You know–Murphy’s Law and the chance of certain occurrences’ adversely affecting the project [phrase memorized by numerous PM training certification classes]. Everyone identifies these in the planning of their project, right? Well, they should.
However, all too often some never revisit their risks and end up with horribly derailed projects. Risks are not look once, log and move on things. They live and change with your project and need to be re-evaluated to ensure that the contingency plans that were made are still relevant and provide the necessary contingency.
One of the most critical times is during change activities. In the blur of the hurry to integrate the change, don’t forget to re-access the risk and the contingency plan(s).
Are you comfortable with remote workers and teams? If not you had better get there quick, because if you aren’t you are already way behind the curve. Some managers are continuing to sit in the industrial paradigm. They are breeding quiet contempt, which will not stay quiet long.
Remote workers and Result Only Work Environments are gaining momentum, as they should be. There are no set schedules. People work when they want, how they want and from where they want. The only goal is to get the work done in the most productive manner. These types of team have shown time over time to produce better results faster. Johnny and Sue don’t care who’s in the office when. Remote meetings make meetings not have to be face to face; and for widely-like opposite sides of the world-impossible. For most people, M-F, 8-5 behind a desk is NOT the most productive environment.
It has also been shown in MANY studies that people who are working toward a goal they don’t believe in, with no control over the manner, are highly likely to become mediocre. This is a management = Epic Fail scenario; failure to lead by embracing a paradigm shift. Mediocrity is expensive. It quashed morale, creativity and trust. All major success needs for good projects and businesses.
Butts in seats, 9-5, M-F are not necessary for most jobs. In fact there are VERY few that require this. Get over it. Adapt. Or get left behind.
Many companies suffer from paradigm paralysis. This is because in part, that they lack true leaders with vision. Many of these “leaders” without vision are stuck in the industrial paradigm. They want to know how much time it takes to do something they don’t truly understand, and really don’t want to embrace; and demanding ROI be manufactured to validate the need and or worth of shifting. This article Social Business Time further explains the pitfalls of not embracing the Social Business paradigm shift.
Many customers, suppliers, partners and customers have made the shift and are demanding that business shift with them. Some businesses like Amazon listened and are being rewarded for it. Others sadly have not and are on the path of the dinosaur.
Restaurants, coffee houses, nail salons, even churches; need to have online presence. It needs to be inviting, current, SOCIAL. This is our new communication paradigm. It does not replace face to face, it fosters it. Tweet-ups aren’t dead. Impromptu is made easy in this digital age.
And those businesses who are not investing in a presence are missing more than just defining their landscape; they are missing a chance to capitalize on positive customer experiences and mitigating customer complaints. And customers do not always wait until they exit an establishment to tweet or yelp or send some other digital communication about what they’ve encountered. The one rule that hasn’t changed: Bad reviews travel more and faster than good.
Have you asked each of your project team members these 3 questions?
What is your understanding of the project objectives?
What role do you play in delivering project results?
Is there anything in your way of accomplishing the results and what can I do to help?
If not, why?
Even if you think there is no room for misinterpretation of your project plans, instructions, timelines, risk evaluation, etc; are you willing to bet your project on it? Or is it worth just a bit more time, not just at the beginning of the project, but regular intervals to ensure it?
Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised with everyone on the same page. Sometimes the opposite is true. But it is much easier to reset the bar before 100 hour is down the tube and re-work is needed. I prefer to spend the bit of extra time…and you?
I really detest RED status items in my project report outs, period.
We have a family tradition of working on a very large jigsaw puzzle New Year’s Eve. The more challenging and large the puzzle, the better. Sometimes it gets finished that night, sometimes not. We have done round, odd-shaped, all one color, 3D, mystery puzzles, border-less, all the pieces shaped the same, and even turned them upside down (yes just the plain back side up.) My mother started the upside down thing when I was 5 because I went though puzzles so fast. It generally takes longer the second time around.
So, we have different approached for different kinds of puzzles. Sometimes its frame first, sometimes we sort by color (does not work with all the same color pieces-like the Red Menace round puzzle).
Which got me to thinking—how do you approach your projects? Are you a linear thinker or a chaotic thinker; or maybe something else? How is your team? Are the tasks you have to complete algorithmic or heuristic? Do you know, do you know the difference? Does your team?
Do you know how to spot the differences before they cause problems? Do you have a tool box to help you use these differences for the best benefit with the least friction? Can you build bridges to get over the obstacles you can’t get around or power through? How about shovels for digging trenches under?
Like working a jigsaw puzzle, every project must be worked in a fitting manner. There is no one size fits all. There are guidelines and frameworks, but in the end; each project and project team is unique and needs to be treated thusly.