A Day in the Week of an Employee – Tough Guy Tuesday (Day 2)
While Monday can be considered as the beginning of an action movie, Tuesday is that feeling of nerve gripping climax slowly treading its way to you. Our protagonist Mohit has already dodged a bullet by fixing the issue on Monday, but as mentioned earlier no two days are the same for a Project Manager. Tuesday comes with its own set of challenges when the real workload for the week hits an employee. The codes get complex, persuading clients becomes grinding and managing deadlines seem backbreaking. So, let’s head over to the next day in our series titled – “A Day in The Week of An Employee” and take a closer look at how Mohit battles his way through Tuesday.
“Hey Google, play me the news”, came the voice command as Mohit flips his omelette onto a plate and pours himself a glass of orange juice.
Mornings start early for Mohit as he believes that quiet morning hours are a great time to get things done. Since then he has always believed in getting up early no matter where he is, giving him a head start to face the day.
As his Uber arrives at 7.10 am, Mohit gets in the cab while browsing through his inbox. The driver then proceeds to play the latest Bollywood songs as Mohit leans back and awaits his destination.
Mohit receives a surprise as he enters the office. Sushil, the Lead Business Analyst was already seated at Mohit’s workspace. Sushil happens to be someone with a wide range of skills; right from analytical modelling to structuring. He is known to devise cost-effective measures to figure out the best possible solution and has always been a high achiever who is always on the move.
“I already got your daily booster,” said Sushil as he passes a cup of hot black coffee without sugar to Mohit.
“Thanks, Sushil. You seem a little tense today.”, Mohit enquired with a concerned look on his face.
“Mohit, we need to speak to the design team. I have already scheduled a meeting at 10 am and have mailed you the issue few minutes back.”; replied Sushil.
Mohit gave a nod and fired up his laptop. He opened his inbox to check the issue while slowly sipping his hot cuppa. While going through Sushil’s mail, he was distracted by a call from the key leaders. The key lead wanted to discuss the test strategy for a couple of features that Jake and Lalit have planned. Agreeing to schedule a meeting later in the day, Mohit ended the call and resumed his work. Once done, he takes a quick glance at his “To-Do list” and made some revisions.
The daily scrum meeting which usually happens at 10 am, got shifted to 9.30 am today. Although some team members would be displeased with the change, Mohit had no choice as he already had a lot to get going for the day. Quickly wrapping the scrum meeting in 15 minutes, he suggests everyone take a 15 min quick break before the next meeting.
With everyone sitting around a large round wooden table, Mohit starts by establishing the objectives and then laying out the meeting agenda and required deliverables. After that, Sushil addressed the problem followed by an open-ended discussion with his team comparing alternatives and summarizing their ideas. As the meeting adjourned, the team was happy with the desired outcome, bringing the project momentum back on track.
Mohit immediately resorted to drafting a one-pager for the management to review and sign off which contained: the benefits, resources, timelines, and estimated costs that will be associated with the project. While he was drafting the one-pager, he recalled the need for hiring new talent for the development team, a task he dreaded to bring up in his discussions with the management the most.
As he finished drafting the one-pager, Mohit was about to schedule a meeting with the Director when he received an email from a client. Joshua, the client, wanted to add new functionalities to the existing project.
Mohit was now overwhelmed with a task pile up. That’s the peril of being a Project Manager. His fingers were now dipped in too many jars and he started to feel the burnout already. The most difficult aspect was now to prioritize the tasks. If the feeling of burnout grips him, other team members will quickly follow suit.
First, Mohit makes a few more changes in the one-pager and sends it across to the management. Next, he responds to the client’s mail and sets up a follow-up meeting within the next hour. He chalked out the plan and scheduled the meeting with the Director for the next day and then decided to call the key lead later in the evening.
As he ticked off some of the items in his task list, Mohit pulls out necessary stats from his project management tool and analyses the potential impact of the new functionalities with respect to time and budget. He downloads the report, performs various back of the envelope calculations and sends it to the client prior to his call.
“Joshua, I love how you are thinking about adding these features to the project, but with the busted UI and some of the team members being on leave, it will not possible at the moment. It will completely blow over our target deadline and budget”, said Mohit while showing him the reports “Mind if we implement it later for the next version?”
“I suppose we’ll have to”, replied Joshua, nodding his head. “I trust you Mohit and I guess we are not ready for the said functionalities yet”, concluded Joshua as he looks at the figures.
“Not at present but we can definitely implement them in the next version. Have a great evening and say hi to the kids. I hope Lily wins her school’s marathon”, said Mohit ending the discussion on a lighter note.
Mohit leaned back in his chair with a sigh of relief. Now, all that was left to do was a phone call with the key lead. Without wasting any more time, he calls up the key lead, discusses the test strategies in detail and then ends the call with a clear action plan.
Raising his wristwatch, Mohit checks the time. He opens his lunch box and takes a bite of his stale sandwich and hydrates himself. It was 6 pm already.
He finally reviews his To-do list, takes action on pending emails and decides to end the day by reading some blogs.
At 7 pm, Mohit calls it a day, packs up his stuff and heads straight to the recreation room to enjoy a game of FIFA with his teammates. Overall, Tuesday was a tough day.