After a very interesting presentation about how to manage Uncertainty Vs Risks from our guest Presenter Surranjan Kumar, Sr. Manager with Deloitte; we wanted to ask him a little about how he got engaged in Project Management and ask some advice on how to get into it.
Here is what he had to say:
Q. How did you start in Project Management and what drove you to it?
A. This is interesting, I came to United States from India in 1999 as a Coder, and I worked in a project like this (State of Oregon IE/ME Project), I worked as a developer for 3 years and the hole idea was that staying so close to ground I saw the things that could be improved, I was told what needed to be done but that voice was not coherent to what I thought could be done to help the project, that became my need to be able to decide how the project should be run, and that is how I got interested in Project Management.
Once I work towards my goal, I started by leading a team and my work was appreciated and little by little I got to this point. I started with Deloitte in 2005 as a Lead and in 2009 I started managing entire Projects.
Q. What would you recommend to people that is interested in Project Management to get started?
A. I will not talk about what you should read or how to get educated, I am expecting that anyone that wants to become a project manager has gone through the rigor of school and college, for young adults who want to get into this phase; choose an area of your interest, learn the business, the basics because you cannot manage a project without knowing the intricate details of what the projects demands are.
The biggest struggle that I have these days with the younger generation, the belief is that I can manage a project without knowing any of the details, I just need to manage people. But in my thought process managing a project is way beyond managing people, it is just an aspect of it. Learning the business and what the clients needs are is the key and in order to get there you have to start at ground level and work your way up, that is my opinion.
Q. What is your opinion of the new Masters in Project Management, do you believe someone want take this course and do the job?
A. I don't believe just taking a course will make you a project manager. I do believe it will give you the right tools to do the right thing and to get there but it is only a tool, it is not be all and all.
Q. What do you enjoy the most in your job?
A. The challenges. I am a goal oriented person, I like being challenged... it's like a little obsessive if something challenges me I will not leave it until I get it fix or until I resolve it.
In Project Management the daily shift of things is what I enjoy the most, everyday I wake up thinking of what is going to come my way that I have to solve, that is what gets me out of bed everyday.
Q. What is the most difficult part of your job ?
A. As a Project Manager I dislike incompetence, I do not like the fact that at every level there are people that quit easily. Your project is only as successful as your team, I want my team to be on their toes working on the project, sometimes I've experienced folks that are not invested 100% that doesn't sit well with me.
Q. What are you working to improve ?
A. I am working on empowering the team. There are 2 ways of managing a project, one is telling the team what to do or telling them what and why they need to do that. Just like stakeholder management if your team has bought into the idea of why they are being ask to do what they are doing you will get much better results. As a PM we should empower the team, I am doing that, I am having a daily 30min meeting to ask the questions and show everybody the big picture.
Surranjan Kumar, PMP, is Senior Manager with Deloitte. His16 years of consulting experience is focused on delivering large-scale custom developed software system for various state agencies.
He has provided his services to California, Michigan, New Mexico, Louisiana and Oregon. In his last 16 years of working with various State clients, Surranjan has architected various solutions for implementation of legislative changes pertaining to TANF, Medicaid and SNAP in the statewide welfare systems, including defining requirements and use cases, specifying standards and technologies, and project planning.
He also focused on security, business, and technical operations
Contact Information: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell#: (916) 743-9969