Posted by: kerrywills | March 17, 2017

Finding Balance

One of my friends recently posed an article on Facebook of the top regrets that people have before they died. They included…

  • Wish they had worked less
  • With they had spent more time with the kids
  • Wish they had done more to be happy (travel, passions, etc)

Work is important but there needs to be balance with family, friends, health and interests. I deeply believe this and have several approaches for this balance…

  • I take work calls outside while going for a walk so I can get in exercise while still listening to updates (obviously only calls which don’t require reviewing documents)
  • I take my last call of the day in the car to get home earlier for family time
  • I organize my calendar to minimize meetings late in the day or block out time for children activities – this allowed me to coach my son’s basketball team and take my daughter to soccer practice
  • I attempt to be very efficient with my time to maximize productivity so that I do not have to work 80 hour weeks

 

So obviously it is not easy to balance every day but it is important to look for opportunities (like the examples above) to balance like and work so to optimize both.

Posted by: kerrywills | March 10, 2017

Fellowship of the Ring

The Lord of the Rings movie was on television a few weeks ago and, of course, I had to watch it (again). This is a great movie with great scenery, imagination and battle scenes. My favorite scene in the first movie is when the different people from Middle Earth get together to decide they must destroy the ring. No one wants to do it and then Frodo, the smallest of them all, decides he will take on the journey. He then gets the support from the other groups and creates the Fellowship of the ring with other hobbits, a ranger, a dwarf and a wizard.

Developing coalitions at work is also a really good strategy. Having these types of  relationships help to gain insights, leverage strengths from other people and gain support for initiatives or requests. So like Frodo, we should have the courage to take on the challenges and we should look to create strong coalitions of support for our journeys. Oh and it may not hurt to have a wizard join your team also…

Posted by: kerrywills | March 3, 2017

Evolved Competency: Book Published

In a recent poll I conducted of several hundred project managers, more than 70% of them said that processes, organizations, technologies and business products have become more complex over the last five years. This complexity has driven the need for project manager skills to evolve. In that same survey PMs said that their use of PM skills has decreased from 35% to 24% as they have had to use more soft and leadership skills. Also, only 14% of them said that PM Fundamentals were the skill set that they believed to be the most important for success. Yet almost every framework, book and recruiting focus is on PM fundamentals.

 

cover

 

In my recent book, I have proposed an evolved competency model which focuses on Consultative Skills and the 25 associated competencies. Each one is described with examples and differentiation based on the level of the professional. It also explains strategies for improving proficiency.

 

Posted by: kerrywills | February 24, 2017

Hiring based on snow preparation

It is February in New England which means a lot of snow in 54the forecast. During this time I am constantly monitoring the forecast to see several days in advance what the weather will be so I can plan accordingly. This could include moving meetings to work from home or changing doctor appointments. I also enjoy those people who wait until the night before to rush out and buy all of the milk and bread. It would be an interesting study to evaluate project managers and see which ones plan for weather and those who react last minute. I suspect those who plan are more successful.

snowblowing

This could be an interesting hiring strategy; to look for those people who prepare for weather. This suggests that they are planning types who think ahead and organize accordingly which are skills that are essential for project managers. Those who hoard bread the night before may not be the most “planful” project managers.

Posted by: kerrywills | February 17, 2017

Getting the “root” cause

Recently I have having tooth pain. I went to see the dentist and it has turned into quite an ordeal. This was underneath a double crown (on two teeth) which I have had for twenty years. Here are the visits I have had to investigate and solve the problem..

  1. Visit to check out the tooth. Initial thought is that it was infected and so they cleaned it well and had me come back later
  2. Checked out tooth and by now the pain had reduced but suggested I see a specialist anyway (endodontist)
  3. Endodontist visit did a 3D x-ray (which was really cool) and noticed some irritation but hard to tell. We agreed that since this crown had been on for twenty years and it was hard to clean between the teeth that I should remove it
  4. Dentist visit to remove double crown. It looked like it had decay and we suspected it would need a root canal. Put on a temporary crown
  5. Visit to endodontist who confirmed I needed a root canal (but could not do it that day)
  6. Temporary crown came off during a 1 on 1 meeting with an employee (that is always fun) so went to dentist to put it back on
  7. Endodontist visit for root canal – took 90 minutes and didn’t finish because it required manual filing due to the tooth being curved
  8. Temorary crown came off again
  9. Final root canal visit
  10. Put on permanent crowns

1

Needless to say, this has been quite the ordeal with 9 visits to investigate and solve the problem. So I suppose the lesson in all of this is to identify the “root” cause (see what I did there?) and then seek to resolve them as quickly as possible so they do not fester.

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