Management and Leadership
Need project management and
leadership for an information management project and want
some practical suggestions to ensure rapid project delivery?
Project management skills needed for information management projects
include the usual skill set but also include technical skills not
normally required for traditional project management.
Why is that?
Information management projects are data centric and require highly
skilled IT specialists.
are different than traditional projects with much more
emphasis on data requirements, and business intelligence usage
and design is different as much if the emphasis is on
data storage and data movement.
Quality assurance testing is highly
technical and requires significant involvement from the
is sometimes more extensive and error prone than traditional projects
and needs to be carefully managed to ensure that time is not lost e.g.
if a back-up is not taken at the correct step, and something goes wrong
that involves a restore, much time could be lost waiting for a restore
from earlier back-ups.
project manager should be able to plan for these events
and manage accordingly.
and no—Imagine you are an experienced IT project
manager and you see an opportunity to manage a bridge
(don’t laugh—I received an unsolicited request to do that in an exotic
location)… But seriously—would you apply? Or would you leave that
management job to a project manager with specialized civil engineering,
and bridge construction project experience?
Information management projects also require specialized project
management and leadership.
So what do
The best project management model I have seen has two heads:
administrative project manager,
responsible for all the usual project management tasks such as
financial management, budget reporting, care and feeding of any project
management tools, status reporting to business owners, etc; and
managers? We can barely afford one!
lead (technical project manager) responsible for the
overall design, development and successful implementation.
Well, in that case, pick the technical
technical lead is the critical role that will make or break the project
and will provide the best chance for on time, within budget delivery.
Why is this
Information management projects have highly skilled multi
disciplinary teams and it is imperative that someone
provides technical direction/coordination and makes project management
and leadership decisions based on
skilled professionals frequently have opinions based on their view of
the world—A project manager must have the experience to prevent
technical challenges from delaying the project and creating much rework.
I have seen projects where:
These types of issues can be avoided with an experienced information
management project manager/technical lead.
- The requirements
analysis team takes forever to finally conclude that data
requirements include all data (ummmm..not much thought to why it is
- The data modeling team creates a data model
that is so generic; it is impossible
to find data;
- The business intelligence designers demand data
mart models so complicated that they
- Data movement teams are caught in the middle hoping
to find the right
data and load it into
What do we
If you want a successful information management project, consider a
project manager with…
- The usual
management skills including planning, organizing, and
- An excellent
knowledge of information management policies, standards
and best practices and project methodology;
- Demonstrated experience providing technical
to multi-disciplinary teams comprised of requirements analysts, data
architects, data movement and BI designer/developers, quality assurance
testers, and release management teams;
- Experience with project
management tools such as Microsoft Project or Omni Plan,
tools such as requirements management, document
management, testing and configuration management; and
- Project management certification (desired, but
experience is more important)
This can only
really be gained through 12-15
years of technical design and
project management experience in a variety of information management
and data warehousing environments including leading database and data
warehouse design, data movement and business intelligence solutions.
cost a bundle!
of the cost of a 25-person project team waiting two days to restart
testing while an unexpected back up is restored! Then think of how many
days like this a good technical
project manager can prevent…OK, you get the point.
management and leadership be done part time?
a good question—I have seen technical leads provide
leadership and direction to 4-5
at one time so it is possible.
However, these technical leads provided support to project
had ownership for much of the administrative
With today’s technology and project
collaboration tools, much more can be done remote than was
possible even a few years ago.
management projects are data centric and require highly skilled IT
specialists including specialized project management and leadership.
Don’t make the mistake of having a project manager learn on your