Our Project Managers, the Unsung Heroes of Successful Projects
Sure, everyone knows the name of the head coach. On the field everyone’s attention is on the all-star-software squad playing the bases and the all-star-hardware crew in the fielding positions. But how well known are the names of the first and third base project management coaches?
To be a great base coach, you have to have a view of the whole field, know the location of the ball, have an understanding of the capabilities of each of your players, appreciate the flow and strategy of the game, and possess an unshakable drive to win! Coaches, who were players themselves, have even greater insights to draw upon from their own personal experiences giving them greater empathy and understanding for the competing demands that each team member is facing as they do everything in their power to succeed for the team. And so it is with GREAT Project Managers.
The Project Management Institute (PMI) describes Project Managers this way:
“They are organized, passionate and goal-oriented [individuals] who understand what projects have in common, and their strategic role in how organizations succeed, learn and change. Project managers are change agents: they make project goals their own and use their skills and expertise to inspire a sense of shared purpose within the project team. They enjoy the organized adrenaline of new challenges and the responsibility of driving business results. They work well under pressure and are comfortable with change and complexity in dynamic environments. They can shift readily between the ‘big picture’ and the small-but-crucial details, knowing when to concentrate on each. … Today, senior executives and HR managers recognize project management as a strategic competence that is indispensable to business success. They know that skilled and credentialed practitioners are among their most valuable resources.” – PMI, Website, 2015
At Device Solutions, we have some of the best base coaches, Project Managers, you could ever hope to have on your team. As strategic hires, Project Managers at Device Solutions are recruited for a solid balance of technical domain expertise, formal project management training and education, demonstrated project execution and delivery successes, and exceptional interpersonal communications. For example, one of our Project Managers has a degree in Physics, certification in PMI, and successful delivery of many multi-million dollar projects. Another Project Manager has a Masters in Systems Engineering, PMP certification, and has managed more than a couple dozen projects (totaling more than $100M) from inception through to production – talk about having all your bases covered!
“It is incredibly gratifying to work with such an incredible team of engineers, executives, and clients – I am truly blessed,” says Michael Sink, Director of Project Management. “There are no two days that are ever the same when you work on so many different types of embedded and wireless products – we are constantly educating ourselves on the newest trends and technologies to make sure we are anticipating the needs and expectations of the markets that our clients serve.” And when done right, Mike says that the Project Manager helps balance the need to get the project done on time, on budget, and on specification with guidance, progress reviews, problem solving and adjustments to minimize as much stress as possible on the internal project team and the client. “The litmus test for a GREAT project manager is how she/he calms any project storm, communicates transparently with ALL team members, removes obstacles, and zeroes in on the critical path and related dependencies. If you don’t have a 100% faith in your Project Manager, you probably don’t have a GREAT one.”
Rod Williams, Director of Engineering and officemate to many of the Project Managers at Device Solutions, says, “I am continually amazed at the poise and professionalism of all of our project managers, they are truly an example of ‘grace under pressure’. I can’t imagine a group of people that I would be more proud to work with every day.” In fact, one of the attributes that Rod has come to notice about GREAT Project Managers is that they are often heard using phrases like, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out”; “What could we do better”; and “I know we can find a way.”
“Inspect what you expect,” says Bob Witter, CEO of Device Solutions. “We believe that clients who need technical solutions should be able to count on our employees to have technical knowledge and clients should have access to technical leads that can knock designs out of the park. Our project managers make sure our clients have access to the details and status of their projects – we are transparent almost to a fault. No surprises. We invest in mutual trust and mutual respect to serve our strategic clients for the long haul.”
“Who are Project Managers?” PMI.org. Accessed October 28, 2015.