April 20, 2016

Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles

Items to revisit before starting any project.  Revisit the list throughout the project’s lifecycle.

  • As much as possible, get status and updates from everybody every day. Everyone is important. Everyone has been doing more than you know.
  • Listen intently. Use deliberate eye contact. Give attention.
  • Give a heart-felt effort to understand.
  • As much as possible, make your communications a gift to others.
  • Create order out of disorder.
  • Give and give and give without needing to receive back.
  • Try not to block the words of others. You don’t want to miss the good things that others have to share.
  • Project Managers are leaders. Take the lead. Have a plan. Prioritize. Have an agenda. Anticipate. Be an example. Lead the way.
  • Adapt to local terminology when you can. Create terminology and definitions when you must.
  • Be curious within your need to know.
  • Stimulate imagination and adherence to purpose to ignite and sustain vision.
  • Re-frame and re-frame information and concepts until people “get it”. Aim to explain with new phrases, new diagrams, and whatever it takes.
  • Keep team and end user involvement high to generate more buy-in and to keep progress moving.
  • When there’s too much to do and you don’t know which step is best, just do the next thing that you see in front of you.
  • Respect everyone’s time by being prepared.
  • Remember that it’s the business processes that count. Technology provides the tools.
  • Hi-tech is great but sometimes lo-tech, high-touch (as in touchy-feely solutions are a better fit).
  • Sometimes it helps to plan backwards. Keep the end purpose in mind.
  • Use simple tools when you can.
  • Use posters, wall charts, white boards and projectors at times rather than email and file attachments.
  • Applaud strengths and excellence. Applaud the overcoming of obstacles.
  • Email is a great tool for communication but don’t forget that the phone and face-to-face will sometimes work better.
  • When you reach important milestones, celebrate!!
  • Celebrate the small wins too (even if you’re a party of one).
  • Use all of the sincere confidence that you can muster.
  • Be discreet.
  • Be a cheerleader. Encourage. Avoid scorning and scoffing.
  • Keep secrets and maintain your trustworthiness.
  • Give honor where honor is due.
  • Give gratefulness where gratefulness is due.
  • Build relationships ahead of your need to ask for a favor. In some relationships, you will give more than you receive. In other relationships, you will receive much more than you give.
  • Collaborative teamwork and working together is beautiful to behold and something to celebrate.
  • As basketball Coach John Wooden said: “There is no substitute for work. Worthwhile things come from hard work and careful planning.”
  • There exists science and there exists art. Both have their place.
  • Pursue excellence. Pursue Kaizen (continuous improvement). Keep pursuing when the project is complete.