Tuesday, December 1, 2009

e-Learning Media: Self made Constraints : Part 5: Is a Project Manager required?

I was flummoxed when a customer asked this question to us. This also brings about a much criticized role in e-Learning. When I started my career, I too could not understand the logic, rationale that a manager brings to table. Estimating efforts when everything is a variable (technology, requirements, design, and ever changing storyboards) was at the best, irritating and answering why the estimated efforts increased was a real waste of time. Not that I was discouraged with the questions (there is immense value in them), but at that time, delivery was more crucial and critical to prove self and over-smartness in playing with numbers was not my cup of tea.

Over the years as I matured into the same role, I guessed, I will not do that again. But lo, I too unknowingly asking the same questions differently.

Wouldn't a team lead or any management trainee do this job of recording estimations and actuals and preparing reports to management ? What does a skilled e-Learning artist expect from a manager and why this expectation gap, invariably, in many companies ?

For one, the expectations that I had, are the same I hear from my team now. Just reinforcing the fact that with so many years of maturity, the basic needs are still yearned and desired by teams in the manager.

What then, are the quantifiable expectations of a manager.
1. Understand the lingo of the teams.
2. Be a self worker too. Too much dependency on the team is never desired.
3. In e-Learning, teams expect the manager to be a solution person who applies business perspective than vice vera.
4. "Listen", "Emphatize", "Think", "Act" - Never argue or force down the throat any pills. They always taste bitter and bring in more health problems.
5. "Market" the teams efforts in all forums.

Last and the First: Be a numbers person.

Any other expectations you have from your project manager ?

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