Saturday, February 28, 2015

Reflection: About Productivity

He has a "high execution", these were the words of the head of the department describing my performance - ps. execute as in "the carrying out of a plan, order, or course of action" and not as in "carry out a sentence of death!". I am flattered of course but I have not yet mastered the project management space. Project management skills are useful (even in day to day activities), thus I am reflecting about my knowledge about this space.

So, for me the essence of project management is all about accomplishing dependent tasks, which happens in two ways:
  1. executing the task itself
  2. eliminating unneeded dependency
But, there are other useful things that come along the way.

Task Breakdown
Reverse engineering by starting with the end result (example: a trip to the moon), decomposing it into smaller manageable chunks (check earlier post about work breakdown structure link), and identifying dependencies.

Dependency
Does task A really have to wait for task B before it happens?
Does it have to happen in this exact order? Sometimes it is suitable for me to flip the order of tasks
It is so tempting to follow the "two birds one stone" approach, yet I often find it much of a hindrance

Scope
Many times I start my day with a to do list that I fail to accomplish at the end of the day. Then I ask myself, why did this happen? Findings:
  • The pending tasks are not important and should not have been on the list in the first place
  • I executed some items that were not on the list, did I define scope right? were they not important in the first place? both ways, they ate some of the time/effort resources
  • The list was so optimistic, biting more than I can chew, underestimating the time or effort that I as a human need to accomplish all of this
Last but not Least
  • Follow up is key (sometimes it becomes nagging too)
  • Becoming obsessed with the question "what's next?"
  • Iterations, it does not happen over a single cycle. For example I compiled my thoughts in this blog post over three sessions, and not in one setting
And because lately I adopted the "progress is more important than perfection" mindset, this blog post is left without a picture.

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