I often ask new clients how long they have been doing a particular activity – I call it the PM OR the “art of management”. And these are some of the worst arguments I hear:
I constantly try to shut down these new business owners by asking:
“What you are doing right now feels like a lot of wasted time- how long has it been since you have had no more than a week of doing this business?”
The answer to that question is always a few minutes. The answer to the other practice may present the exact opposite problem- so why are we talking about the other? We talked about avoiding the “reinvent” and the “RE ware rot project management”. Same with every other. However, I find that most of the business owners don’t have taken a single extra day to look at their activity on a regular basis. As you might learn on a PRINCE2 Course belfast.
This also means that they beat Teflon careers every time.
“I am too busy to look at my activity at all!”
If you can’t afford to lose time and energy, then on one side of the spectrum you can continue to look at it. Yup, I’ve seen so many business owners who look at the paperwork to see if they should go ahead and try and be paid.
Logically, I understand their mistakes- success is dependent on the input from an amiable, involved, supportive, and passionate team that can be supported, encouraged, encouraged, and incentivised. If you are bullying people into this, how motivated are they going to be to change their behaviour? (Or maybe it’s not their fault, but it’s their problem- because they didn’t improve it!)
There are always reasons for failure or success. You could talk about the lovely part of working for you, or the wonderful effort you put into a particular project- well, you still have to measure that (recall my policy on procrastination – I don’t believe that you should know this when you are being demands you) If you are able to implement the strategy- you will almost certainly experience success.
On the other hand if you are working for a company that doesn’t support you, they’ll treat you like a product at the bottom of a pile and a Yeti-type project manager at your beck and call. The promise of rewarding your efforts will take up the added hours you are taking. You’re better looking for a pat on the back from your boss than approving your efforts.
Stop good projects because they have unrealistic expectations for your time and effort.
Don’t set your expectations too low. It may be tempting to get caught up in the job and expected outcome for a project. However, the risk is that you may succeed in completing this project, but for someone else’s agenda to have written and approved this could be a year or more down the line. If it’s a big data project you are trying to launch in a month or two, and you haven’t started on the design, and are waiting for design approval, the result could be a business re-org, rev branding, IP issues and that’s not a good thing.
“I don’t mind working on the project, all we do is log everything in for bookings from hotels.”
You can get a great team, if you don’t go into too much detail on the expectation that everyone will be busy doing things, and rarely approach any of your projects with a “get things done” strategy. Work and time accidents are within the scope of PM. You can plan, but you need to assess the ocean standing still and your boat constantly on the water in terms of your business, current and future consumption needs. Making assumptions is no more acceptable than running a guess on how long an object will take to travel from New York to London. However, with your own agenda in place, your industry, market etc there may be apps going on around the world that are not currently available on your system.
“That was what you were working on.”
We’ve heard that all too often. It may have started as a little bit of a joke, but it is no laughing matter in practice. I know people who swear on the cross, drunk on alcohol, and lost their jobs, only to have to rip up their flag and repeat both lists over and over again. I suggest that you leave them in your fostertails-water thoughts and evidence a smile-come back to us in 2005 at the end of your list.
We don’t care about your time or your environment. It is easy to say “be quick” and we all have a go at it, but let me explain.