Středa, 30. 5. 2018, 13:05
How to become a capable project manager? Learn to balance, unload yourself, communicate and prioritize
Tomáš Dostál as a project manager leads big Wunderman´s projects. He works here for almost 10 years and reveals his tricks on how to be a good project leader and what client approach measured up when working with clients and leading a team. Among other things, you will also get to know that in his leisure time, he repairs old vespas while being the president of the Vespa Club.
You are a project manager of Wunderman projects. What is your work about and who are your clients? What position did you start with? You have made a great personal advance in the company, haven´t you?
I started my career in January 2009 in the company as part of the Michael Schindler´s team, which is the Wunderman/MSC´s section that focuses especially on global clients.
At that time, each of us was doing all the work such as data, coding, e-mail HTML, sends off, reports and setting Microsoft events. Gradually, we began to specialize and, thanks to my previous experience, I focused on writing HTML codes for e-mail clients and the whole e-mail solution of the Exacttarget/Salesforce. For some time, I was a global training lead for all MSC centres.
In January 2013, I got a chance from Milan Hajíček to lead a big team for Ford´s clients in the management of their European websites. It was a great school, and this experience moved me up professionally, especially in terms of the team management and negotiations with the client. I learned a lot.
On April 2017, I acceded to the position of production lead and I am responsible for Ford´s e-mail campaigns, Microsoft marketing automation, e-mails and CashBack. Furthermore since March, I took over also the position of the project lead on a new project for the Beiersdorf – Nivea, where we migrate the eCRM system to the Salesforce for Europe, Asia and the USA.
You lead a team of people and lead people is not easy at all. What is your favourite method and how you use it?
I do not think I have something like a favourite method. Each team is unique, consists of different people, and finds itself in different situations and works in a different way. I have experienced managing from the very micromanagement, where everything is processed, described and determined to the smallest detail and everything is also checked in detail. If a team is advanced, it is advisable to use a lean approach when the leader gives the team a vision, freedom, and responsibility to come up to a defined goal on its own.
How does the Wunderman project management work?
Everyone sees this in a different way. According to my experience, there is a big difference between managing a single project (e.g. migration platform) and daily operations (e.g. Service Desk putting tickets into production).
Do you have some tips and tricks that every project manager should know or cope with?
A good project manager should have unparalleled communication skills – the client should never stay in uncertainty or in lack of response. If there is a trouble, do not hinder it. The problem recognized and addressed is lesser than a hidden one, later revealed by the client. The project manager should be able to balance the client – team relationship. I means to avoid favouring just one side while being fair and respected partner for both sides. A good project manager is also more than just e-mail forwarder, bringing its added value such as the development of the client or an agency team motivation.
A good project manager is supposed to have a sense of law and order? Do you have a tip for those who fight with chaos?
If I am extremely busy and overloaded with tasks, it definitely helps me write down all the tasks on a piece of paper and categorize and prioritize them. The priority is the relationship between impact and urgency. Once everything is entrusted to the paper, I am relieved and my mind prevails over the emotions. Then it is a joy to tick off each item with a thick permanent marker or crumple done post- it and throw it in the trash.
As regards tools, for example Trello.com or Google Keep helps, but the best tool is the calendar in the Outlook – I have everything there. What is not there, it does not exist. 😊
Now you are part of it the Wundermann Talent Program. Tell us more about it.
The talent program is individual. At the beginning, development goals are defined and specific steps are set accordingly. It’s not just about taking part in the training, but about the overall development and plan for a longer period of time. In my opinion, the Talent Program offers me to get a vision where I want to lead up within the Wunderman or WPP and I am grateful that I was given this chance.
You are animating and building projects while ensuring integrity of each part of the project and the whole. But in privacy, you have such an interesting hobby of renovating old scooters. Describe it a little closer.
In recent years, I have become interested in classic vespas – these are the two-stroke, stinking like Trabant and hand-shifting. They are constructively brilliant and simple and almost all the service on them can be done just using the ordinary hand tools and on the sidewalk.
Now I have my own garage/workshop where I can go into bigger things both on my vespas and those of my friends. I have got two old school vespas for daily riding to work, and two veterans for Sundays. One of them is 1963 model, and I have assembled it over the last year. Working in the workshop fills a lot of my spare time. Every month, I spend a fairly big portion of my wage for spare parts, tools and various enhancements. For me, it’s not just lifestyle, but the “way of life”. I am also interested in all culture associated with it, including the fashion, history and music.
To make things even harder, I also took up an old Citroën 2CV – “duck”, which I gradually improve. The duck is such a bike on four wheels and people saw it many times in car chasing scenes from the famous French Gendarmerie series. I am gaining experience from training courses at the Citroën service, which I attended for the last two winters on Saturdays.
How did you come to the hobby?
I do not like the mass transportation and the traffic jam at all, and that is why I considered riding a scooter on a daily basis as the most convenient way to get quickly from Vinoř to Smíchov. And I thought that if scooter, then vespa. No, it is not a moped or something like that – it is vespa. It started in 2009, the same year when I joined Wunderman. Ever since, I went from small used automatic “fifty” through a new strong “three-hundred” up to the big travel motorcycle Moto Guzzi.
Eventually, I fell in love with the classical vespas that are not so powerful, but the ride is absolutely authentic and true. Then I became a member in the Vespa Club and I am a President of its Prague branch since 2015. We ride vespas outside the Czech Republic (always on the axis), and the largest expedition was 5 000 km long and ended in northern Wales. This year, we plan to go to the Alps and then Gdansk. I would like to invite all who want to learn more about vespas to take part in our regular meeting PragoVespa, which takes place from 27 to 29 July.
What do you like especially in Wunderman? Why do you like working here?
I am really delighted that Wunderman gives me the opportunity to grow and develop. I like to build teams, recruit new people, help them grow and invent processes. A flexible working time and informal environment is an extra bonus. I am glad that my bosses always had time to listen to me and help me. There are a few people who inspire me and from whom I try to learn.
- Head of the E-mail Production Team in MSC (Microsoft Client) and as a project lead, he is in charge of Beiersdorf – Nivea.
- He has been working for 10 years in Wunderman.
- In his free time, he enjoys traveling, geocaching and books.
- He is inspired by James May, Fred Dibnah, Pauline Black and Marek Slobodnik.