Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Wonder why you're not getting the feedback that you expected? emails not being responded to? meetings not being attended? pizza not being delivered? I just experienced something like that. I started to notice the visit rate drop significantly to the site ITProjectGuide.com and to this blog - the reason? my domain name ITProjectGuide.com expired...and the reason I didn't know? when I originally registered I used an email address that is no longer valid - so the expiration notice went to the great Internet nowhere. Back to the basics - check the lines of communication, follow it back and see where the breakdown is. Indicators were there for me - but I assumed 100 other things and not the basics.....lesson learned.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Pickle Jar by Jeremy Wright

Recommended Reading - http://www.alistapart.com/articles/pickle

Know your strengths......

Here's a great example of someone knowing their strengths:

and his boxing record: http://www.boxrec.com/boxer_display.php?boxer_id=14536
King of the 4 rounder. Do you know your strengths and how to apply? Is it better to focus and improve your strengths as opposed to focusing and improving your weaknesses?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Too much work...


I read an article in the Wall Street Journal about bottlenecks in development and 'How Innovation can be too much of a good thing' by George Anders. It mentioned the The Pollaczek-Khintchine formula (I never heard of it before...) - which got my interest - and how Slack Time can help reduce bottlenecks in processing. Regarding 'slack', I read the book: Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency by Tom DeMarco a few years ago....anyway - what I got from the article is that - to much innovation (to many new ideas being worked on) at the same time could reduce productivity and the reference to the P-K formula is that working on many 'small' projects is less efficient then a few larger ones.......where Slack (by Tom DeMarco) talks more about providing some 'slack' time to provide people time to 'think' and be more effective. Where is all of this going...not sure. I think there are two different issues/ideas here - one being efficiency and how the start up times contribute to reduced productivity (there's some physics reasoning to this also - something about bodies in rest and bodies in motion) - and the other idea about effectiveness and how focus and 'time to think' adds to this. I think the common denominator of efficiency and effectiveness is f0cus - focus on the ideas/tasks that provide the most (real or potential) benefit. This will reduce startup/transition times making you more efficient and also provides the extra time to 'think' and be more effective (and the end result of focusing on the more beneficial items makes you more effective also).....overall just some general ramblings caused by reading to much and being up early in the morning.

PR 2.0

PR 2.0 By Brian Solis, blogger at PR 2.0 and President of FutureWorks

Very good overview of the current (and future?) of marketing....includes a look at some tools and approaches - there's something in there that will make someone a few million dollars

Friday, June 8, 2007

Effective email...???

Is there such a thing? How many times have you seen flaming email messages flying around - increasing tension, problems, etc.....everyday - right? I read a book some time ago 'On Killing' by Dave Grossman - the basic message was that the less personal the interaction the easier it is to kill - sound familiar? Long range artillery or long range email....same distant, impersonal exchange with same effect in many cases. The order of communication should be:
  • face-to-face
  • phone
  • email
with the most effective being the face-to-face of course. The more sensitive, urgent, meaningful the communication has to be the more personal it should be. Utilize email for reinforcing a prior message - not as a primary method......tough to follow this advice, I know, but it will reduce the 'incoming' salvo's.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

And the difference is..........


Just finished reading Jean Tabaka's article on 11 ways agile adoption fails on stickyminds.com. I could state that I'm an agile enthusiast - but I won't because I'm beginning to think differently. The same issues/problems described would cause any project under any methodology to fail, for example: Denial is Embraced Instead of the Brutal Truth.......mmmm - sounds like the Space Shuttle. It all comes back to people (not resources - people) - give the right person any tool and the job gets done - give the wrong person the top/best tool out there and you still end up with problems. Methodologies are important - compared to other methodologies, but the focus needs to be on the people.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Very Simple Communication Plan

Here's a link to a very simple communication plan:
http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=puDAkq4iYr86d8H2ZQsJQeQ&output=html&gid=0&single=true&range=A1:F7

but it seems to do the job - any suggestions?

What's wrong with the news



Saw this on Amber Mac's blog http://ambermac.typepad.com/
and just had to add it in.......this is communication of a real issue in a direct way.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Take a test

http://discoveryhealth.queendom.com/questions/communication_short_1.html

I got a 70........very good??? Be honest and see if your score matches your expectations. Here's some advice from Microsoft (yes- that company):
http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/resources/management/leadership_training/bosses_7_communication_tips.mspx

The one I like best is '7. Don't hide behind e-mails.'
________________________________________

A person with a listening disability usually compensates by talking more

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Communication


Of all the reading I've done regarding project management and risks - the one major risk identified over and over is intrapersonal communication. As defined in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpersonal_communication ' - Interpersonal communication is the process of sending and receiving information'. I'm in total agreement that this is the top risk for any project and the more people and groups involved the more critical it is to include some level of effort/time in developing and improving our communication skills. Some basics:
  • Consistent and constant communication helps
  • Feedback is essential - if nothing more then repeating back the same message
  • Don't assume anything
  • Provide, in your message, the intended feedback and timing of the feedback
  • Determine your communication plan during the planning phase and utilize prior best practices and knowledge
  • Understand that everyone (EVERYONE) communicates and understands differently, it's your responsibility to understand this and adjust your communication appropriately
  • Repeating the same message in various formats, contents, etc. helps
  • The medium always effects the message and IS SOMETIMES THE MESSAGE ITSELF
  • Measure your communication effectiveness and adjust - if you think that person A never understands, perhaps it you're communication ability that is lacking