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Project Management in my Life – Chapter I – Mom’s Project – Part I (#1 in the series Project Management in my Life)
By Azra Duric

I cannot believe this day has finally come. My project, “Raise a Boy” reached its biggest milestone yet- Go Live Weekend- and it was a brilliant success. Or so I thought.

My company, called My Family, finally completed this project after 24 years of execution. The product, a-BOY-A, rolled into production last weekend, but the final phase, similar to the other phases, was not completed without many challenges.

I remember how the project was delayed for few years during its Test Phase when BOY-A took a trip to Europe. I had concerns that one of its tests failed when additional money suddenly had to be sent to Europe to pay for unexpected expenses. My sponsor, called My Husband, finally had enough and warned me that by prolonging this one I was jeopardizing other projects in our organization.

I still had a nagging feeling that there were many risks lurking, which could negatively impact BOY-A’s operation and that because of them, the operation could go astray. After many sleepless nights of deliberation, I had to admit that once the product was in production I would have to let it go. I would have to have complete trust in the production managers to do a good job.

Let’s go back to last Sunday, when the final step of the project was completed. A-BOY-A moved into an apartment in Toronto, shared with other two operational products, themselves being the results of other global projects. I am not sure what their names were; I only know that they are a boy-kind of product. This fact is very important because my sponsor did not agree with an idea that our product solution would be joining operations with even one of a girl-type product.

So, a-Boy-A was officially handed a set of house keys by a Landlord Operational Manager. Prior to this, I had given Boy-A a User Manual, with instructions like “What to cook for dinner every day”, or Boy-A could utilize “Different methods of status reports deliveries”, which could be done either verbally by phone twice a week, or via Skype communication over the Internet at least once per week. Another instruction was a face-to-face status meeting every weekend. I exacted a promise that this reporting execution would last for at least couple of months. Of course “Weekend visits back home” instructions had train and bus schedules attached, as well as detailed instructions on the light packing of dirty clothes in a bag, to be returned as a bag, of folded, clean clothes along with food and other interesting items.

This final phase of the project did not come without a lot of challenges. Along the way I tried to apply PMBOK, Possible Management of Boys, Body of Knowledge. I collected many templates, tips and techniques; I researched extensively the PMI – People Management Institute website and finally went to many PMI-CTT – Community Team Training Chapter dinner-meetings. I am hoping to achieve a PMP designation soon, which for those who do not know is acronym for “Projects by Moms Professional”. I must admit that my sponsor, My Husband, did achieve his “People Management Professional” certification a few years back.

To Be Continued…

Azra Duric is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with 15 + years of experience in the IT industry; spanning the government, financial, education and other non-profit sectors. She has a degree in Mathematics from the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and a Post Graduate Diploma in Office Systems and Data Communications from the University of Leicester, England. Since Azra moved to Canada in 1996 she has been working in a variety of government and non-profit sectors in Ontario and has been professionally working as a project manager for the last five years. She is a member of the PMI-CTT (Project Management Institute Canada Technology Triangle) Chapter and WIPMSIG (Women in Project Management Specific Interest Group). Azra lives in Guelph, Ontario and can be contacted at durica@sympatico.ca. More information about Azra can be found on her blog http://azra-pmp.blogspot.com.

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