The DSAU19 cohort has officially reached the halfway point of their training. This week, our team is having our third client project week, and it’s also my first time as a Project Manager (PM). I was both excited and nervous because it was my first time taking on a leadership role.

With the mindset that “failing to prepare is preparing to fail,” I took the initiative to plan for the project the previous week. Understanding that we have a large team (8 people excluding me as the PM), I knew that communication would be key to success. Therefore, I created a Google Workspace for the team to share information, document thoughts and progress, and keep track of the team schedule. These are the spreadsheets that I put in place for this week’s project:

This week, our project was cut short because of the Easter holiday. Therefore, it was crucial for the team to have a clear schedule to easily timebox and keep track of the project. Here’s a sneak peek of our week’s schedule:

I incorporated stand-up meetings and peer reviews with our coaches in the schedule to keep everyone on track and up to date with the project’s progress. This is also an opportunity for the coaches to give us advice regarding the project.

Apart from the daily schedule, other parts of the spreadsheets will store:

  • Questions: During the initial stages of the project, there will be many questions to ask, especially in the data exploration stage. Therefore, I created a spreadsheet to record all the questions that we want to ask the client and their answers.
  • Record of Daily Standup: This spreadsheet is to note down our daily standup, in particular: what has the team completed today? Are there any potential roadblocks? What is the plan for tomorrow?
  • Resources: This spreadsheet is for all the team members to put down any useful links related to the project.

As a PM, it’s important to anticipate potential roadblocks that could disrupt the project timeline. Therefore, I created a contingency plan to mitigate risks, such as team members falling ill or unforeseen circumstances that may arise. This includes having backup team members who are ready to step in if necessary and ensuring that all team members have clear instructions and are aware of each other’s roles and responsibilities. By being prepared for the unexpected, we can ensure that the project runs smoothly and that we deliver quality work to our client.

That’s everything I did to prepare for the next project week. I’ll write a blog to share how the project went next week, so stay tuned!

The Data School
Author: The Data School