{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "New to Project Management.\nToday my company asked me to PM a new customer Project. The Project is assigned a team with a technical lead. \nMy career so far has been in development, but I have already been a lead on projects where managers had little presence and I had to do a lot of customer interactions. However, I have never been present in a project kick-off and high level decision making processes. \nWhat do I need to find out on early stages of the discussion, and what to ask in onboarding?", "post_id": "6151f6c4afd132002515763b", "reply_count": 6, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "55375ce690f5eebe1d2a0f88", "bowl_name": "Tech" }

New to Project Management. Today my company asked me to PM a new customer Project. The Project is assigned a team with a technical lead. My career so far has been in development, but I have already been a lead on projects where managers had little presence and I had to do a lot of customer interactions. However, I have never been present in a project kick-off and high level decision making processes. What do I need to find out on early stages of the discussion, and what to ask in onboarding?

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If there's a tech lead assigned, my personal approach would be to first have a chat with them, ideally informally, just to get a sense of how involved they will be and what it's been like in the past etc. That'll also help you in figuring out the right questions to ask during kick-off to get a sense of timelines, operational stuff etc that the technical lead won't necessarily be dealing with. Others might be able to chime in with more insight though

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Managing a project can seem overwhelming for a new project manager. You do not have to be a formal project manager to lead a project initiative. However, you should apply the tools, logic, and steps of project management to clarify your objectives, detail the work and build a team to execute while you manage it all

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Congrats! I would be as inquisitive as possible. I think management will appreciate you reaching out for information to better prepare yourself so don't be shy about asking questions.

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Let us know how it goes ; )

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Update: the lead is also an engineer who had been "promoted" at the same time as I. He had been in discussions with the customer before me and has more background on it, but at this point I have read through all the documentation and watched the recorded meetings. This is where my technical background came in handy, because I had to size all the development because the lead is having issues with it. Developed a project time-line, outlined features one by one in the order of planned delivery, and had a kick-off with the customer where we aligned on the expectations. They were happy. Now the lead is struggling to call any technical decision and is asking me about each of them, without first giving me his opinion. I have created a ticket for each aspect (technology, dev process, deployment, testing) and asked him for each of those to give his opinion and we can discuss later. I think the fact that I'm deeply technical is impacting my communications with the customer because I'm missing all the business language, but for this project it's just work out.

Okay my fellow PMs😁, need some advise here, as I'm hitting the first issue. There is a feature which has been taken for granted in the discussions. However, looking more into it, there are different ways that that feature can work, with no one way to satisfy all the use cases. However, the team discussing the technical aspects earlier assumed that only one approach will be used. Now when I asked the customer about which approach we should implement, the customer says "oh, we should give the user an option to switch between those". Meaning we need to implement all of them. This adds about a week of extra work for which I have some capacity in my planning, but I wouldn't like to spend, because I reserved it for stability and sick/vacations, etc. With that said, no one raised this to the customer in the planning, and now I may look bad if I just tell them we don't have time for all the options. What are the possible solutions?

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