5 Questions about Project Management
With Atul Gupta
Before we leave the office for the weekend, we stop for a quick coffee talk with our project management colleagues to chat about their best practices. Well, not literally, but that's how we designed our interview series "5 questions about project management". To be fast, intense and refreshing like a good cup of coffee.
Today, we’ll talk to Atul Gupta. Atul Gupta has been in private consulting for over 15 years. During that time he has been in senior positions within industries such as Defense, Systems Integrators, Entertainment & Higher Education. His work experience includes corporations such as, IBM Global Services, Northrop Grumman, and Time Warner AOL. Nowadays Atul is a Member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and runs his consulting firm. In 2019 he changed his name to Ashul Agrasyn.
1. What is your favorite project management method?
My favorite method of project management is one that works. Both traditional and new methods of project management have a lot to offer, however, there isn’t just one that I would characterize as the perfect solution. Each situation calls for its own set of tools. I use elements of various methodologies incorporated into the true & tried method of KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).
2. Do you use project management software for bigger projects? If so, which one?
There are so many options today that offer project management solutions, however very few offer true project management solutions. While some are glorified task management systems, others take single concept from a methodology and call that project management. Thus, what most people understand about project management today has been muddied. In my opinion, there are very few software programs that offer a complete project management solution. I have used MS Project, but I live in a Mac world, and thus there is only one true solution for me, and that is Merlin Project.
3. What is your favorite routine in a project?
I work alone, however I love the ability to share and collaborate with others, often at the same time. software makes this, not only possible, but a breeze to do. Technology offers us the ability to work wherever we want, whenever we want, and collaborate with our teams at the same time.
4. What is the most underestimated factor for project success?
I believe that the actual planning process is often overlooked, as people delve right into a project without giving it much thought. The tendency is to create a project plan as an after thought. This need for a quick document often leads to gaps & missing information, and a resulting lack of consideration of all aspects of the project.
5. What is your biggest time waster?
Meetings for the sake of having meetings. So much more could be accomplished if we simply communicated clearly and openly. However, politics & personal agendas get in the way and hinder the process, put another way, “Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth”.