This week was our third client project week, and it was my turn to be the project lead. Client project weeks are a significant part of our training and all of us must take turn to lead the team. In this blog I’d like to share my experience of being the lead, and some tips that might be useful for future project leader.
Before the Project Week
Before the Monday kick-of meeting in the project week, the project lead has the chance to meet the client first and understand the scope of the project. Though in my case we can only get the data on Monday, I still tried to ask any questions I could think of based on what client said in the meeting. This way I can get a clearer idea on the project goals and how the tasks could be allocated to the team.
During the Project Week
On Monday, the team will have a project kick-off meeting with the client. You’ll know what data are provided and the objectives you are expected to achieve in the project. You probably won’t get the data straight after the meeting if you haven’t got it. So before that, it’s good to lead the team to have a discussion first to make sure that everyone has the same understating on the project goals.
After getting the data from the client, allow some time for the team to go through all of them. As a project lead, though you don’t have to do any technical parts, you still need to have a thorough understanding on the data. And during the process, think about how to split the project into different parts. In terms of tasks allocation, I let my team members to choose their parts based on their preference. But make sure the allocation is reasonable according to your understanding to the team.
External: With Client
It’s very often that more questions come out when you start working on the data. You might need more clarification on the terms used. Or you might need some more data to do certain analysis. As a project lead, it’s your job to gather all questions form the team and seek for answers from the client. Therefore, it’s important to have client’s contact email or number so you can reach out to them when needed.
Internal: Stand-Up & Scrum Board
Another critical part of the project is daily stand-up. In this quick meeting all team members take turn to talk about what they are doing, what tasks need to be done, and what have been done. We use post-it notes on our scrum board, so team members can easily move their tasks from one section to another. Below is a photo of our scrum board. It is separated into three sections: To Do, Progress, and Done. Each note has a task written by a team member. This way you can also check if any works are duplicated, or any tasks are not covered.
I’ll recommend checking everyone’s capability in the stand-up as well. Find out if anyone has difficulties and needs help, and anyone can offer help. Usually this meeting doesn’t have to be long. In our case 30 minutes is enough, including having coach to provide feedback.
This is the first part of this blog. In the second part, I’ll cover my experience in supporting the team, final presentation, challenges we had throughout the process, and some final thoughts.