1. Please let us know about yourself.
<VB> I am Vijay Bandaru working as a Sr. PM in ValueLabs. I had started my career with ValueLabs in 1999 as a software engineer and progressively reached the Sr. PM role now. I am a PMP certified project manager. My hobbies are singing and listening to melodious music.
2. When did you start your career and how?
<VB> In 1999 after completing my MCA from Andhra University. I joined ValueLabs as a software Engineer. My first project was an ERP project with Visual Basic 6.0 as frontend and Oracle as a backend. I also have completed MBA from symbiosis universiry during 2004-06.
3. Why did you choose Project Management as a career?
<VB> I was a tech guy initially and I had to go to Malaysia for a new client engagement. That time I was the second guy who had initiated the client relationship. I had to take up the project management and also client interaction, requirements analysis etc from onsite, I slowly moved into the project management stream. I later realized that it has a lot of importance in terms of the success/failure of the project so I seriously started exploring the various angles of project management. I am quite happy and successful [I feel :)] in this role.
4. How do you deal with a situation when your project deliverables are getting delayed?
<VB> I try to see if I can get the project deliverables on track by applying the project management methodologies like crashing, fast tracking. If not, immediately I will evaluate the impact in terms of the schedule delay and inform client with out any delay. I will also send the revised project plan [revised new deadlines] to client with the detailed report on why the original deadline was not met. Most of the times my clients understand the situation and cooperate in this kind of situation.
5. Do you remember any event/challenge that you have faced in your career and how did you deal with it?
<VB> During one of my projects' execution, I had to manage a project to reengineer the existing project and develop new features. There was no proper explanation from onsite on the existing code and no documentation available for new features. I had struggled a lot for that project execution and took my senior management help to make client understand the importance of process. Later, I had created a process flow and client was happy with the flow.
6. What sort of qualities are necessary to be a good project manager and how to develop them?
<VB> I feel, project management is to be developed uniquely by the individual. Based on the type of project and team, client etc specific project management methodologies, tools should be applied. Thee are several online tools available to learn concepts of project management methodologies.
7. What do you want to suggest to the aspirant project manager?
<VB> You should have strong leadership skills, people management skills and problem solving skills. You have to drive the team towards the right direction. You have to take the blame if project is failed and give the credit to the team when project is success.
8. Have you done PMP certification? If yes, please brief us about its benefit and how this helps in your day to day work?
<VB> I have recently completed PMP certification. It indeed helps in making the project success to keep the cost, time and quality with in the planned levels by applying the PMP concepts. Unless we practically apply them in the day to day project activities, I feel it is not helpful.
9. How to prepare for PMP certifications and any suggestions to PMP aspirants?
<VB> PMBOK is the primary guide for PMP preparation. www.pmi.org gives more insight about the PMP certification. I can personally help to those who want to prepare for PMP. They can send their emails to vkbandaru [at ] yahoo.com.
10. As a manager what sort of qualities you look for in your team members?
<VB> Manager's responsibility is to provide the required environment, facilities and infrastructure to the team to execute the project. Team member's role is to use these facilities in an efficient manner and to complete the project work with in the given budget, time. PM has to concentrate on Risk throughout the project life time and try to avoid / mitigate as much as possible. Team members are responsible to avoid / eliminate rework at all phases of the project.
11. How do you maintain the team spirit?
<VB> I personallly feel, maintaining a good rapport with the team will increrase the cohessiveness. As a PM one must provide necessary support, help to the team and always think from team member's perspective. Team buy-in is most important aspect in the PM's life.
12. To deliver a successful project what sort of things are necessary and how do you ensure them?
<VB> Estimation and planning are 2 eyes of the project success. Estimation must be done by the team members which will get team buy-in. Proper planning provides a smooth path to the project success. Risk management is another key aspect which has to be constantly monitored throughout the project life cycle.
13. What project management methodology do you follow, please brief us about it.
<VB> I usually create my own methodology based on the project type, client and other criteria. Base for this is PMBOK guidelines.
14. From your experience what project management methodology best suits you and why?
<VB> Cannot say as it purely depends on the project type, constraints and the client type. We some times have to customize and come up with a suitable methodology.
15. You must have something very exciting while working for so many years? Would you like to share with us?
<VB> I am very comfortable working with ValueLabs and I have had a good growth in here. I have been given good projects and high responsibilities and fortunately I was able to make all my projects successful and have had good feedback from all my clients except one or two where I have learnt some lessons.