Every day, Sunilkumar D. Mule balances the many roles of a senior project manager. Get insight into how to manage customers, colleagues and the harmony that must exist during all stages of a project.
What are your main concerns as a project manager?
As a project manager, there are three elements at the forefront of my mind: timeline, quality and cost. Project managers need to analyse the risk involved during every step of a project, particularly with regard to these three key areas.
The customer wants to see your vision for the project functions. The best way to create this vision is by first understanding the customer’s business requirements and processes. They will also expect you to assess the management overview on the business demand for which the project is undertaken. So clear communication, problem-solving and quickly grasping skills are necessary.
What happens once the project has started?
Once the project is underway and the basic and detail design has begun, you must have an understanding of the overall scope and risks involved in the project. It is very important to align resources and utilisation in an efficient manner, as it is necessary to maintain a cooperative, motivated and successful team to deliver the project on time with right quality. It is also equally important to align with your customer on scope and time on a regular basis, as it will help build the confidence from both sides.
I often manage several projects for different customers simultaneously and can therefore receive many different requirements suddenly and all at once. One tip to handle this is to keep the revisions to a minimum. Don’t let them develop into many revisions. It is your duty as a project manager to visualise and keep the scope that was established and confirmed with the customer in mind at all times.
Finalising the right way
The project will finish on a positive note if it starts strong with clear communication, properly set intentions and an understanding of the requirements. However, relations with the customer do not simply end at the handover. I always try to visualise the long run and keep in mind that the work during a project affects our future with the customer.
Balancing all of these elements can be a challenge, but it is what makes project management so interesting. It is a privilege to understand and work with all levels of a project and watch our plans come to fruition.
- Sunilkumar D. Mule graduated with a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Vishweshwaraya Technological University (VTU) and after joining NNE, he earned a M.Sc. in Project Management
- From 2003-2007, he worked for a competitor in Bangalore, India in the project management division
- In 2007, he was hired by NNE as a senior project engineer and was later promoted to senior project manager
- Sunilkumar currently manages several projects of different levels for different customers in India