Interview with Praveen Malik
Praveen has a unique distinction of working in different business environments viz. software product development, software services, product-oriented software services, and software as a service. His experience includes wide-ranging exposure to different application domains like Healthcare, Government, Services, Insurance, and Banking. He has worked and interacted with clients across different geographies – USA, Europe and India.
He has had associations with organizations like Spheris Inc., HCL Technologies, Aithent Technologies and RMSI in the capacity of program manager and a PMO member. Praveen was instrumental in establishing and eventually heading, India Development Centre for Spheris Inc.
Nowadays, he devotes his time to providing consulting services in project management and software engineering. He regularly undertakes assignments on sales support, project planning, project tracking, business analysis, software design, and process definition & optimization. He also provides formal high-end training in project management through his project called Pm by Pm
Hi Praveen! Could you please introduce PM By PM and what led to your founding your own project management consulting and education company?
PM By PM that's a very odd name. Hey everyone, this is Praveen Malik. I've established a small boutique firm to provide project management advisory and training services, based in India. PM By PM combines my profession, that is project management, and my name Praveen Malik. It is not hard, but it's very unique, people remember it, they remember it because of my name. Everyone who comes in contact with me, remembers it. Why did I establish it? Why did I start PM By PM? In 2008, I was handling large corporate projects and I was very successful at it. These projects were multi-vocational and quite complex and people appreciated my skills. I was an expert at project management, and I always wanted to do something of my own. I started PM By PM at that point in time. I took a mid-career shift to provide freelance project management services. Simultaneously, I started writing the blog which is pmbypm.com, people appreciated that too and it gave me a lot of confidence to continue the journey. Today, pmbypm.com is a global brand. It has a global clientele, people from around the world come to the site and like what I'm writing. I have international clients, I have successfully trained and mentored many people in their project management journey. I'm a trainer at heart and I would like to continue doing this.
What are some of the pitfalls your clients experience when they're establishing internal project management practices?
A great man once said that the change is constant and project management is all about change. I've seen many pitfalls by implementing project management practices for my clients, a number of them, and these are not related to project management at all. These are related to basic work ethics and resistance to change. Let me talk about a few of them. Number one, senior management is more than willing to fund for implementing the project management practices. When it comes to them, they're not willing to change themselves. They don't realise that the leadership flows from the top unless they change, nobody else will. Number two, it's about documentation, and documentation is most important. Many people believe that documentation is just a waste of time. They don't want to document anything. What they don't realise is, that unless they document they will not know what has been successful and what has been a failure, they will not know whether they're going in the right direction or not. Number three, and this is the biggest one of all, and it happens all the time in the corporate world. Many people try to point out the mistakes of others. They jump on every opportunity to find the gaps. But, when it comes to them, they think they're always right, they don't want to learn anything from their mistakes. Learning from the past is as important as implementing something new. Without it, you won't be successful.
What is the main project management methodology you utilize?
I don't utilise any particular project management methodology. This may sound very strange coming from a project management adviser, but it's true. I have two reasons for this. Number one, I work with various different clients to implement project management practices in their organisation and each client is different. They work in different business, different industry, different domain, under different political and geographical conditions. There are many more differences, what is suitable for one of them is definitely not suitable for the other. Let me give you an example. Scrum is very popular nowadays. It is suitable for product companies specifically, IT product companies. It doesn't work in the oil and gas industry. It doesn't even work in IT service industry. The second reason, I'm a great proponent of the guide, it is a project management standard. It is not a methodology, it is not a framework as many people believe it to be. But, every methodology is based on being a standard. At the base level, every methodology has the same kind of ingredients. They work within the framework of a product management standard. I try to implement the project management standard rather than a particular methodology. My humble advice to anybody who is in this profession is, don't follow a methodology because it's popular, follow something that is useful for you.
What has been the feedback from clients of PM By PM?
The feedback has been great so far. It feels great and it feels very good. Almost every day, I receive nice comments on my blog and social media channels, and it keeps me motivated. There's an old saying that says, seeing is believing. I would suggest you hop on to my blog or go to any of my social media channels and check them out yourselves. You can go to pmbypm.com or Quora, LinkedIn, Facebook or any other social media channel that I maintain. I would like to thank everybody who has believed in me and who has stayed with me in my journey so far. I would like to thank everybody for their appreciation.
What's next for your work with PM By PM? What are the main programs, partnerships and curriculums you'll be focusing on throughout 2019?
We are currently working on a multi auto blog. It will have taught written articles on project management. It will have a medley of topics related to project management and will be contributed by global project management experts. We will maintain it, but the contribution is going to come from many different people, all experts and leading authority in their domain. We want to do this for two reasons. Number one, we want to give a platform to PM experts to showcase their knowledge and to promote their services. Number two, we want to give knowledge to the project management practitioners. We want to provide the latest trends in the industry that have been happening all over the world. It is going to be free. Keep a lookout for it this year.