Doctors in Project Management tools

Over the past few months I’ve been at one of our client’s site and have been in an Analyst role. I was tasked with helping resolve various issues users have been facing while using Microsoft Project Server 2010 as well as Microsoft Project Professional 2010. It has been a tremendous learning experience of figuring out the root cause of an issue and helping the users get back on track. As EPMA consultants, we do not just resolve an issue and ask the client to carry on, but rather go an extra step in educating them on why a certain error occurs, steps taken to resolve it, and how to avoid it in the future.

What I have particularly enjoyed is the challenge such a role brings as you get different types of errors where there isn’t a quick fix for these issues. You are forced to dig deeper and understand how information flows between Project Server, Project Professional and see what went wrong along the way. As I’ve been doing this it dawned on me that the job was very similar to what a doctor does.

When a doctor receives a patient, the conversation begins with what the patient is feeling, how it came about which leads to some form of initial diagnosis. On further checkup and examination the doctor is able to have a better understanding of the patient’s problem and is able to prescribe some medication to remedy the issue.

Similarly, when I receive an issue from a client I take a methodical approach in helping to resolve it. The first thing to check is if they have clearly stated what their issue is, if not get the necessary clarification. Depending on what they describe I check if it is a symptom of a known cause. If it’s known, I go ahead and proceed with remedying it, else (which in most cases) is a generally known issue but requires a more involved approach. However, in other situations the issue could be completely new and based on your knowledge of the tool and how it’s configured for the client you start to deduce the different possibilities and test out each one to see what caused it and how to fix it.

I just wanted to share the analogy that came to mind and share some perspective on the type of work we do at EPMA. We are experts in Project and Portfolio Management and offer a variety of services such as Implementation of Microsoft Project Server 2010/2013, Training on best practices while using these tools, Analysis and Support of your already implemented system and much more. Contact us and we’ll be happy to tailor a solution that fits your business.