Project Management Training For All

We are software developers, not sales and marketing people.  Having said that, we must compete for business – and that compels us to ask ourselves “what do we do better than our competitors, and what difference does that make to our clients?”  The answer might surprise you.

Surely it’s our proven technical abilities to overcome awkward software challenges and deliver robust and efficient solutions that meet our client’s requirements?  Whilst true, and important, this is no more than our clients would expect.  And a number of other companies can make the same claim.

Smooth operators

So, thinking about it a bit harder, and reviewing the progress of successful projects, we believe the answer is not just about the end result (important as that is).  It’s also about how we get there.  Our particular strength is the fact that we’re extremely easy to work with – we can be relied upon to deliver projects on time and budget very smoothly.

There are many different aspects to this but they all stem from the fact that we take project management extremely seriously and are corporate members of the Association of Project Managers (APM).

 All together now

A couple of years ago every member of the team at Zircon went on the APM Project Fundamentals Course and we’ve just repeated the exercise for all those who have joined the company in the interim.  This covers everything from understanding the phases of the project life cycle to effective communications and applying quality management techniques to effective project closeout and handover.  Our senior managers, who lead the projects, have also completed more advanced courses through the Open University.

When every single member of a team has this training it means that they understand what the project managers needs from them, why they need it in a specific time frame, how to identify risks and how best to give the project manager the feedback that is required. It means that “everyone is on the same page”, better equipped to give the project manager the timely and helpful support they need, that projects run more smoothly and efficiently, and that the client doesn’t get any unpleasant surprises.

Delivering peace of mind

If you want just one instance of how things can go wrong when software engineers are not trained in project management then have a quick read of this post we wrote three years ago – it shows just how easy it is to misjudge when a task will be completed if the engineer doesn’t understand how to provide accurate progress reports.

Knowing that that the whole team is capable of running their own part of the job, and of giving the project manager the support they need, is immensely reassuring for clients – they can relax safe in the knowledge that we’re fully on top of everything.