September 10, 2018

Project-Program Management (PPM) Insights that matter

Below is highlights of a few topics conversed by a group of senior technical and professional PPM leaders gathered together at September meeting of PMI-Silicon Valley chapter.

Meeting Notes:

  • What are new trends and tools in program management:
    There are various (new) trends and tools on how we manage our projects; like using various techniques of Scrum daily stand-ups and retrospectives, creating a hybrid method of team management, etc. We do not want to use strict methods to follow a given framework (like Scrum)! There are many changes in work places and we ought to adapt to working in a cross functional team! Communication becomes important as in any-size team most changes require adaption (and diversion from set PM methods). Larger organizations use more structured approach, though. Project management requires organizational and leadership skills. Let us not forget that in many cases hybrid of different frameworks and methods may work better for a given professional environment. In general a PM’s job is to make sure “the job is done” regardless of what method or approach we use. At this juncture, an experienced PM would look at all possibilities that help the team to accomplish tasks in-hand effectively. Various tools are being constantly created or enhanced to help PMs to work smarter so their team and organization stay atop of their competitions. As an important skill of any PM, we emphasize on communication skills, especially with respect to multi-cultural / multi-lingual communication. Adding challenges of remote team / virtual teams affect interaction among our team members and milestone we create.

    What do you think about new trends and tools helping Program Managers?
    Please comment and engage in our conversation.

  • How to maintain Three-Letter Acronyms (TLA) related to PM topics?
    Even though we have used quite a few acronyms in the first 15-minutes of our today meeting, when looking for definition of any given acronyms list (on the Net), we sometimes get competing definition for a given 3-letter acronym! Even sometimes a given acronym may have different meaning to several people! Making it more complex is how the real meaning of a specific acronym may change when translated from English to another language! There are many examples like Infra; meaning “below” or “further on” in English, it means Infrastructure in IT world, infrared, supra vs. infra, etc.

    Would you add your comments on how to keep an active list of TLA?
    Please comment and engage in our conversation.

  • What are hot area in management, and leadership?
    What we see these days for instance on job descriptions is “soft skills” and “communications” because in many cased team works stumble because members cannot communicate and the PM or leadership cannot get them all rolling on the planned direction! Even though some technical members (i.e. engineers) hesitate when they hear words like teams, stay on track, project manager, Agile, etc.

    Please comment and engage in our conversation regarding hot area in management and leadership.

  • Regarding strategies for Project-Program Managers in transition, we are referred to attend Job Seekers’ Breakfast Meeting of PMI Silicon Valley chapter.
  • I also invite you to attend our next dynamic discussions regarding PMO challenges and best practices.

Please add your remarks, or post your questions and engage with our PPM community. I also would like to invite you to engage with us at our next meeting. Please check out PMI Silicon Valley chapter events for more information. You may also contact www.SVProjectManagement.com team to post your topic of interest.

May 20, 2013

Technical Professionals and Recruiters

Category: Life, Management, Technologies — David @ 2:46 pm

On another breakfast meeting our PMI group, we had one of the best Sr. Technical Recruiters I have met. After brief introduction, his transparent view regarding recruiting, dilemma surrounding our job market, and the Q-A exchange of ideas among our members are what keeps me attending our meetings. Any day I get a full basket of new ideas.

Below are excerpts from our meeting. I am sure that every reader this short note can write passages regarding every point raised! These are just a-tip of floating icebergs:

  • Staffing firms shall be prompt and accurate when qualifying candidates for a specific position. They shall also retain their contacts’ information current. Recruiting firms must also avoid RADD (Recruiter Attention Deficit Disorder)!
    Note: recruiters read the first paragraph of resumes, and glance through it looking for a few keywords. All recruiters find candidates for their available positions, not fitting a “proper” position for a candidate! Recruiters are paid for finding people to fit jobs not for finding jobs for people!
  • Recruiting and staffing life cycle is broken, or very weak! Having the three components of the equation (recruiter, manager, and candidate), unfortunately the outcome is not as desirable as it’s supposed to be! The reason might be due to recruiters not being as knowledgeable! They sometimes do not get exact needs of their hiring managers. Instead of having a list of responsibilities, they need to understand the nature of needs and requirements to overcome the needs by appropriate skill set!
  • Hiring managers sometimes relax matching their needs and requirements! Often the requirements are “boilerplates”, job functions (or even the position itself) may change during the interview, skills are not prioritized, etc.
    Note that if the job description has too much fine-details, then the position might be a target req. (for someone who is already selected)!
  • Keyword-stuffing in resume leads to misunderstanding – massive use of keywords utilized by resume-screening applications may place a candid applicant in different categories. It might even make a skilled experience look over-stuffed!
  • Candidates are confused with multiple resumes and varied experience / responsibilities! Resumes must be prepared for at least a job-class / job-field, chronologically explained, with a short sales pitch atop (i.e. 1/2 or 1/3 page). Resume shall not be circulated online! Send resumes to recruiters that you know.
  • Professional and experienced managers pay more attention to skill-set; they screen-in, not screen-out!
  • The best strategy is using personal networks. Quarry your contact list; old friends, professional contacts from past, contacts of friends, and whomever you may find with links to the hiring organization / manager.
  • Note that recruiters are on the hook as well. As a candidate, we shall craft our resume for the position (without fraud and scam a skill with no experience!)

This list can go on and on! There are so many points that need to be expanded and thoroughly examined. However, there is a point that I would like to pause for a second, and that is the “discrimination” issue that one way or other we face it time to time! Without breach of legalities, as a technical professional with over twenty years of experience I am constantly compared to younger generations in many different ways (energy level, technical knowledge, offering hip solution to a problem, etc.)! Not crossing discriminatory line, an emigrant I have been dismissed due to accent in conversation – that is among engineers talking technical issues! Yet again, our elected officials are looking aboard for technical professionals to work her while we still have high percentage of unemployment!

I welcome any input to this short excerpt from any reader. Send your input or comment, please.

Up-ward and On-ward,
David

PS. This entry is posted on www.bakhtnia.com/blog/ as well.