A Day in the Week of an Employee – The Monday Blues (Day 1)
For Project Managers, no two days are the same. Scheduling calls with clients, hosting team meetings, planning development discussions, resolving issues, and performance evaluations require a lot of energy and confidence. To give you a flavor of the role, we have created a series titled – “A Day in The Week of An Employee”, revolving around a fictional character called Mohit. Mohit spent 10 years in IT, and this details out the strategies and approach he uses to get through a typical day on the job. Let’s see what his Monday looks like.
Rolling up his sleeves, Mohit checks his watch. It flashes 7.00 am on his fitbit. “Beep!” says the notification from Uber on his phone; Mohit breathes a sigh of relief as his Uber is just one minute away. In the background, while the voice assistant goes through the daily news, Mohit gobbles the last piece of the toast and rushes through the front door.
Mohit believes in reaching office early, before his team gets in, giving him ample time to address any outstanding issues before the day’s first meeting begins. On his way to headquarters, he often indulges in checking mails or any pending notifications, and hits the ground running before stepping onto the work premises.
It is usually an hour-long ride from his place. At around 8.00 am, the Uber trundles through the security gate. His customary nod to the security guard starts Mohit’s day at work.
For Mohit, being a Project Manager means wearing various hats, involving mastering the art of whispering the language of a developer, a designer, a marketer and a salesperson, while advocating the client’s and internal team’s appeals. Often, the projects are like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle, wherein the processes are the pieces that carefully need to be put together to form a clear picture.
With a cup of black coffee in one hand, Mohit opens his laptop with the other, making sure that there aren’t any burning fires to be taken care of before the day begins. He pulls out his diary and checks the “To-Do list”, which he prepared last Friday.
Some development team members start to arrive. Most of the team usually arrives between 9.00 am to 10.00 am. Mohit, quickly finishing up his coffee, pulls out the progress report to check on the current project in terms of deadline, budget and scope. “Eating the frog”, as he calls this habit, helps him to forge ahead and keep a clear agenda for the upcoming morning meetings.
A stickler for running a good meeting, as the clock ticks 10.00 am, “What’s up team?”, says Mohit, gleefully entering the conference room for the daily scrum meeting. He indulges in some chit chat to relax and bond with his colleagues, before moving to the agenda for the scrum meeting. The agenda covers 3 major pointers – what tasks the team completed the previous day, the team’s agenda for that day and discussions on current issues, if any.
Avni from the development unit, chewing on her pen lid, mentions the bugs encountered in the UI. After discussion, it turns out that the development side seems to be falling behind as two of Avni’s teammates have gone on vacation.
Wiping sweat from his forehead, Mohit adjourns the meeting. The current delay and a busted UI might throw the entire project off its target. Just as Mohit is about to set up a one-on-one meeting with his counterpart to settle this, distraction sets in, as he hears an argument between Jake and Lalit, who leads the design of the prototype. Jake wants to absorb a different set of elements, while Lalit wants to integrate a unique set of elements.
Mohit always resolves such issues by using the technique of collaborative conflict management. A minute later, Jake, Lalit and Mohit sit in the meeting room. Talking through each feature, they finally negotiate a solution by incorporating a mix of elements, adding some new ones which they realize are important. The fruitful tussle comes to an end with a win-win situation, ending with lunch.
As the day’s schedule has been pushed due to handling a few differences of opinion, Mohit’s lunch happens at his desk, a salad bowl with some shredded chicken (a go-to meal for years now). He usually eats his lunch at his desk. While eating, he sneaks in time to quickly call his counterpart Juni.
Wiping salad bits from the corner of his mouth, Mohit enquires, “Hey Juni, does your team have any time to help us with some debugging on the user interface?”
“Sure!”, Juni responds. “But we will need to move some people around, and off the chat box feature we’ve been working on.”
“No problem!”, Mohit replies. “The chat box feature is a low priority. Could you please update the assigned task in the system? Thanks.”
Hanging up, loosening his tie, Mohit relaxes in his chair. The need to hire new talent for the development team looms large in his mind. Over the years, he has felt comfortable handling various entries right from the change request, and increasing the overall budget to make timelines flexible. However, the one big agenda that makes him tense is asking management to expand the team and grow the department. He decides to push that thought to be handled the next day.
6.30 pm, beeps the clock. Mohit opens his To-Do list to glance over pending tasks, calls up/writes emails accordingly and updates the task list for the next day.
Finally, the most interesting and important part of the workday had arrived, after the initial rush, meetings and fuss. Some might find it geeky but Mohit enjoys it, reading up on relevant topics from multiple online resources and supporting the PM community.
After that , all that is left to do was to check his mailbox one last time. And then, booking an Uber, gathering his belongings and calling it a day.
Overall, Monday was a good day.
Stay tuned for the next blog as we travel through another work day with Mohit.