Tag Archives: project management

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project micromanagement

Project Micromanagement and Associated Costs

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Working remotely isn’t business as usual, only in a different place. It requires some different skills. Especially management skills. Are you dishing out project micromanagement?

Ask around, no one seems like the concept of being micromanaged. In some cases, managers will tell you it has become a necessity due in-part to poor performance.

I’ve even had people argue that micromanagement is actually more efficient than a more strategic approach to management and oversight.

Micromanagement is never more efficient, it’s a time waster for everyone.

It is a tactical approach, and is not strategic.

It costs more.

Project Micromanagement

Whether you are working closely together in a physical setting, or you’ve had to change things up a bit to accommodate the social distancing standards, project management skills matter.

Certainly, there are technical applications to project management, but largely that is not what I’m referencing. What you may want to consider is your basic habits and approaches to managing work.

Many employee teams are accustomed to completing their work to the eighty percent level. Leaving out about twenty percent of the really hard stuff. They turn in the assignment and then wait for management to ask for revisions or modifications to the work.

Employees who have been closely monitored learned a long time ago that spending extra time to perfect their work only results in having a supervisor critique the assignment causing additional work.

In response, they’ve cut back, and stopped trying so hard. Instead they do a minimum requirement, turn it in, and wait for feedback.

Cases like this are abundant. Supervisors and direct reports alike are pushing work back and forth costing time and wasting energy.

It is a form of micromanaging a project. Tactical, but not strategic.

A Better Practice

Instead, management teams, especially teams working remotely, should consider teaching the strategic aspects of the knowledge and skill requirements.

This in turn will create a culture of employee teams who deliver completed work. Not drafty assignments that waste time.

The psychology of work is largely shared within the culture. However, the culture across different work environments may shift both expectations and performance indicators.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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good jobs

Good Jobs Are Not For Robots. Not Yet.

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Are human jobs at your organization in jeopardy? What are the good jobs?

Ask a group of people if they believe things in the World around us are rapidly changing, and many will say, “Yes.”

Automating Job Tasks

In nearly all business sectors humans are being replaced by machines. You can go to a movie theater, a retail store, or to a bank and you’ll find jobs being replaced by machines.

It is nothing really new. Have you ever used a car wash or an ATM?

Vending machines have origins back to the late 1800’s. Since at least the 1940’s you have been able to drop some money in a Coke machine and get a Coke. Some sales transactions haven’t required a human to do each and every task for more than a century.

In manufacturing environments efficiency, speed, and accuracy are paramount. Human jobs are being replaced, yet again, this is nothing new.

Some suggest the replacement is because of a lack of skilled labor. Yet, having the skill to add or subtract, file a piece of paper alphabetically, or move the box to the freight truck is easily automated.

Also automated are job skills connected to welding, gluing, and machining. Are those labor skills?

Yes, our World is changing. What are the best jobs?

Good Jobs

Job security really exists most in the platform of projects and not tasks.

Granted, you may be able to proclaim that a project is made up of many tasks but the task will likely be the first victim of automation.

Still today projects largely require human intervention. The human must think, act, and decide about how things will proceed. A task itself may be completed by a machine, but often only after human intervention has made the choice to put the machine into action.

When we query the data, that’s an automated task. Using the Keurig to make a coffee, is some form of an automated task. That remote car starter on your key chain, yes, an automated task.

Good jobs are for the project manager, not the task doer. Slowly bit by bit, tasks are being replaced by machines. It is nothing new. Only it is happening faster and faster as great minds strive to do more in less time or with less effort and more accuracy.

Good jobs are still out there. Human to human transactions still have value over human to machine in many ways. Only it is about navigating projects and not about doing tasks.

At least for now.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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realistic workplace expectations

Realistic Workplace Expectations and Your Work

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Are the expectations realistic? Realistic workplace expectations may start with your own personal outlook.

Sure, the boss may have some expectations that are a stretch. Customers may have some high expectations. Yet beyond the boss or your customers, often the expectations you place on yourself are even higher.

When you commit to the project what are your expectations?

High Expectations and Time

If the customer says, “That will work.” Do you stop there, or do you insist there is still more perfection required? More that can be done, more that should be done?

Many people are watchful for the critic. They have to get things just right because they know the critic is waiting right around the corner.

A critical eye ruins your masterpiece, so you spend the extra time to make it just right. In the absence of praise, you feel deflated and defeated. It must not have been good enough.

Your afterthought, “I could have done better with a little more time.”

Realistic Workplace Expectations

It is true for the school paper that is due, the academic thesis, or the project that will be presented to the board of directors.

It is only true sometimes though. The other option is to assume your work is superior to all other works. Anyone questioning the quality or accuracy is only envious or jealous.

Certainly, we may experience some or all of these scenarios. Have you asked yourself about the reality of your work? What is realistic?

Often realistic expectations start with yourself. You decide exactly how far you’ll go within the parameter of a specific amount of time.

At some point, we say, “Good enough.”

The best question then becomes, “Are you being realistic?”

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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project management

Project Management Done For Us Not To Us

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Many professionals can cite project management on their resume or curriculum vitae. It is often what people do, work together for a common goal. What are your experiences with project management?

Some people want off the committee, they grow tired of the project, the team, the conflict, debates, arguments, and turmoil. It may feel like little is being accomplished and no one knows the goal.

The truth is that project management can be done to us, or for us. How are you managing or leading projects?

To Us or For Us?

When the project is done to us it feels forced. The project is rooted in demand and command, not opportunity. This sometimes works. It is a push style. The authoritarian approach. Today, many would label this old school.

There is a different approach. It is a pull style. It is what draws people in, what inspires them, motivates them, and makes the project a delight.

The project feels like it is for us. The project is an inspiration. Engaged contributors want to start early, work long, and stay late.

Meetings are short and focused, people can’t stand to be away from the work at hand. Not because they hate the meeting, but because they can’t wait to get started.

Vision is shared, contributors are happy, the talk is of success and accomplishment.

Project Management

Does project management appear on your resume? What is your approach to projects?

Considering there are five generations active in our workforce today leading projects can be complex. Getting people on board, bought in, and motivated is critical.

Our highest job satisfaction often develops from respect. Pushed people don’t feel respected. Push implies forced. Push implies done to us, not for us.

Pull on the other hand can be a delight. It feels like it is there for us.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Long-term Thinkers

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Around the workplace people are often expressing concern about accountability. Of course, the accountability they seek is usually not for themselves but is directed towards someone else. Often there are well meaning managers who come up a little short on holding themselves or others accountable.

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It seems that large numbers of people prefer the easier road in life, and of course there is nothing really wrong with that except that often those same people resent the fast-trackers, water walkers, and anyone getting ahead. By nature some people want to do the easy stuff first, the things that can be finished quickly, and require minimal effort to receive a check-off from the to-do list. Also, there is a belief that this is the stuff that gets noticed first, it’s the squeaky wheel, and what will make them appear most valuable.

Are these people short-term thinkers?

What about the hard stuff? What about things that can’t be done immediately or things that require multiple days, months, or some cases even years to complete? The harder to do stuff often faces procrastination and it is put off because it requires commitment, persistence, and focus. Most of all it requires a relentless pursuit of the goal to conquer and beat the odds.

What about that stuff? Perhaps we need more long-term thinkers.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, corporate trainer, and keynote speaker that specializes in helping businesses accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. Reach him through his website at http://DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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