Mistakes into Results — What Agile Project Management Really Entails

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If there is one thing Sri Srinivasa has learned in his long and accomplished career in project management, it is that nothing is certain. 2 years ago, Srinivasa became the PMO of Tesla’s sales and delivery department, after working 8 years total at the company and holding that position across a variety of other departments, which means he has a unique and unparalleled understanding of how each of these departments operates and interacts with each other. And even in that ideal situation, things still don’t always go according to plan.

Learning from your Past Mistakes

In his recent stream on DotsLive, Srinivasa went in-depth on his approach to project management, as well as how to ensure the success of future projects. Whenever there is a failure, you must look at the situation as a great teaching resource and ask these important questions: What did we do? What did we learn, How could we have done it differently? Once this reflection period ends, you have to ensure your success metrics are measurable and will be able to inform you on what to improve upon. “It is all about efficiency,” says Srinivasa, you have to parse through what works and what doesn’t work, accept that there is constant learning in everything, and how you can deliver value to an organization — what exactly is that value?

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Sri Srinivasa and TechTalk host Andrew Jaramillo discuss the entire Project Management Process, from interfacing to execution.

The Agile Approach

Agility is your ability to understand the market conditions and the needs of the customer. You have to be able to deliver this value quickly, Things change dynamically, and so early feedback is key to this approach of project management. If you can put together a minimum viable product (ensuring that it functions) then you can iterate on the product as long as you have feedback that you can use to improve upon the initial design. Srinivasa goes further into detail about the ‘agile method’ versus the ‘waterfall approach’ and when and where each should be implemented.

The Tools of the Trade

The community asked Srinivasa many great questions, including how do you encompass all the earlier mentioned techniques and Srinivasa happily shared his insight. PMI, strategic approaches, prioritizing, budget, business cases, roadmaps, and more were all discussed over the 1-hour session, each with unique examples given for real-world application. Every single aspect of the project management lifecycle was discussed, and Srinivasa reminded the audience that you do not need to possess all the answers, nor think that there is only one right way to manage a project.

The Human Element to Project Management

As a graduate of the Harvard Business Analytics program, data is heavily utilized by Srinivasa on a daily basis; but skills that are often overlooked in this industry is communication and empathy. “You have to report when a project is going south,” he says. “This way the team can figure out what they are going to do to bring the project back on track.” You also have to empower your team, ensure that they are not being overworked, and keeping an open line of communication with all of them to ensure that nothing is being missed.

“You can do everything right and still fail.” He admits. “It is how you deal with the aftermath, that is really the important thing.”

You can watch the replay of this discussion for FREE only on DotsLive.

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