PM beginners do with this? How do you deal with the stress that inevitably appears in the early stages of learning and implementation of processes?
An important aspect is being able to listen. I’m not talking about just listening to a course on Udemy or a webinar, but about listening with understanding. I'm lucky enough to have mentors for various types of training who often guide me in the right direction. So, what does listening mean?
One of the most important tasks of a PM is managing information, and in order for that management to be effective, information must be gathered in the right way. This is where listening comes in, and it's crucial. We communicate with various departments, often with the client, and we should evaluate the most important elements of the information, analyze it, and pass it on to the people for whom it will be valuable. The ability to listen also translates into learning. Often, webinars or training sessions have very little value, but you should list the most important things for yourself and be able to apply them.
A good example of webinars for beginners is the IAMPM** platform, which often has interesting and practical topics to listen to.
Fluently, we come to the next equally important aspect - communication. What do we know about communication, especially PM communication?
It seems very obvious and simple. After all, we talk and communicate every day. And here is the catch. How to communicate in a way that the team solves problems independently, how to convey information so that the client has no doubts about professionalism, and how to transform the client's expectations into technical language, especially if you are not a technical person.
At the beginning, I will say that I am still learning this. Working with people has the characteristic that no matter how much experience we have, there are always things we have not encountered before. That's why you need to remember that there is nothing scary about not knowing something. The important thing is to talk about it. Ask questions. All the time. At first, it will be annoying, but it will allow you to navigate this space in a practical and, above all, understandable way.
I think I haven't exhausted the topic yet. In this article, I gave you only a little piece of knowledge - how I see it as an entry-level Project Manager. To sum up, PM work is difficult, and often you don't see the fruits of your work. You have to be prepared for that. An important thing to remember is that you build trust through your behavior, decisions, or even sometimes just listening to another person. And this work on trust is never-ending.
The development of the humanitarian project at the beginning looked similar to a commercial one. I thought that the "loop" will be pretty similar to the normal projects developed for many years. But it was different.
When working with the Angular project, we are often faced with the challenge of how to create the best structure for components and services. We focus on making sure that our application is divided into modules, and components into smaller components, and that all communication is done with the help of services. In contrast, we have a way to structure our components even better. This is the idea of Smart and Dumb Components.
In this article, you will be given a little piece of knowledge about Project Management which is difficult, and often you don't see the fruits of your work. But an important thing to remember is that you build trust through your behavior, decisions, or even sometimes just listening to another person. Read more to understand the beginnings of a work as a PM.