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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Don't Delegate? Can't Manage

“If you want something done right, do it yourself.”
     True or false?

     That depends. If you’re a champion individual contributor, it’s true as can be. If you’re trying to be a good manager, it’s profoundly false.
     It depends upon your definitions, too. What is the “something” in the saying, and what is meant by “done right.”?
     If you’re charged with performing a task yourself, then the measurement of successful completion of it arises from how well you performed the actions that produced the desired result. If you carried the work out in an excellent fashion, you’re a champ.
     If, on the other hand, you are responsible for having the task done and are given personnel to do that sort of thing, you’re failing to do your job if you do the work yourself. The fact that you might have done it superbly is irrelevant. It wasn’t your job to do the work – it was your job to see that someone else did it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Project Planning? Fiction

     The guy at the neighborhood meeting was livid.
     “Just do what you said you were going to do!” he shouted at the developer. His two dozen or so neighbors all sounded their “Yeah!” They were fed up.
     They had bought their lots and contracted for homes to be built in this planned development sited on a big vacant field in the city. They were promised features including a pleasant pond surrounded by their nice little residences.
     Development had gone slowly. Most of the additional homes went up. The muddy track became a quarter-mile roadway, paved, center circle and all.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Stuart Smalley, Dilbert & the Project Manager

     “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it people LIKE me!”
     That’s the mantra “Stuart Smalley” used to intone while staring at himself in a mirror on Saturday Night Live.
     I loved the Al Franken parody, although it mocked a behavior management process I have worked with since I became a personal productivity consultant in the late 1980s. I felt the same about Scott Adams’ skewering of managers and project management in the Dilbert comic.
     In both cases, the genius of the satirists may have popularized their mockery to greater public effect than all the training, speaking and authoring of mere mortals who take those subjects seriously.