In our series, The Aha Moment, we chat with influencers in the PM & PPM space and get to know them better. We ask a bunch of questions, some biz related and some not so biz related, in order to understand what makes them tick, and discover their aha moment.
This month’s feature is Agile expert and productivity consultant, Nir Wald. Read on to find out how he landed this career, his impressive hobby, and who he would love to chat to first on his fictional talk show…
Q. What is your job title and in which industry are you working in?
A. I am the owner and CEO of N-GO Consulting. We focus on engineering productivity – how to improve engineering efficiency and reduce operational costs.
Q. What is something unique that most people do not know about you?
A. I am a Marathon runner (these days I run half marathons).
Q. What led you to this career?
A. Efficiency and productivity have been my passion since I remember myself. It’s amazing to plan and execute large and complex projects with a lot of people, which run in parallel with a lot of dependencies when suddenly everything comes together right on time and with the level of quality that was expected.
Q. What is your biggest challenge in your profession? How do you overcome it?
A. Working globally on different time zones and with different cultures around the world in parallel, when there is no single time slot where everyone can join a single call. Maintaining good communication and syncing between teams. In such cases it is important that the PMO / project manager is technical enough and on top of things to leverage the gaps and create strong and objective visibility and share the status of the objective.
In addition, in such cases it is important to create sub teams and define realistic RACI on every step and good metrics to track the progress which is visible to everyone.
Q. If you had a magic wand, what’s the one thing you would change about Gantt?
A. Obviously flexibility for changes with the ability to change the entire plan down the road with now extra effort and the ability to raise risks on the fly and be able to communicate on them. It’s great that Proggio introduced this methodology already 🙂
Q. Why should every organization have a PMO?
A. PMO is a critical function in every software engineering organization; especially when the organization begins to grow. PMO is the controlling tower of the organization.
Managers often think that managing projects and defining the SDLC is something that other managers can or should do. However, soon after they realize that not only are they not the best fit for this role, but also the fact that these tasks can take a long time and they fall on the engineering, QA or people management teams.
The main PMO objective is to ensure that projects are delivered on time, at a high quality and within budget. In addition, recently PMO teams have also started to track and measure the organization’s productivity. In other words, making sure that the organization is effective and efficient when delivering value to the business.
Q. What’s the most difficult thing about managing stakeholder expectations?
A. People expect everything to work in parallel and right now. It is hard to work with stakeholders according to priorities on the one hand, but also prioritize important tasks and not only urgent ones.
Q. What advice would you give to up-and-coming professionals like yourself?
A. Get the work done and keep the team engaged …..all the rest is just noise.
Now for the Fun Stuff…
Q. If you were the host of a late night talk show, who would you invite as your first guest?
A. My first guest would be Barak Obama.
Q. What fictional place would you most like to live in?
A. A big city with no traffic and a lot of parking spaces.
Q. If you had an unlimited supply of one thing what would it be?
A. Happiness and satisfaction.
Q. What three items would you choose if stranded on a desert island?
A. My family, books and music.
Q. Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?
A. Tom Cruise from Mission Impossible.