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Project Manager Reflection

Essay by   •  July 30, 2019  •  Creative Writing  •  1,119 Words (5 Pages)  •  553 Views

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In my current work, I act as project manager for a project that spans multiple states and is to be completed during a finite period in each calendar year. The project team consists of over 100 people and begins and ends with a regulatory audit by a government agency. The organization is familiar with the project and this type of oversight has been conducted over the last 25 years.   Despite the project being conducted on an annual basis it is not without challenges. Some of these challenges are generated for unforeseen or unexpected circumstances. Other challenges are generated from the inability to take Abstract Conceptualism to the Active Experimentation discussed in this week’s lecture.  I intend to reflect on assumptions that are made during the project and how they work through the ladder of inference. It is important to use new tools learned in this course to see how they apply to current scenarios in my work environment. It had always been my hope while working through the program to learn tools for identification and resolving issues.


Through the course of the project many assumptions are made.  Assumptions were made based on knowledge through experience and education. There a few that stands out as being project critical and having the most impact.  The first assumption made during the project was the choice of using experience over data as the basis of project design.  The project team has various levels of experience. At Project inception the team sits down and has a discussion regarding the direction the project will go into. There is input from leadership, operations, and the project team.  Through discussion with teams it sometimes comes down to appearance of smoothness rather than the actual effectiveness of the project through data. Some equate project success with smoothness while there is a portion of the team that equates project success on outcomes. I fall into the latter group.

Another key assumption made is regarding decisions about the skills required when creating a team.  The team is led by a series of clinicians. Clinicians like working with other clinicians and are fundamentally at odds with teammates with technical and business degrees. This ends in a team that is skewed towards clinical designations which have limited application to regulatory or business dealings.

Working through the Ladder of Inference

Looking at the assumptions being made its important to understand how the organization got to this point.  It is easy to think the assumption is the starting point but let’s take look at incremental decisions made leading up to the assumption. Then we will the actions taken after the assumption that has implication to business decisions.  For the first assumption, this sees the organization associating smoothness of project with effectiveness. The organization gets to that assumption by passing through a few rungs of the inference ladder. When approaching the first rung and reviewing all available data.  The project team sides with previous experience over data that communicates the outcomes.  They believe their felt experiences are more pertinent to the success of the project than the data. They move to the second rung of the inference ladder by selecting pieces of the data that best support their experiences with previous projects.  They then interpret their experiences into being positives and the example of how a project should be done, which leads to the fourth rung of the inference ladder and the assumption that we began with.  The assumption that project leaders felt experiences was more pertinent to project success than data takes over and all work taken on subsequently is initiated from a place where a skewed response occurs.  This way of navigating through decision making lends itself to the challenges experienced during project.



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