Project Management and Troubleshooting Question

NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,400Member ■■■■■■■■□□
Project Management Question:

I do tech support at my current job, but my managers want me to do tech support and project management/coordination.

Are there any good videos to watch were I could get a better understanding of project management, such as project+ or ITIL?

I don't want to get these certs at the moment, because I'm studying for other certs.

I'm just looking for a better understanding of a project as a whole.

Troubleshooting Question:

Myself and the rest of my team have been asked to try to exhaust all steps before escalating.

We do not have SLA's or time windows for anything.

Sometimes I email my manager or other project managers when an issue arises.

I have a troubleshooting notebook/knowledge base.

Also, I'm the go to guy when issues arise.

Any tips on troubleshooting before escalating? I was thinking of counting to 10, or waiting 5 minutes before escalating.

I need to make sure I exhaust all possible solutions before escalating.
When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

--Alexander Graham Bell,
American inventor


  • mzx380mzx380 ITIL, ACA, CCNA, Linux+, VCP-DCV, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM New YorkPosts: 453Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Not really sure how you can escalate if you do not have a pre-defined policy for SLA so I think that would be good practice for ITIL service strategy. Project Management is something that can be read up on but is definitely something that is perfected in practice. Best thing to do is to concentrate on PMBOK framework as it is the most widely adopted but the PMBOK reads really dry so I would recommend taking a MOOC course as well as download some useful templates that you can apply to your job.
    Certifications: ITIL, ACA, CCNA, Linux+, VCP-DCV, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
    Currently Working On: Microsoft 70-761 (SQL Server)
  • alias454alias454 Posts: 648Member
    For project management you can get this book and keep as a reference

    As far as troubleshooting setup something like dokuwiki so you and your teammates can contribute to it.
    “I do not seek answers, but rather to understand the question.”
  • tedjamestedjames Scruffy-looking nerfherdr Posts: 1,063Member ■■■■■■■□□□ has some great, free training on project management. also has some low cost training. Can't speak for the quality.
  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,078Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    "Project manager" is a title that can mean many things to many people. The first thing to figure out is what it means to your boss in this instance. Here are a few ways I've seen it mean:

    Sr Project Manager: You're given money, time and people and told to "get 'er done". You have wide latitude and authority to accomplish your task. If you need the resource, you grab it from someone else's team or you hire it. You tend to report to someone very high up in a large organization. Small organizations generally don't have these.

    Project coordinator: The other end of the scale. You have no resources and no authority, you coordinate a project on behalf of someone who has authority and/or resources but is otherwise too busy (or lazy) to run it on their own.

    Project manager (engineer): Someone with an engineering background that is expected to lead a project by virtue of being very good in the area being projectized. Sort of a half-step to being an engineering manager. You always pair this person with someone that acts as a project assistant, keeping the paperwork straight, writing reports, etc.

    Project manager (manager): Someone who has a good understanding of the organization and is happy to deal with the paperwork and politics, meetings and updating senior management while the engineers get the job done. You always, always, always (did I mention always?) pair this person with a senior engineer (with a good attitude) who can lead the technical side. This is often a good role for a newish MBA. If you've been in the military, this is pairing a 1st Lt or Capt with a First Sgt / Gunnery Sgt. One to report up, the other to get things done.
  • Moldygr33nb3anMoldygr33nb3an Posts: 241Member
    Project Manager and Project Leads are often confused. A project manager is more hands off and deals with the stakeholders, communications, schedule and cost. Generally, you're the liaison for all team players. Leads are in charge of a deliverable that is essential to the project. This can be an engineer or technician.

    Small examples:

    Project Manager: You're PM for a network expansion:

    You have to make sure Jerry in networking will have all racks, switches, and patch panels procured, configured and installed on a specific date, so Lisa and her team in frequency management can run her horizontal and vertical runs. When Jerry informs you he can't make the specified date, you have to inform Lisa so she can then plan accordingly. Then you have to brief the executives, construction managers and other key stakeholders so they know what's going on and how the schedule and budget will be affected. This is because there is a program manager somewhere depending on an operational status on a given date so they can initiate an audit.

    Project Lead Example:

    Project Lead is Lisa or Jerry. They are working with their team to make sure the switches and cat5e cable are installed to the statement of work that the PM drafted. You're getting your hands dirty, you're leading a team. You're walking up and down the workspace making sure your team is doing everything it's supposed to do. Your scope is very limited - never to go beyond what was defined.

    So like previously stated, ask your manager exactly what he is expecting from you. It's probably a question of semantics.

    I get it all the time. If they tell me they want me to take the lead, I'm down in the forest cutting the trees. If they want me to manage, I'm sitting above the canopy making sure the trees are getting cut with respect to the defined space and schedule.
    Current: OSCP

    Next: CCNP (R&S and Sec)

    Follow my OSCP Thread!
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Posts: 1,722Member
    Project+ is a good starting point. It covers the basic knowledge and integrates fairly well with the PMBOK path.

    Another thing to look at is Scrum. The Scrum Guide is about 15 pages. The reason I think this could be useful is that it gives an Agile perspective on getting work done - not strictly Project Management, but it sort of hopes for a world in which Project Management wasn't needed (depending on how whimsical or realistic the Agilist/Scrum is feeling that day).

    That sort of gives you enough colour to start thinking that there can be more than one way, and that tools and techniques can be combined. There's a lot of frameworks and methodologies out there, and not all are as 'proven' as others. Mostly it all boils down to the same instrumental goals: organisation, planning, communication, clear responsibilities/roles. PM has existed in some form for 1000s of years (someone organised the pyramids, after all).

    But I'd say that I think from your current role as you describe it, part time PM isn't likely to work well. You need space and time to be able to concentrate on the job if you are going to do it well, and if there isn't a strong PM culture where you are working (eg established methods, a PMO, other PMs) it is even harder.

    The idea of "exhaust all steps before escalating" sounds alarm bells for me. Unless there is a formal process in place (essentially a script to follow), exhausting all steps encourages people to go beyond what they are capable of and what makes economic sense. I think you could push back a little, and stay with what you feel comfortable with and if asked be honest and say "That's a little beyond my skills, so I was hoping you could help me resolve this so I can learn for next time" or "That didn't seem like a good use of our limited resources when we could do x instead" where x might be buy a new mouse for Kathy in accounting rather than spend 2 hours trying to fix the nub on her trackpoint which gets dirty with mayonnaise every Tuesday.

    However, that's all part of the fun of your early career, getting thrown in the deep end, working for not very good companies and not very good bosses.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,400Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I just wanted to to give you guys an update on this.

    I found out I never became a project manager.

    My role did change a little, because now I track down equipment that wasn't installed. However, I still have do my other job duties as well.

    As far as troubleshooting goes, well I'm getting better at it. I stay on the phone with the tech until the issue is resolved. The techs seems really happy. when I do this.

    I agree with everyone else on here, it's hard to meet and attain metrics if there is no so SLAs. Also, I'm never sure when to escalate, I'm how much time to put into an issue.

    Thank you everyone for your comments.
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
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