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A day of project management with Katerina Jajchevska

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Organizing a team and making sure that the project is following the timeline while maintaining constant communication with clients, team, and higher management can sometimes be a demanding role. That is the reason why I always start my day with a walk in the woods (when possible) or another outdoor activity and a carefully prepared breakfast that will give me all the nutrients to keep me focused and energized during the day.

My typical working day usually starts with opening Jira, checking the status of all tasks, and flagging the priority tasks that the team should focus on. After that, comes the daily meeting with the team, where we discuss the progress of each task, issues, and blockers(if any), and share new ideas that can improve our processes. Keeping track of everything while maintaining transparency is a must in a project management role. For this purpose, besides Jira that I use as a tool for organizing projects and tasks, I have documentation stored in Google Drive shared with the team, where everything is well organized and easy to navigate. For better communication with the team and clients, besides email communication, I use Slack, Skype, and Microsoft teams. This can vary by projects and client’s requirements although my personal favorite is Slack. Even though the project manager role doesn’t include actual software development, understanding the logic, at least on a high level, and the familiarity with all the tools the developers are using is a great advantage towards the final goal - providing a state-of-the-art product. Sometimes, between all the meetings and documentation, it’s easy to lose track of time and there goes the good old-fashioned Google calendar. There are a lot of good calendar tools out there but for me, this is where I go, this is where it feels comfortable :)

To summarise project management is a very simple and still very complex role. It is simple in a way you don’t need a special skill like a designer or a developer needs, but still, you need to be familiar with everything they do, and the latest trends in the industry. It is a complex role in the sense that you’ll need to juggle a lot of tasks, most of which require common sense. Whatever tools you’ll decide to use, your most valuable asset is your team and mastering the project management software you are using. A piece of advice for all those who are just starting out a career as PMs - no matter how well you organize everything there will always be delays and bumps in the road, A LOT OF THEM. Be as calm as possible, be strict but fair, talk to your team and create a bond with them. And as a leader, you’ll need to take responsibility for everything that’s happening around the project instead of pointing fingers at your teammates.

Cheers, I hope our paths will meet at some point and we will have a great collaboration or at least share knowledge and experience!

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