Archives for the month of: January, 2010

When things are going wrong how hard is it to stop, reflect and, if necessary, redo?

For example, if you are in the middle of a project and discover that the solution is not going to work for the customer what do you do?  Do you push ahead and try to get the customer to rethink what they “really” need so that it matches what you are producing? Do you push your team to redesign, retest and deliver a new solution in a crashed timeframe; thereby causing undue stress and pressure on the team? Or, do you redo with full disclosure?

[Sidebar] I know what all you project managers out there are thinking “if you did proper project planning you wouldn’t be in this pickle. ”  I’m a PMP and know where you are coming from. Let’s assume that this happened for sake of argument.

My point is how willing are you to stand up and say, “We need to redo this!”  Admit that mistakes were made, take responsibility for the team and go to the customer with an apology and a new plan of attack.  It ain’t easy, it takes some guts, and it’s plenty risky.

With all the risk involved, I’m suggesting that it’s more important to do the right thing than to cover it up.  I’ve seen plenty of projects that try to do just that and more often than not the cover is eventually removed and the ugly truth is revealed.  That is not a good place to be.  I have been there and have learned this lesson the hard way.

By doing the right thing there’s a good chance you might feel some temporary pain, but in the long run you won’t have regrets.

So, if it’s the right thing to do, than (re)do.

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I sat in my respective house of worship on Sunday and it struck me – every week is the same routine, different message: Welcome, chorus, reading, hymn, candle lighting, chorus, sermon, hymn, postlude. I thought to myself  “What if we did this differently? What if…for one Sunday we just changed “how” we deliver the important messages?”

I invite you to (Re)Think how you do things. I’m hypothesizing that doing some things differently will open life up to new perspectives, renewed energy, greater creativity, empathy and awareness! Think about doing these things differently:

  • Your morning routine
  • The route you take to\from work each morning
  • Your next team meeting
  • Where you have lunch (and who you have lunch with)
  • Where you sit at the table for meals at home
  • Which shoe you put on first
  • Your daily planner
  • The type of pen\pencil you use to write
  • Your email signature
  • The website you get your news from
  • Your mobile ringtone\ringback
  • Flavor coffee\tea you drink
  • The radio station you listen to

What else can you (Re)Think?

What is it for you? Lose weight? Work out more often? Start yoga? Be more present?

We’ve all made them – New Year’s Resolutions! I don’t know what it is about the flipping of a calendar page that incites us to declare these challenges to ourselves. Ultimately, many of us fail to achieve our resolutions leaving us disappointed. Well, let’s see if we can change that.

In this post I present 5 tips towards resolution success!

  1. Choose 1 and only 1 goal to focus on at a time. It is important to not overwhelm yourself with a bunch of unachievable goals. It is best to pick one goal, focus on it, make it a habit, and then move on to the next goal.
  2. Write your goal down. Write your goal down in a visible place. You could even create a daily reminder on your calendar that pops up with your goal every morning. By writing it down you’ve made more of a commitment as opposed to just thinking about the goal. Also, many of our resolutions are big and ambiguous – “Lose weight.” How much? When? How? When you write your goal down treat it as if it were a mini-project. Be specific and realistic (15lbs) and Timebound it (9 months).
  3. Chunk it up. Break your goal down. What steps will you take to achieve your goal? For example, for losing weight you could chunk the goal up as follows: 1) Change Shopping Habits (no more Double Layer Chocolate Oreo Cake); 2) Start Exercise Routine; 3) Create Meal Plans; 4) Join weight management program. You get the idea. By chunking it up you make more manageable and achievable mini-goals that will lead you to greater success.
  4. Get it done! Each of those chunks above can be treated separately under GTD with specific next actions for each. For example – “Start Exercise Routine”. Actions associated with that may be: 1) Get number for local gym, 2) Buy new gym clothes, 3) Schedule physical exam, and so on. These actions are put one-by-one onto your Next Actions list.
  5. Review it often. Last, but definitely not least, is to consistently review your goal, the actions, and your progress. This review phase is a critical component for Getting Things Done. If you just write it down and never look at it again it is meaningless. Write it down, action it and review it.

Good luck to everyone with their 2010 New Year’s Solutions!