Philosophy of Management

You can buy a man’s time,
You can buy a man’s physical presence at a given place;
You can even buy a measured number of skilled muscular motions per hour or day.
But you cannot buy enthusiasm;
You cannot buy initiative;
You cannot buy loyalty;
You cannot buy the devotion of hearts, minds and souls.
You have to earn these things.
Clarence Francis (Chairman of General Mills)
With Consultants in mind, I would add:
Want discretion? Be discreet.
Want generosity? Be generous.
Want new ideas? Have an open mind.
You get what you sow.

Project tracking and reporting tools

Finding the right tools to manage a big project can be fraught with politics, price constraints, and just what you are ‘given’. Sometimes is just comes down to what the PM is familiar with. Sometimes it is proprietary software that is mandated to be used either by the implementer or record, the PMO, client or a particular department. Certainly, there will be a mix of MS Project, multiple versions of Excel spreadsheets on a SharePoint site, maybe some powerpoint and a bug tracker tool. It seems that the choice is usually ‘what we used last time’ or ‘there is no budget for a software solution’.

Well, I am checking out ProjeQtOr to see if it is up to the job. All in one program, it does the project planning, manages resources, costs, risks, quality tracking, bug tracking, task and bug assignment and progress tracking, and it installs on a Windows server. Oh, did I mention that it was free & open source (sure to fit in anyone’s software budget)?  And before you say, ‘training cost’, look me in the eye and say you are not going to have to spend some time training someone on MS Project, share point or all those Excel spreadsheets. And there is the cost of all those licenses and IT time to install and manage security access. Then there is all that time spent each week updating status’, generating reports, managing file versions, recalibrating milestones with change orders…..I think you can get the picture.

Fair & Open disclosure: I have no connection or receive any benefit from the software developer….other than maybe a future project that is a little better tracked & reported on. Then again, we all benefit from that.

Happy Monday

 

The Starbucks moment

Saying thank you to the project team members every once in awhile helps remind them that the project they are in the middle of, is worthwhile, is needed by the company, and that every team member’s contribution is appreciated.

This can be done on reaching a milestone, a date circled on the calendar or spontaneously by the PMO when the going gets tough (storming phase anyone?). The starbucks moment could indeed be just an hour in the boardroom with a premium coffee and nibbles, a T-shirt, a gift card or maybe a even catered lunch.

Giving the team a pat on the back, a bit of time to talk about anything other than shop and a token of appreciation will go a LONG way at brushing over the rough spots in a project. You never know, maybe that team member who was thinking of transferring/quitting might stay longer.

That Starbucks Moment

Follow up vs. micro managing

Spoiler alert…the world according to Dilbert gives great insight.

 

What is deemed a reasonable amount of oversight by a manager may be perceived as micromanagement by team members.

While some teams might possess sufficient psychological safety to embolden team members to voice their concerns, the culture within other organizations or teams might actively discourage this sort of straight talk. In such environments, the frustration felt by the team members festers resulting in impacts to their productivity and slowly poisoning team morale.

Are you just following up or are you micromanaging?