Monday, 27 June 2011

Bikini Diet for Business

Most people that know me don't think of me as competitive. I'm quite level headed and sometimes appear laid back, but the truth is I'm a quiet Exocet missile, when I lock on to something nothing is going to stop me.

Why am I rambling on about this? Well recently my wife and daughter decided that they were going on a diet to get into the Bikini for the summer. After much jibing by me, they made some throw-away comment about not understanding and never having been on a diet, so I threw down the gauntlet and found myself on the Ducan diet. 
This is ridiculous as I don't need to go on a diet, but I just couldn't resist the challenge. And I don't even have a bikini.

I've been on this damm diet for a month, eating no carbs and lots of protein, given up on countless great dinners and been off the booze for a month. Even my favourite Malbec collection is gathering dust!.
What kind of fool am I ?

The more I've been on it, the more determined I have become, I don't even need to be on a bloody diet and in just 4 weeks I've lost 1 Stone in weight!!  (or 7 kg if you're metric)

Why the hell are you writing a blog on this Gary, after all whats the point you are making I hear you ask.
The point is this.

Get something that get's your goat, something that drives you, get challenged, or just find something that gives you a burn in your business or personal life, you will be surprised how much you can accomplish.

Too many people either don't finnish what they start or worse still don't start......yet, 

Ill start on Monday ??!!

The diet thing is a small and insignificant example, but it got me thinking.

I try to live my life in this way, being driven by my own motivation. Life is too short.

What's yours?

Bring on the next challenge!!!
and a plate of triple chocolate Ice Cream

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Lies and dashboards

Sorry to tell you this, but the majority of management dashboards are far from the truth. This is especially true for project management.
This is how it works. No one wants to hear bad news, and the way it manifests itself is “give me bad news and I give you pain”! Don’t give me problems, give me solutions.
This is fine and I agree in principal, but the implication of this approach is,
many Dashboards are not a real reflection of the situation to avoid drama and escalation.

Things look nice and green, sometimes a little yellow, but overall not a real reflection of either the key activity, Issues or the real status of a project.

What’s the answer I hear you ask ?
It depends where you’re at. If its an existing project, get someone the team trust in the middle as a buffer, go back to the source, the statement of work and build the real truth from there. Make people feel safe to be transparent.
What was committed to the customer. Now look at the key milestones, do they really reflect what was committed at the outset, and honestly review the key milestones and the realistic delivery dates and any potential issues in the real world.
Now you have this baseline review the project plan, and see where you are against it and the real dates.

Now you have an honest appraisal of where you are, what the gaps are and the realistic dates that can be achieved.

If it’s a new project, recognise that the price of pain drives people to give you a massaged outlook.

By the way, this is not only present in project management. I was recently on a plane sitting next to an FD of an organsiation, who explained to me that the CEO he worked for always tells him, “I’ve never missed my targets in last 5 years, not planning on doing so now” What do you think his dashboard looks like ?

By the way this doesn’t mean we should be soft and not deal with the key issues that are present, I’m just suggesting you can create the right culture to be more transparent. It’s a bit like empowerment; people wont take it unless they feel safe to do so.

So the truth is, the rough and tumble of business life drives a certain behavior, but the great news is once you understand this, you can create an environment that gives your team the safety to be honest and realistic, so you can understand and deal with the real issues and be comfortable and confident that you are acting and making business decisions based on the real truth.