IT Project Portfolio Management System
During my internship at Huaxia Bank, once our team was responsible for publicizing the new financial products to potential consumers who lived around our bank. However, we met the problem that our team members did not have any experience of publicizing and we did not know how to advertise our products to customers. The best way I came up is to assigned the roles to our group members and let everyone choose the roles he or she want to responsible for. The way that our manager process the problem is different. He defined the problem into two core difficulties: the first one is how to organize the event; the second on is how to reach out customers.
Since then, he let everyone share our experience which related to marketing and customer service fields, and discuss our opinions on our products. Basically we analyzed our team member’s skills by sharing our past experience. We determined the depth of our team members’ skill by defining how large scale of the activity and the organization that they attended, and also by assessing how influential are their achievements. For example, after communicating with our team members, we found several people have sales experience before. Two of them worked for campus stores, so the customer size and variety were limited. One of them used to work as part-time for a shopping mall, so she achieved larger amount turnover and reached more kinds of customers. Thus we let she be our coach in customer reaching. Also, people in our team had event experience in the past. The events were differentiated in themes and intensity. We elected the person with most related experience. The person used to organize a taste test activity for a new favor for his marketing group project in campus. My manager think his experience matched our event in some degrees, since they were all about new products.
Nevertheless, there were still gaps between our tea members’ past experience to our task. The products our bank wanted to publicize were different from what the mall sold, but what we could apply were the skills to communicate with our potential customers and to identify the customers’ interest in financial product services. We focused on how would we define customers’ risk tolerance by having chat with them and recommend the right product for them. Also the taste test activity was very different from our event in content. However, we could learn the form of the previous activity, such as where to set the table that attract people the most, and how to design our flyer that states characteristics of our products clearest.
Overall, it is essential to figure out the major difficulties of the problem, and then provide proper solutions. Furthermore, it is important to learn each other’s strengths from their past experience and apply these strengths properly into the new challenges. As the reading mentioned in the 5 disciplines of multipliers: “creates an intense that requires people’s best thinking and work and defines an opportunity that causes people to stretch.” I would improve my performance by not simply divide the work by our members’ interest but also consider everyone’s capabilities. Furthermore, I would improve the teamwork by not only aim to finish the job, but also concentrate on building a beneficial relationship.
Through my four years college life, I have done several different projects in different areas. Among those projects, my favorite one is my senior project that I am doing right now. In this project, I and my teammates needed to apply all of our skills and knowledge from MIS (Management Information System), and help an outside company to re-design their existing information system.
The system we are trying to re-design is called ITPPMS (IT Project Portfolio Management System). At the beginning, no one assigned a role or specific task to each person so we had decided every details ourselves. To be honest, that was not an easy thing for because it was the first real world project we ever handled, and most importantly we did not know each people in the group before the project, but someone had to start the work.
First of all, I read through the project material very carefully and listed out all the task and challenges we might have in the project. We had four people in a group, but for that project we not only needed to the technical work to design the system but also needed to some consulting work and communicate with clients. So we had to have a wide skill set to deliver the work. After I have picture of the project in my mind, I started to share my personal experiences during the first team meeting. After sharing my story, I asked the similar questions to them and tried to gather information from them. By this way, I found out their education background and skills set, most importantly I understood their personal interests and passions. That was the process for me to get a “picture” of my teammates. However, after that I did not point out we need to assign the roles immediately, instead I think it will better to let us understand each other and the project more deeply before we assign a role to everyone; because the project lasted for 8 months and I needed to make sure everyone got the best spot.
After several team meetings, I finally felt confident to assign roles to each one and we laid out the structure as: Business Analyst (team leader) to communicate with clients and define business problem and remodel the system, technical writer to write all documents and proposals, database administrator to design and maintain database for the system and programmer to design the system. As the business analyst also the project manager, I managed whole project process via Excel and Microsoft Project, collaborated with teammates, clients and project coach to make sure the system can be delivered on time and meet client’s demand. In the end, the system achieved 100% client satisfaction and was awarded as the best project of the year by the University of Dayton.
In the reading, the two authors Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown mentioned the “talent magnet”, and based on my personal experience I do think it is very important to look for talent everywhere and appreciate all types of genius. Because in one big project, we need all kinds of different skills and talent. For example, I am confident of my analytical skills and soft skills so I can be a good leader and analyst in a group, but I am not good at coding I need someone to take this part of work. So it is very important to find people’s true passion and genius because that is the key to maximally utilize all the resources we have. Just like the authors said in the book: “A talent magnet creates a powerful that attracts talent and then accelerates the growth of intelligence and capability. These leaders operate like an electromagnetic force that, through interactions between atoms, propels matter in the universe.” I think a good leader is the person who can match the two pictures (project picture & team picture) in the best possible way.