Wednesday, 15 October 2014
Friday, 3 October 2014
Monday, 15 September 2014
I believe that social media should be one of those rapid-fire, snappy, banter-y environments where everyone is chatting and bouncing ideas off each other.
People who just use Twitter and the like to keep spamming out their links are missing the point. You could be having a conversation with your customers, or at least an argument.
The counter-argument is based around "I can't get the message across in a limited number of characters". My response to this is "try harder". I recall a essay task on my MSc where the task was to write a 1500 word piece on something or other. Some of the students started griping about the lack of words but the lecturer replied "do you think that you'll have that luxury when you're out there?". So true. I've been asked for 1-page pieces, 100 words, 250 words, 300 words, three pages, etc. You get the point. It's about making use of what you've got access to. But if I'd just written "have a look at x, here's the URL", I'm not sure how well that'd have gone down...well, actually, I know how it'd have gone down - badly.
So cut out the links and start to work to the limit you have. If I want to find 30 ways to tie a knot, then I'll find it via Google.
Thursday, 15 May 2014
When I'm getting thoroughly wound-up with the politics of public-sector projects, I bear in mind that my external work makes money, runs smoothly and follows similar principles to the main job.
As a PM, I'm used to criticism. I've had people telling me "You're rubbish" when they really mean "I'm threatened by your thorough analysis and understanding of the problem". What I know now is that I can successfully run my own business that they aren't involved in the politics of and don't influence. It works great for me in the wider world, so what's different here that makes our projects a nightmare and prone to failure? Oh yeah...it's them.
I also understand much more about the financial side of business and how little things like setting out the deliverables, cashflow, payments, reconciliation, and completing the work that the customer asked for impact the business in a big way.
My business also gives me a calm clarity. If the main job sacked me or made me redundant, I'd be able to scale up the external business in a few days. So that allows me to make decisions without being scared about what people in the organisation can do to me. I can force best practice, recommend the best solutions and call people out on their politics because the worst thing that can happen is it'll end the thing that I believe passionately in but also gives me the most grief!
The problem with this is simple. We need to re-assess what needs to be done and then it may be the case that we need to cull some in-flight stuff. If we're culling a £1m project that's 1/4 through, we're not wasting £250k but saving £750k overall. We have still spent £250k but that's better than spending the whole £1m on what's now the wrong thing. These are tough choices.
We need to consider how we're going to implement the new model. Perhaps the new model is wrong...we need to test that's right before we implement anything, otherwise cash is wasted. We then need to run a pilot or at least walkthrough using different scenarios, or perhaps run some more complex analysis, or we're just running into the dark.