There are never enough hours in a day, but always too many days before Sunday.
The guys at Project management knowledge underlined the importance of lessons learned in project management (full article at http://project-management-knowledge.com/lessons-learned-in-project-management).
Here are my comments:
- That a project’s scope, time, and costs were woefully underestimated: True, and in this times of crisis at most time, you have very little contingency inside estimations. I also feel that having a planned “incremental” scope is usefull instead than having unreacheable goals.
- Which vendors to use and which to avoid in the future – and why: This is part of team shaping and is definitely a part of experience each one of us has
- Which members of your project team need extra supervision to get things done: this is quite tricky, because team members vary and is not said you will have your team well formed and ready when starting a project
- Which members of your project team can be given additional responsibilities and opportunities for leadership development : as above.
- That certain instructions and communication are unclear leading to confusion: communication is the key for success and makes the difference between skilled professionals and a team
- That your current tools/equipment/technology aren’t up to the task at hand : agree on this
- That some corporate policies are outdated and decrease the efficiency of project processes: This is an old story every time true 🙂
This post as a comment at http://project-management-knowledge.com/lessons-learned-in-project-management/comment-page-1/#comment-5981
You cannot kill time without injuring eternity.
Celestine Chua at Stepcase Lifehack (http://celestinechua.com/blog) writes a good article dealing on successful Time management hints (full article at http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifehack/20-quick-tips-for-better-time-management.htm).
What follow are my comments:
- Create a daily plan. True, but leave you a little flexibility in order to deal with unexpected requests. Managing time doesn’t necessarily mean havin no contingency at all.
- Peg a time limit to each task. Ok on this, but it assumes you can have a correct estimate on time needed.
- Use a calendar. I agree is fundamental, but for a successfull use you need also other people use it (means that if you have people not updating/using the calendar, is not so effective to have it on your own…and yes! exist people at all levels that refuse to use a calendar)
- Use an organizer. Be sure to use an electronic one only if you’re confident in using it, otherwise a plain good old paper one is still ok
- Know your deadlines. And accept less those giving you too much or concurrent due dates
- Learn to say “No”. But evaluate to who you’re saying no: is sad but saying no to colleagues is easier than saying it to your CEO 🙂
- Target to be early. Challenging but achievable due dates are a good way of getting things done in time
- Time box your activities. Is desirable, but depands a loto on the kind of work and level of responsibility you have.
- Have a clock visibly placed before you. A true one, not a digital one, because gives immediate perception of passing time.
- Set reminders 15 minutes before. And try to avoid using “snooze” button.
- Focus. The elephant is eaten one spoon at a time, and so do activities.
- Block out distractions. Work is an exclusive activity, so don’t try to chat or do other things.
- Track your time spent. True! I’m surprised how often people avoid tracking what they do.
- Don’t fuss about unimportant details. This is quite tricky, since I prefer a good content in time, other than having non-perfect content late, but there are persons that want to release things the nearest to perfection they can, despite time taken (but of course tehy don’t pay for them 🙂 )
- Prioritize. True. This is the real key.
- Delegate. And remember to have time scheduld for checking the work at different levels.
- Batch similar tasks together. This is true but I think can change form person to person.
- Eliminate your time wasters. I agree on this, but is very linked to you attitude towards work
- Cut off when you need to. This is also a sign of your ability to manage time.
- Leave buffer time in-between. Cool off and then go ahead.
Note: As usually I tried to leave my comments on Stepcase Lifehack, but got deleted. They did not seem so offensive neither to Celestine nor to Stepcase. I would like to think is a tech problem…. 😦
Time rarely proceeds at a pace perceived by the individual as appropriate.
Martha Retallick at Freelance switch (http://freelanceswitch.com/author/retallick/) writes an article on the importance of mentoring and diffenet types of possible mentors (full article at http://freelanceswitch.com/inspiration/benefits-of-mentoring/).
Mentoring is an ongoing process throughout the working life: at first you’re the mentee and then you become a mentor.
Is an enabler of knowledge and productivity too many times forgot and confused with wasting time.
Is not only a way to take care of people, but is a way to make them more productive, especially if based on a structured process of mentoring and not left to employee good will.
This post as a comment also at http://freelanceswitch.com/inspiration/benefits-of-mentoring/#comment-55896
Time is natures way of making sure that everything doesn’t happen at once.
Never try and teach a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig.
It’s not easy taking problems one at a time, when they refuse to get in line.
Celestine Chua at lifehack (http://celestinechua.com/blog/) writes a good article on reason why being perfectionist is not a winning point, but, in some cases, can be a problem.
What Celestine says is that “[…] And a dedication towards perfection undoubtedly helps us to achieve great results. Yet, there is a hidden flip side to being perfectionists that we may not be aware of. Sure, being perfectionists and having a keen eye for details help us become excellent. However, as ironic as it might sound, perfectionism at its extreme prevents us from being our best[…]”.
I agree with Celestine that some of the main points are a global loose of efficiency and effectiveness and the missing of a big picture.
The main discussion with those being perfectionists relies on the pleasure and tranquillity deriving from making something perfect.
But in my opinion perfection is like “limits” in math: you can approach them, but cannot reach them.
Here are my comments on Celestine points:
- Draw a line: true, but, unless you’re not working under constraints of time nor money, prefer achieving the objective rather than making the best thing ever.
- Be conscious of trade-offs: agree on this, because each one of us is working with finite resources.
- Get a view of the big picture: this is one of the main points for me. Most of the times, I deal with people doing their own bit perfectly, but in a asynchronous way if compared to a bigger picture. I work as a programme manager (i.e. I manage different projects on a client, with Project Managers referring to me for delivery) and I take a part of my time to allign my PMs on cross project implications. And most of the times I get a wonderful “ooooooooh” 😉 when I explain them that on a higher point of view we could achieve a comparable result making a very good work, but without aiming at pure perfection
- Focus on big rocks: It’s one of PM basis. First use the hammer, then when the shape is given you can focus on details
- Set a time limit: this deals with constrains and is very important, because (unless you work with unrealistic expectations), there’s always a trade off between time and quality.
- Be okay with making mistakes: to err is human and is part of each one path of growth. And if mistakes can be avoided it’s ok, but if some part is made and solved, sharing this with the team is a grow moment.
- Realize our concerns: I agree on this. Planning is everything, but flexibility in delivery is the key.
- Take breaks: Helps to breathe for a while and understand where we’re heading
This post as a comment also at http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/why-being-a-perfectionist-may-not-be-so-perfect.html/comment-page-1#comment-351585