Follow Up

For those of you who don’t know I am a project manager.  I spend my days making sure projects get done in the manner in which they were envisioned.  Although that sounds easy, it can be quite challenging to get a group of people to stay focused on a task for a year or more while other “things” jockey for their attention.

In the five or so years I’ve been managing projects I’ve found one skill that few naturally possess but is absolutely necessary as a project manager and is useful for all to learn.  That skill is simply following up with those to whom you have assigned a task.

Many of you may be saying some like, “Well, duh!” but you would be amazed at how often I see people make a request and then never follow up on its progress until the deadline has gone whipping by and they (the responsible party) is left standing in front of an expectant client or boss with nothing to show.  …how embarrassing!

What I have learned is that once you have clearly presented your request to the person or team that will be designated to complete your desire, you must repeatedly get updates on the status of your task.  These updates can take the form you you poking your head  into someone’s office and asking, “How’s that task going Mac,” sending out and email asking about the status or requesting periodic status updates. 

This/These methods of Follow up ensure that the task is being done or allows you to set your assignee back in motion so that you have your deliverable (the thing you asked for) when you need it and in the shape you asked for it to be presented.

December 3, 2008 at 1:28 am 1 comment

…like Daddy…

My son Ryan likes to make is own choices.  Being two years of age, this can sometimes take a long time if there are a large number of options.  To aid in getting dressed, we let Ryan choose between two outfits rather than letting him explore the whole closet.  This gives him the power of choice and allows mom and dad to do something other than wait at the closet for an hour.  This works as a win-win for both parents and child.

One morning I was letting Ryan choose between two outfits and his selection was made based on the fact that one shirt (a polo) had  buttons while the other (with Tigger) did not have buttons.  This was important to Ryan because the polo shirt was “like Daddy.” 

What struck me as significant to this decision was that as fathers our sons want to imitate us.  They like to wear our shoes, wear close like us, pretend to be fathers, etc., etc.  I’ve known this fact for a while from the books I’ve read and the lessons I’ve heard however, I’ve never had it hit home like it did that day hearing it from the mouth of my son.

Our sons look to us as models of manhood.  It is through the father they learn to dress for life and address life.  Remember, you’re being watched; not just by big brother but by little man too.

October 25, 2008 at 1:17 am 1 comment


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