My name is Thomas Harris. I am a Chicago based
Project Manager.

Project Management Experience

 

 

 

Narrative

My first formal experience with project management was with the LADT project for AT&T.    LADT was a very early e-business internet system.   My nominal title was system tester, but as this was a small project the project management duties fell to me as well.    I found that system test and project manager was a very good combination  since I could measure any change in scope or plan against its effect on the System Testing program.   I also ran the change management program for the department and used my knowledge to improve the ability to provide better filter and information (forms) to the existing system.  I was mentored in this role by Dick Tsiang who taught me about managing contingency and scheduling deliverables.

I next took up project management as part of the OSPS team.  At that point I had been doing software development for several years and was pretty good at it.  I saw the project managers as kind of the enemy.  I had taken an assignment that fell through and the only open assignment was a project management slot.  I quickly found that as a project manager I could become an advocate and facilitator for both the management and development teams.  I have kept this as the focus for my project management style ever since.   As part of this team I took the PMI boot camp course, wrote the process documentations, developed a project management tracking system and of course maintained a high on time delivery record.

The OSPS and 5ESS project management systems were merged.  OSPS was mostly a mature project at this time and most of the features were small and delivered by special feature. Special features used the bug fix stream to deploy new code.  At the time I joined the department there were 5 uncoordinated sources for special features. Needless to say this led to collisions and delivery delays to the customer.    Two of us consolidated the streams into one system, took control of scheduling, insured controlled delivery across multiple generics, delivered more code with less errors and had a 99% on time delivery rate.  In part the high success rate was based on controlling product management's ambitions (by definition special features were small enough and simple enough to not require system testing, but due to the long generic cycle there was always the temptation to use the every two week deployment time to meet a customer need on something more complex.)   My duty was to attend the product management meeting and insist on a system test effort for larger features (which usually caused them to become too expensive since system testing was charged to the release in the generic cycle not the feature).

At this point I was seen as a expert in many different processes since the special features project system had required a number of negotiations within the process community.  I was also one of the few project manager with extensive development experience.   I was asked to take over the project management product manager role.  In this role I developed all the training needed by the project management department, consulted on all tools work, consulted on projects in trouble, reviewed all process changes across the division for project management impact and scheduled and monitored all compliance audits and reviews.   When Convergent Solutions decided to deploy a Theory of Constraints management system I became one of the chief engineers of the project which led to a 5% increase in division productivity.

After being laid off from Lucent my next project management assignment was with TCS Education system where I was the Software Support Manager.  Here I led the deployment of the KACE system to do software update.

DeVry Inc hired me as a Technical Project Manager to do production support for their Delta Project.   This involved me not only in the incorporation of new software into the existing systems,  but also allowed me to manage several other process improvements and initiatives.

 

Projects

  • LADT
  • OSPS
    • Coin
    • Near Main
    • Mech
    • Mech Interflow
  • 5ESS
  • 1XRNC
  • TCS
  • DeVry
  • Related Taining
    • PMI Boot camp
    • TOC-CC
    • PQMI
    • Facilitator
    • PMP
    • Lean Six Sigma Green Belt