Some of what I’ve learned so far does seem to be unique to data intensive projects. At the same time, many of the challenges posed by “big data” projects will be recognizable to project managers based on previous experience with other large or complex projects.
My consulting, project management, and research focus on planning and managing data intensive projects. My contact information is here.
Entries in Project Management (133)
PURPOSE. I’m researching how people plan and manage data-intensive projects. I’m calling this my “big data project management survey.” I’ll publish the research results here. Let me know if you would like to participate or if you are interested in the results; my contact info is at the end of this article.
BACKGROUND. There has never been more interest in “big data” as evidenced by announced jobs, seminars, online publications, discussion groups, and national meetings devoted to topics like data analytics, data management platforms, new software tools, and data science.
Less attention is being paid to how people manage the special business and process change challenges involved in planning, managing, and governing data intensive project work.
As a consultant with a lot of data intensive project management experience I wonder about the reasons for this seeming mismatch. Based on the people I’m talking with, there does seem to be a general acknowledgement that project management skills are important to the success of big data projects and programs. One question is, what are these skills, and how can they be used to make “big data” projects more effective?
PROPOSED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS. As preparation for our interview please read my brief blog post “You Need a Project Manager on Your Big Data Team” http://www.ddmcd.com/team.html
The following are suggested talking points for a 30-minute phone interview about “Big Data Project Management”:
- Briefly describe your own background or interest in managing data intensive projects.
- Do you think that too much attention is being paid to big data tools and not enough attention to big data project management? Discuss.
- Do you think that big data projects pose unique or special challenges to traditional approaches to project management? If so, what are they?
- What advice would you give to a project manager tasked with starting up a big data program in an organization that operates with a mix of legacy and newer cloud-based systems?
Copyright (c) 2015 by Dennis D. McDonald, Ph.D. I’m a Washington DC area management consultant. Let me know if you need help planning or managing a data intensive project or program. My services include preproposal research and analysis, proposal development and costing, marketing and sales support, project and program management including PMO setup and administration, project workplan development, and resource planning. Contact me by phone at 703-402-7382 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The firewalled article by Ian Thomas, The seven people you need on your Big Data team, is an entertaining and insightful overview of needed technical skills if you are tasked with developing a team that “… takes data from various sources … and turns it into valuable insights that can be shared broadly across the organization.”
These days, still, when you read about big data or if you attend conferences or webinars you’re much more likely to read about products and tools. You don’t hear as much about “back room” management issues you need to address to make sure all the members of the project team are sharing information and marching in the same direction.
The Commerce Data Advisory Council's 2nd Meeting: Storytelling, Staff Recruiting, and Complex Processes
There’s an understanding represented by this group that the data resources being stewarded by Commerce programs both reflect and are critical inputs to U.S. technical and industrial competitiveness. Hopefully this group will be able to facilitate an exchange of useful “lessons learned” and resources across the varied Commerce programs.
I’ve been researching how to manage projects where the goal is to make large amounts of data open, accessible, and useful.
It is also impossible for the project manager to ignore how data management and data governance are handled in the organization as a whole. An individual project cannot be expected to change how the organization manages data overnight. Part of the project planning process must therefore include an assessment of the organization’s ongoing data management and governance practices and how they overlap with the goals of the individual project.
Being able to make wise investments in “big data” capabilities may require more collaborative approaches to project management and decisionmaking than are currently being practiced.
Digital and cloud-based services are changing how government IT resources are procured and managed. Of personal and professional interest to me is how data intensive programs are governed given growing interest in big data and open data. I’ve created this special compendium of posts that are relevant to planning and managing data related programs and projects. There are four groups:
I heard David Lebryk of the U.S. Department of Treasury speak on Data Act implementation this morning at the Johns Hopkins/REI Systems Government Analytics Breakfast Forum in Washington DC.