Week 9 for DSAU16 was both a challenging and rewarding experience, juggling Power BI training and our third client project with Cred where I had the privilege to lead the team. In this blog, I will be sharing advice and my journey for the week.

 

Preparation

To start off, I carried out initial research into the company to understand their mission and business goals. This helped ensure I was prepared to address their project requirements, as well as assemble a list of questions to ask the client for the kick-off meeting on Monday. This can include:

  • Is there a data dictionary? Is there any form of documentation to refer to? If the answer is no, divide the team to explore and learn about the data, then compile a record of definitions and documentation. Here, more questions will arise which will need to be answered.
  • Who is the main point of contact for both general and data related questions?
  • If there are multiple goals, what are the top priorities on the list?
  • In terms of the technical side of the business, are there a set of metrics or criteria to follow when solving the requirements?

 

Responsibilities

As project lead, you are responsible for delegating tasks to your team and making sure everyone clearly understands their objectives. Once you and the team have explored the data, assign groups to tackle certain requirements, and start planning the data cleaning and analysis process.

There are many qualities that frames a great project leader, but here I will highlight that effective communication is essential to build strong working relationships with both your team and the client.

  • Your team member’s concerns are your concerns, so take the time to listen and take their ideas on board. At times, you won’t have the answer to everything (and that’s okay!) so it is best to stay calm and reach out to those (your coaches, other team members, or the client) who can help.
  • Make it clear to your client that their interests align with your goals to ensure interactions with them go smoothly. This includes asking questions to understand their data and requirements at a greater level, replying to emails at a timely manner, and presenting proposals in meetings.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Throughout the week, regularly check in with each team member to monitor their progress.
  • Organise stand-ups to update completed tasks and discuss if there are any issues.
  • Ensure there is consistency in design and formatting across all dashboards.
  • Schedule a time to go through presentation dry runs with your coach. Here, feedback and suggestions will be added to improve both dashboard and presentation quality.

 

Summary

Overall, the team presented their final products that met our client’s expectations. We addressed their requirements and found additional insights for the team at Cred who were happy with the results.

To reiterate, my time being project lead was a challenging and rewarding experience. I have learnt areas in my management that went well and areas that need improvement, both of which will help me progress for the future. At the end of the day, these opportunities are presented to help us prepare for placements in the real world. So as a final tip, make sure to embrace the experience and use your time to discover your leadership style.

If you are fortunate like me, you will get to experience working with a cool and fun group of people who make it an easy job for you to be project lead!