Monday, April 16, 2012

Project Management

Project management seems like the next big thing.
For a while it was LEAN and LEAN Six Sigma, a combination of LEAN and Six Sigma, which are both process management/improvement disciplines. In 2007 I actually took the Green Belt courses in LEAN Six Sigma from Villanova U. I learned a lot, mostly terminology. A lot of it is common sense, which isn't common. Process improvement is still very important, though I'd venture to say that most of the low-hanging fruit is already plucked. That means improvements are harder now than they were.
I'm interested in Project Management, so I joined the Project Management Institute (PMI). Anybody can join, evidenced by the fact that they let me in. I thought about becoming certified, a Project Management Professional (PMP), but I don't meet the requirements for the official certification. I'll get to that in a bit.
Still, I took the company classes. Taught by PMP volunteers in the company the information is a vast storehouse of managing projects. The PMI did a lot of work on definitions and terminology, and knowledge of that information is vital to passing the sanctioned PMP exam.
Now, for historical purposes, let me back up a little. In the mid through late 1990s I worked on a very large computer project for my previous company. I discovered project management then, and worked hard to become proficient at the ins and outs of managing a project well and efficiently. At the time the plant used a DEC VAX mainframe and DEC was kind enough to lend us a beta version of their project management software. I don't think that software ever really took off for them, but I used it to the best advantage of working on our project.
Fast forward a bit more than a decade and I use project management a little here at work and certainly use it when we are working on developing apps for Undefined Logic, LLC. I do not, however, use it enough to legitimately claim the requisite 4500 hours of experience over the last eight years.
There is a path. Take it.
So I didn't take the exam. But I learned a lot. I'm planning to do a series on Project Management, partly to convey the information and partly to capture it for my future. After all, you never know…

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