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Project Management In The Cloud ERA

By Murtuza Kadiyani, SVP - ASEAN, Evosys

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Murtuza Kadiyani, SVP - ASEAN, Evosys

Murtuza is an energetic & enthusiastic leader with a broad experience in handling various activities/roles in the world of oracle applications starting from consulting to project lead, solution architect, project management, program management, and many more.

Years ago, I had the opportunity to lead a cloud implementation project, and the biggest challenge faced was transitioning myself from a traditional project manager managing traditional on-premise implementation to cloud-based implementation.

The core responsibility of the project manager in the pre-cloud era would somewhat fall in between: Work with the technical architect for design and system architectures. Along with that, estimate, plan, oversee, manage, track & coordinate analysis, design, coding and testing tasks between the respective teams. Also, coordinate with business users for user acceptance testing and external teams for system testing as needed. Hold overall responsibility for delivery, interacting with internal teams where needed. As I embarked on the cloud implementation, I realized that not only the role of the project manager has greatly increased, but also the responsibility and tasks associated have considerably varied.

• There are no internal team members involved in the design and architecture piece. You only have to interact with SaaS solution provider for any details.

• The coordination overhead increases as you still have to take care of oversight responsibilities ranging from estimation through testing, but with an added flavour of an external solution provider, many more meetings are needed.

• Coordination with business users still happens internally for user acceptance testing, but systems integration testing is done by external teams most often.

• It looks even more different when the business is only using an application hosted by an external vendor at the cloud site.

• There’s no requirement for any IT staffing on the client side at all and it is easier to get issues resolved because the communication and ownership are all in one place.

• There are also opportunities for good support that come from scale. For example, if we consider Oracle Fusion application, the same instance of the software, on the same architecture is serving millions of customers via the internet. Any issues or operational defects would be fixed rapidly by oracle development because it is part of their business model.

Finally, we succeeded as a team and the project for first-of-its-kind to go live across the entire ECEMEA region. As there is no substitute to experience, I would like to share a few key points for the Project Manager below.

If you go through a plan or a situation and expect every step to go as planned, you must be mistaken”

Communication needs to be given utmost importance, as it is through communication that all challenges would be mitigated. Project Managers look at all the aspects that can remotely affect a project, project plans, schedules, handling of reports, and much more. All these do put you in the spot of a good Project Manager, but what makes you standout and ensure complete success is being able to keep yourself organized and the team close knitted and happy to work for the project.

Quality is another aspect of a successful Project Manager. Ensuring quality not only in the final product to the customers and clients, but also quality in every task and activity undertaken for the project. Taming wild weathers are which can bring the potential and calibre of a Project Manager to the forefront. If you go through a plan or a situation and expect every step to go as planned, you must be mistaken. Projects are very volatile in nature and are subjected to changes every now & then. These changes can be risks or can be opportunities. It is here that the Project Manager can be instrumental in making sure that focus is on the strategy deployed and the objective to be achieved, and make informed decisions and calculated steps to counter risks and damages or avail of opportunities.

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