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Accountability

If I have learned a single key concept from the project management training that is project management is all about ownership and accountability. You are accountable to make some deliveries in the project, and that may depends on the deliveries that is out side of your control. You have to communicate with all your stakeholders who is accountable for what and hold them accountable for what they promise to delivery. If something is changed, there is always a ripple effect that affect everyone down the line. That is where the dependency chart comes in place and have to communicate well ahead of time to all stakeholders the line of responsibility. The other concept I learned is contingency plan. Contingency is different from padding. Padding is hidden in the schedule or resource allocation but contingency is shown as a separate item in the project plan, it is not meant to be use but allow flexibility to handle risk that may arise in the project. Stating the obvious assumption and constraint in the project plan is also very important, since many obvious thing are not that obvious. Unless you write it down explicitly, people tends to ignore them. Fundamentally, effective communication underwrite all the project planning practice. The instructor told us eventually what determine whether the project will success is not how well is plan, but how good the relationship the people involve in the project. The soft skill is more valuable than the hard skill in project management. Everyone in class agree we need to improve in our communication, we are all engineers who talk to computer more than people after all. In short session about communication, the instructor reinforce the concept I have learned Archibald Putt and Dale Carnegie. The end of communication to archive what you want, but the mean is to talk about what other people want. Effective communication is that your proposition can be summarized in less than 25 words. When making a presentation, left out the details or you asking for unwelcome questions distract the audience from your goal. All idea has fit well in a 15 minutes presentation, which is the amount of time people willing to hear form you before they lost their interest. I think I have learned a lot in this 2 days training, not any new knowledge in particular, but some high level concept that is universally useful.

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