How Helicopter View Helped Me to Manage Projects in Better Way

As a Sr. Manager in a software development and service company, I have to manage many projects simultaneously. Being a core technical person, I have made myself freely accessible to my colleagues and project team mates. Even a junior-most team member has the liberty to discuss his technical problem with me. Although, I do not take other’s monkey, many time I found myself so engaged in the technical stuff that I hardly have time to think about the project as a whole. At least, this was the case until I discover Helicopter View.

As you know, a helicopter is capable of viewing things from a high altitude and zoom-in to a specific area if required. Imagine your project (or program) as a large landscape and different aspects of your project as specific attention areas in the landscape. From 50000 feet altitude, sitting in a helicopter, you are able to view entire landscape. You notice some disturbance at one area and you lowered your helicopter to view what’s happening there. You land your helicopter at the disturbance zone, look into the problem, solve it and then take-off again to 50000 feet altitude. You keep on doing the same day after day, week after week to make sure that there is no disturbance in the landscape you are watching.

The same zoom-in you can do in your project. Your project landscape comprise of many specific areas – scope, quality and schedule being basic three areas. Then you have stakeholder communication, team management, risk management, reviews and reports etc. If you are technically involved in the project like me, then you have technical issues as well.

Knowing the Helicopter view technique, I keep myself sitting at the helicopter at 50000 feet all the day. I keep hunting for disturbance areas by looking into the project dashboard. Whenever, someone wants me to come to 10000 feet altitude, I zoom in, look into the problem, gives directions how to solve it and then zoom-out quickly. I note it down into my reminder system to hover over the area again to make sure that the disturbance is over. I get in touch with the person, whom I helped, to check if the problem has been solved.

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