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Inspiration from project fire fighter, Pawel Brodzinski

It’s a New Year, and we’re keeping our eyes peeled for people who’ll inspire our students – this week we’ve spoken to popular project management blogger, Pawel Brodzinski.

Project management blogger - Pawel Brodzinski

Why did you decide to write your Software Project Management blog?

“Put simply, I thought I had something valuable to share and blogging was the easiest thing to do that.

“I never run out of topics to cover as I write about what I am working on professionally at the current time.

“The blog has really evolved since it’s conception, and I now feel slightly embarrassed about how clueless I was seven years ago – which shows everyone is always on a continuous learning journey.”

What has been the worst project you’ve worked on and why?

“There isn’t a single project that stands out, I think of them more as a class of projects.

“These are projects that went sideways, up to the point where there’s no chance to make them successful anymore – i.e. a client never got what they wanted, or a project vendor is not going to make the project profitable in any way.

“Such projects are typically too important to end them altogether, but not important enough to invest enough effort to actually sort them out.

“They just go on incurring more and more damage for everyone involved:

  • “The client doesn’t get the value they expected and they have to invest effort into managing the situation.
  • “The vendor is stuck with a incompetent project that can’t satisfy the client, and which is going to be a financial loss.
  • “The team is usually tired and frustrated because the project would have gone through several pivotal moments where they were under heavy pressure but they still haven’t delivered.

“While in short term this doesn’t look like a terrible project, in the long run it wreaks havoc everywhere – the business of all parties involved, relationships between them and, most importantly, the team.”

Equally, what has been the best project you’ve worked on, and why?

“The one I’m running right now, which is not a project in the classic meaning of the word.

“It is evolutionary transformation Lunar Logic, where I’m CEO.

“Our aims are to be an effective software development partner for our clients, and, at the same time, to be a great place to work.

“Since there is not paved path that would lead to such an outcome, and the landscape is constantly changing, it is a challenging project to be a part of.”

What common problem areas arise through your blog time and time again?

“There is quite a few – one problem area that I am never surprised by anymore is trust.

“The vast majority of projects are run in a low transparency and low trust environment, and a lot of organisations run things this way too.

“Changing this requires courage and consistency; without that we are stuck in toxic environments where talent never thrives and business relationships never flourish.”

What advice would you offer to any aspiring project managers out there?

“Learn like crazy.

“Learn how others in the field do the stuff – don’t be restricted to what you already know about how to get things done.

“Find people who inspire you to challenge the status quo and then change it.”