The common thread with all who thrive at Day Wireless Systems (DWS) is the team. Working as a team, relying on their team, compiling a fantastic team. However, a team cannot be successful without solid individuals participating on it, and the person often organizing those teams is the Project Manager. It could be said a PM is the center of a wheel with spokes, not the only important component, but a critical one that makes everything else work right together.
It would be easy to think Project Management is all about tasks and timelines, and to an extent, that is true. Organization of the details and deadlines of a project, along with managing its budget, are very important. But the key to a successful PM is listening to and working with people.
Even after thirteen years on the job, a former PM like Steve DiMatteo admits there is always more to learn. Finding the best solution throughout the project involves asking the experts and listening to their advice to formulate a plan. Regardless of experience or personal knowledge, anyone with the right capability who can dig in with team members, or other authorities as needed, has the foundation they need to get the right strategy and implementation.
Like with internal teams, unlocking the PM role includes figuring out how to work with each person in a way best suited for them. There will be issues or obstacles that come up, and it’s up to the PM to find the best solution. Listening to clients to fully understand the issue is the first step, understanding when to consult or bring in subject matter experts to discuss the challenge with client-side colleagues can be helpful. The ability to deal with tense moments or difficult people or personalities is a critical skill to finish a project with happy customers.
When DiMatteo was initially hired thirteen years ago, his boss gave him a project and said, “Go.” Project Management was a new thing at the time, and he was allowed to develop his own style, figure out what needed to be done while getting guidance and support when he needed it. DiMatteo took that time to really get to know the people and tools, including systems and software, along with the details behind what others do, why and how they do them. For example, instead of asking when a license would be granted, he asked probing questions about the process so he understood what was involved and whether there were any steps that might be escalated or put at risk.
DiMatteo has found this to be a typical process with DWS: encouraging staff to work inquisitively to discover solutions while providing support and training as needed. While he received his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, which Day Wireless encourages, the primary training is on-the-job and often involves tandem work at the onset. Ultimately, problem solving, critical thinking, and taking ownership are important pieces of the PM role.
While a large amount of business continues in the Western US region, many opportunities will continue to present themselves for the DWS team in the rest of the US and around the world, bringing new and interesting challenges for those with adventurous spirits.
Helping to grow the business is an indirect role for PMs because successfully completing projects results in strengthening client relationships, which often results in winning additional business. DiMatteo recalls being awarded a large Public Safety DAS project, its successful execution ended up unlocking a series of new projects and relationships with the client. More rewarding was hearing contacts from other cities reporting feedback from the customer and local fire marshal’s office praising DWS about the quality of work from the team.
DiMatteo joined DWS because it seemed like an interesting family-oriented company with good business ethics. Throughout his career that has continued to be true, providing a space for people who want to make an impact in their workplace.
Like any job at DWS, working hard, constantly learning and growing, and dedication leads to additional responsibilities and opportunities. For DiMatteo, this included an expanded territory, followed by moving to Senior Project Manager, and helping to bring on and keep a series of Fortune 100 companies that have in turn led to projects around the globe.
“I thought I would do (Project Management) forever,” said DiMatteo. “I’ve had opportunities to change positions and didn’t want to because I enjoyed what I was doing”. I am task and goal oriented and it was a good fit.” However, in managing the projects and, in turn, growing the relationships with DWS’ largest clients, the company has decided to develop a Strategic Business Division to support those companies and continue growth internationally.
With DWS poised to continue its growth, it’s an ideal time for ambitious people to join the team, as the organization continues to find and field increased and evolving projects around the globe. We are looking for good people to manage projects, among other roles. Visit our Job Opportunities page to view and apply for current positions.