Boiling Eggs to Train Project Managers
How does Scandiweb invest in training and educating its project managers? By boiling eggs, of course!
A few months ago, we started a new tradition at Scandiweb: weekly workshops for project managers. Normally these workshops are focused around providing various technical solutions and estimates for eCommerce projects, providing training in tools and software usage, or providing training in communication arts and presentations.
Being a project manager means that you should be able to analyze any project, see the logical steps and components, and come up with a feasible solution.
Whether it’s building software or building a rocket ship, to a project manager, it’s essentially the same thing.
So, for next week’s workshop, we decided to do something different.
We want to build a device that boils eggs after the user wakes up in the morning.
The device should be linked to the alarm on the user’s phone.
When the alarm goes off, the device starts to boil eggs, and once the eggs are ready, the user should be notified.
The user should be able to let the device know how many eggs they want in the morning, and if they are soft boiled or hard boiled.
The user should be able to let the device know whether to cool down the eggs after boiling or not.
The device should work autonomously as much as possible without user interaction or input.
The prototype should be possible to construct within a week using readily available components.
The project managers are required to design the solution (the hardware and the software) using the least amount of mechanical engineering possible, and explain how it works to achieve the desired results.
The project managers are expected to deliver a sketch of what the device looks like, while highlighting the different components that make it work, as well as inputs and outputs.
An explanation of how the device works should be provided.
The project managers are also expected to write a high level algorithm of how the programming of the device works.
Finally, they need to explain how the device will connect to the user’s phone and provide a high level algorithm of how that works.
What Happens Next?
A winning design will be selected, refined, translated to technical requirements, estimated, and finally built.
Through this exercise, we hope to encourage our project managers to think outside the box, and not to fear unfamiliar waters.