In the first part of this blog, I’ve covered the role of a project lead in project preparation before and during the project week. I’ve also talked about external communication with client, and internal communication with the team (daily stand-up and scrum board). In this second part, I’ll cover my experience in supporting the team, final presentation, challenges we faced, and some final thoughts.

 

Supporting the Team

The project lead doesn’t directly involve in workflow or dashboard building. However, there’re other ways you can support your team. One thing I found very useful for the team from our previous project lead Guillermo is to summarise the feedback for each team member from the coach during presentation run-through. Sometimes it could be hard to remember all feedbacks when you are standing on the stage. Though I write notes myself, I still find it helpful to have a second person taking notes for me. This way I can make sure I don’t miss anything important. Therefore I did the same this week as a project lead.

 

I also brought some snack to the team as an encouragement. This culture is built by our first project lead Ethan, so we can have some fun when working on the project. And sometimes you might have very limit time to have lunch. In case anyone is hungry, at least they’ve got something to eat : )

 

Presentation

Presentation is the last part of the project. It’s the time to demonstrate the team’s work to the client. The project lead’s job here is to kick-off the presentation and introduce the team to the audience. The opening should also include a quick overview of the topics that will be covered. This is call “tell them what you’re going to tell” in the presentation structure that we’ve just learnt form PK. I found it a useful tip to give the client a concept of what will be happening in the next an hour or so.

 

Similarly, after all team members have presented, the project lead should also wrap up everything as a conclusion. This is call “tell them what you’ve told them”. Doing this can remind the audience the journey they’ve just taken, and also serve as a good ending. What I could have done better is to bring more insights that the team have shown in each part of the presentation, so the whole presentation would be more memorable.

 

Challenges

The main challenge we had in this project is task reallocation on Wednesday. One of the reasons is because we only had our clearer and more specific project requirements, and refreshed data on Wednesday’s mid-week check in with the client. Another reason is one of the team members couldn’t continue working with us. Therefore we had to reallocate the tasks to make sure all topics were covered by someone.

 

Because of these reasons some team members actually restarted everything on Wednesday. This sounds frustrating. But when it happens, think on the positive side. We still have two days. We can still make it. I’m very glad and thankful that all team members are willing to help each other through this difficulty. What I did was to trust my team and provide support when needed. In the end we manage to deliver the project successfully, and got some positive feedback from the client. That’s why I said I’m so proud of my team!

Final Thoughts

Client project weeks are a good practice for us to know how the real-world data analytics consulting can be look like. The data could be incomplete, the requirements could be vague, and the time could be very limited. What doesn’t change is that you have to figure out a way to reach your goal with the resource you have. Take the challenge as a good practice, and you’ll find yourself improved a lot after you conquer it.

 

I’ve definitely learnt a lot through this experience. And I hope you find this series of blogs helpful.

 

Ming-Hsuan Lee
Author: Ming-Hsuan Lee