July 14, 2015

Get Control of Your Projects

Project management is about getting things done, and it’s not just for large organizations. We all want to find ways to reach our goals more quickly and efficiently.

When thinking of our work, we can think of it as a list of items we want to achieve - this can be the basis for our projects. For example, running a marketing campaign or organizing the accounts better. List each item and note when you want it done.

It might be a long list. That's okay. The next step is to prioritize your list. Rather than diving into what can be done quickly (although that has value), take a step back and determine which item will give you the most return.

Although some items might seem urgent, are they important? Here are some questions you can use for prioritizing your work:

    * Which projects will help the me or the organization grow? If we are a small business owner, they might be the same thing. (For example, what can we do to expand our skills or move into new markets - think longer term.)
    * Which projects must I do to meet regulatory or legal requirements? (Can't ignore these but you can figure out when they really need to be done. Also, do you need to do them or can you delegate much of the work?)
    * Which projects can be done quickly? (Don't rush into these - there can be satisfaction from clearing them off your plate but sometimes doing the small items can mean we never make room for things that take more thought.)
    * Which projects can I delegate? (For example, by using services from a colleague in bookkeeping or marketing.) This one is sometimes hardest to do, especially for small business owners, in terms of control and knowing it is worth paying others for doing what they are skilled in so we can focus on our own strengths and services.

You are using "project selection criteria" and "project ranking" here.

For me, breaking down the work and prioritizing means peace of mind - and isn't that the reason for a control system?

July 08, 2015

Kindness on the Road

Recently my husband, Dan, and son, Zachary, went to a Scout Camp in Terra Nova Park, Newfoundland. Dan drove up with our older Honda. After the Scout Camp, they decided to do some camping on their own.

Well, the car had a problem. As Dan was driving along the highway, about an hour and a half from St. John's, it started to die. Soon enough the car decided to stop working altogether and he pulled over to the side of the highway.

It was raining. When the rain stopped, Dan and Zachary started hiking to the nearest store or garage. Dan had thought it was about a kilometer away. Luckily, a fellow in a truck stopped and picked them up. The nearest garage was ten kilometers away.

Dan called me from the garage and said he would be getting a taxi to the next town, which was Whitbourne. I called my brother in St. John's, asking if he could pick them up in Whitbourne after work. He said they would go out right away.

Later I learned Dan didn't get a taxi to Whitbourne - the garage owner's wife drove them. And the fellow who picked them up on the highway had actually seen them as he passed by, realized they might need help, and circled back at the next exit to pick them up.

No moral here - just wanted to share my first of several stories of the kindness of Newfoundlanders.