This week it's all about decision-making in various forms â including active decision-making personally or within your project or organization, or decisions essentially made by lack of action:
We've got great new articles on each of these areas of decision-making, plus related resources from our libraries of blogs and templates.
- Have you "flipped the Bozo bit" on anyone you work with, essentially deciding to no longer listen to them? (There could be consequences!)
- Do your project suffer from lack of proactive maintenance to tools, systems, data, or processes that you have to interface with, utilize, or update? If so, the organization has essentially made a decision to NOT maintain those aspects sufficiently and people and productivity are suffering.
- Are you tired of dealing with decisions that get un-made faster than they get made, causing extra work and driving everyone crazy?
- Have your teams decided to proactively decided to take advantage of lessons learned from previous projects, and to also provide such wisdom to future projects? (Our free spotlight template this week shows a simple format for reporting on major lessons learned. This decision should be easy!)
The Bozo Bit Dilemma
by Geof Lory
Whether you know it or not, you have a Bozo Bit in your brain for everyone you know or come to experience in some way. The Bozo Bit, as a binary digit, can be set to True or False, On or Off. True means you do think they are a Bozo (as in Bozo the Clown). When someone ticks you off or is blatantly mistaken in your view (or both), it's easy and tempting to simply give yourself permission to disregard all their input in the future by flipping their Bozo Bit to True. But flipping the Bozo Bit on someone you interact with on a daily basis-e.g. a customers or a team member-can be detrimental to your leadership and the success of the team and project.
Have you flipped the Bozo Bit on anyone lately? Geof Lory explains why we do this, the negative consequences of it, and 3 tools to help you un-flip it.
Read the article »
Spotlight – Other Project Templates, Tools, and Techniques
TPM – Total Productive Maintenance – and why it matters to IT !
by Chris Hill
The many years I have spent working in IT using project management and Six Sigma methods have shown me that there are many direct and strong analogs between manufacturing applications and IT, especially when dealing with operations or maintenance of legacy systems for core business customers.
Our IT infrastructure needs constant maintenance to keep it running, current and patched to prevent nefarious entry [and also easy for new projects to "interface in" for application additions or enhancements]. Regretfully, this is often a place where that appropriate investment is lacking, leaving teams to play catchup to support and work with systems that have long outlived their most productive years. TPM applied to software provides a new & systematic way to tackle this problem! TPM's 5 foundational "S" pillars yield help identify appropriate investments for keeping infrastructure and applications current.
Read Chris' translation of these critical pillars to IT
Related resources: See Chris Hill's entire series on Six Sigma and SDLC, starting here.
[BLOG] How to Avoid Endless, Energy-Sapping Project Decision Loops
Do your project feel like the movie "Ground Hog Day"-endlessly revisiting the same decision hoping to get them right? With all the stakeholders, team members, executives, others who may need to weigh in, how DO you get to decisions that get made in a timely manner, then actually stick? Alan Zucker lays out 6 powerful components of a decision-making process that will reduce chaos, churn, and rework.
[BURNING QUESTION] Common Decision-Making Pitfalls and How To Avoid
[BLOG] Project Management and Decision-Making (More thoughts from another experienced PM)
[TEMPLATE] Key Decisions Log (with advice on using to help make decisions stick)
Lessons Learned Meeting Report – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until May 19, 2016
Example "lessons learned" report from holding a team review to discuss how the project is going, and at the end, how it went. What did you do well? What did you not do so well? What was the bottom-line result for the project? What can you learn for next time that will help you and others on other projects? This template gives suggestions for the process, and a sample output report.
Get the Template »
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