Project Management Anatomy – Standards, Roles, Responsibilities and Skills (from ILTA)

ILTA – August 27, 2008 11:00 am

These are my notes from the program.  [Since I am taking paper-free notes and because there is free Wi-Fi here, I thought that I’d add the notes to the blog.  Disclaimer: my notes are rough, so forgive the typos.]

From ILTA:

Title: Project Management Anatomy – Standards, Roles, Responsibilities and Skills
Description: You’ve just been assigned the role or title of “PM” and not exactly sure what that means, or you’re a project manager looking to be even more effective, or your firm is considering adding a project manager position to the staff.  We discuss the different roles that project managers play and the key skill sets that are important to be successful.

Juliet Alters – Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, L.L.P
Heidi Golabek – Shearman & Sterling
Kristin Linoski – Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.
Judy Katany – Huron Consulting Group
Scott David – Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP
Learning Objectives: Understand the skills and responsibilities included in a typical job description of a project manager.
Recognize different skill sets that impact the success of a project manager.
Chart project manager career growth and/or development opportunities.

LawyerKM’s notes:

Where does PM sit within the firm:
Some in IT, some are not yet formal, some are one-person PMOs

Art and Science of Project Management

Art – negotiation, communication
Science – budget, scope, etc.
Three Cs:communication, collaboration, and closure.  Need to know your audience when communicating. 
People, processes and technology are the three pillars. 
Collaboration – how to get it.  It goes back to communication; build trust, stand up and support your team, PM is like a movie director, provide guidance without over-directing.
Humor is important – to relieve stress.
Closure – this is most important, of course.  Need a sense of completion.  Post-implementation review (post-mortem has a negative connotation), document it for lessons learned, and for reporting to senior management. 
Reviewing the project – it may make sense to to reviews at various points in the project – not necessarily at the end. 
Tips for developing soft skills: meetings to review points in private so people feel free to be open and honest; invite internal speakers to discuss what is going on in other departments – helps give people context and get to know others in various departments. 

Hiring a Project Manager – What to look for when hiring a PM?

1. In resumes: Objective: look for desire to engage in “project management” – not just “management”;
2. Postion tenure: it often takes a long time to complile a list of accomplishments – beware of short tenures.
3. Metrics: what kind of metrics did they achieve? save money, reduce staff, etc.
4. Engagement vs. Oversight: how involved was the candidate in their projects?
5. Writing Style: the resume can be an indicator of their work on the projects they manage (also ask for writing samples, get a sense of the templates they’ve used)
6. Business case: look at the application as a business case.
7. Professional Development – look for initiative by the applicant – shows passion and drive.
8. Consider internal applicants because they have insight in the firm; but external applicants bring frest ideas and insights.
9. Interviews: individual meeting followed by a panel and others. 

I couldn’t stay for Career Path for a PM or Value of PM in the organization

Where to get more information: PMBOK – project management body of knowledge; ILTA PM members; Book: Project Management Jumpstart; seek out mentors; PMI

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms

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