RE: Project Manager Problems - Need Advice Please

Subject: RE: Project Manager Problems - Need Advice Please
From: Jennifer Maitland <jlm -at- kwi -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 10:58:26 +0100

Hey there Anthony,

It sounds like you are doing an excellent job and perhaps suffering a little
cause your manager needs to read a book on project management!!! My first
suggestion is to find a good one and leave it on her desk anonymously.

Secondly, I admire your approach to documenting your time and producing
progress reports, but in a sense, it sort of sounds like they'd just rather
a chunk of your documentation over these things so they can see for
themselves what you're doing.

Until my new project manager came in, I was caught in the loop of trying to
complete pieces of my user guide that were simply too big. I felt like I was
working away all the time and ending up with a 70 odd page document with big
holes and speculative information everywhere that wasn't suitable even for
internal release. My project manager recognised this and broke my
documentation plan down into something more reasonable.

Now I am expected to write small sections of the guide (40 pages) to be done
over five days. It's been three weeks of this and I've made all three
deadlines no problem. You obviously don't have much help in the way of
project management, but can you take a look at your own plan and see where
sections could be broken up. I think completing smaller chunks of
documentation and actually releasing them to your team for review will not
only satisfy them, but you as well - finishing something off has proved to
be very motivating for me.

Another thing I did recently was to make a public folder which I publish my
documentation to once a week. There's also a copy of my project plan in
there. This way, people can go in and see that I've reached my goals and can
view documentation that I've placed there (that way I know what they're
looking at and don't have to deal with the anxiety of having to release
things unexpectedly). It's kept everyone quite happy and also streamlined
the questions about "do we have documentation on this......?" because they
already know where to look.

Anyway, hope that helps and I wouldn't worry too much - you've said yourself
that they are content with the results and it sounds like you're doing an
excellent job. And hey, if they're ever in the market for new project
managers, you should suggest yourself!!!


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