Deepa Gandhavalli Ramaniah, PMP, is senior
associate—projects at Cognizant Technology
Solutions, Chennai, India.
He or she should be aware of the competencies
possessed by the team and assign tasks accordingly. He or she also must motivate team members
through continuous appreciation and recognition.
The operations manager should possess excellent problem-solving and decision-making skills.
For instance, when a production problem arises,
an operations manager should have a complete
understanding of the problem’s context, impact
and consequences before making a decision on the
timeline for resolution. It is also a good practice to
meet with the operations team to get its buy-in on
the timeline before committing to the customer.
It’s common for operational team members to
disagree on issues or solutions to problems. The
operations manager must take the lead, bring the
team members together, get their thoughts, analyze pros and cons of each member’s proposal and
identify the best-fit solution. It is the operations
manager’s responsibility to create a problem-solving environment and manage conflict.
Returning to my example: Once the team was
formed through negotiation and influencing, we
held a brief meeting to explain the background,
what was expected from each resource, the project
deadlines and so on. As operations manager, I
made sure the team had all the required resources,
such as hardware and software, to execute the
project. I directed the lead tester to get involved
during the implementation phase itself, so he
could prepare the test cases and get them reviewed
by the architect before the patch got delivered to
him for testing. I worked to ensure the tiger team
was constantly motivated and empowered to fix
the issue by the deadline.
But at one point, two members of the team got
into a serious argument over an error. I called
them to a meeting and, using my interpersonal
skills, explained that we were not there to blame
but to get the patch to the customer by the deadline. I persuaded them to shake hands and proceed
with the next phase. After successful testing of the
patch, we were able to deliver it to the customer
as planned. Finally, I arranged a meeting with the
tiger team and senior executives and made sure
the team was recognized for its work. PM
It is the operations
to create a