A Day In the Life of a Project Director
Not everyone understands what I do or how my role can add value. If you don't work in a corporate environment, you probably haven't seen a role or function like mine before. So how do I spend my time? Let me explain from a quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily perspective.
Every quarter, I sit down with the CEO and we review the current company goals and how the company is tracking against its metrics. I present the current list of prioritized initiatives aligned against corporate goals and present an executive summary detailing if they still going to deliver the benefit assumed upfront. (Revenue, Profit, Cost Savings, Scale) , Also I provide a tracking update (Time, Cost, Quality). We discuss what are our biggest risks, issues, threats and opportunities. I make a set of recommendations and propose changes to optimize the portfolio. I take all the approved changes and I work with each of the different value streams to shape/identify how we implement the required changes at a resource and task level.
When we have agreed the changes required, I will re-package what was agreed and present it in digestible format for the rest of the team. Heavy focus on what we have achieved, what’s changed, why it has changed, how its change and the impact for everyone. This message is delivered informally over Lunch and Learn sessions , presented by me, with a pep talk from the CEO. The tone is inspirational and motivational. Posters/Infographics are then placed up in common areas for people to continually have in their line of sight so that the message is ‘always on/available’.
Everything delivered by the team must deliver real, tangible results that are traced back to revenue, profit, cost savings, scale. If we produce a product or a feature that does not deliver an uplift in revenue then we consider that we have failed and we assess if we could have predicted this upfront.
Monthly, we spend a lot of time brainstorming with idea generation and retrospectives for improving current process, solving problems on current delivery streams. We encourage the team to use the walls to share thoughts, ideas, frustrations during the month and we figure out if there is anything worth changing or implementing. If there is, it is my role to flesh ideas out into business cases and to implement any process or scope changes with the value streams. When priorities have been set, monthly, we spend 2 full days planning what outputs are required and how we plan to achieve them. This is an entire team task, my role is to guide and advise and to ensure the goals are achieved by what we propose.
Weekly, every Monday morning, it is my job to ensure there is 100% visibility and transparency across all value streams. We achieve this by each value stream running a ‘show and tell’ session on what they have produced. It is very output driven. I will normally coach and support in the background to ensure that what is presented meets need.Weekly, we also have external sessions with customers where I play a lead formal, project management role and ensure customer has 100% transparency on status, milestones achieved, milestones coming on, launch date planning.
Daily, I attend each of the value stream stand ups and listen. It is my job to clarify where required and remove roadblocks. It is my role to ensure the team stays focused and on track and remove all distractions. I also play a role in helping the teams scenario plan with a heavy focus on outcome. Stand ups involve phone and skype as members of the team can be based in Melbourne, Sydney, Taiwan, UK or/and Seattle!
My focus and priority
Helping CEO's choose the 'right' projects so that we can achieve strategic goals using quantifiable data rather than emotions. Shaping those projects tightly so that they are delivered as quickly as possible with minimal spend using prioritization of requirements, benefits and needs. Providing process that enables projects to be delivered in a low risk way whilst allowing quick turnaround and testing in real life environment so that we get a quick feedback loop. Assessing projects with a critical eye for status, risk and achievement. Helping teams celebrating wins and successes and learning from mistakes.