Friday, December 1, 2006

December 1, 2006 - Management by Procrastination Part 1

Management by Procrastination is alive and well in project management. My theory is that 90% of non-scope items that you are asked to do will be changed, dropped or done by someone else before you can get to it. The trick is to figure out which items make up the other 10% and do them. I’ve written a chant you can practice quietly to yourself while sitting in another boring meeting to promote this management technique:
Procrastinate, Procrastinate
Put it off until it’s late
Stutter, stop……wait

All right, so there isn’t much science behind my theory but there are real results from procrastination. When tasked with activities tacked on to your project, the key is to identify, prioritize and deliver.

Identify is more than merely taking note of anything that someone suggests you do. First confirm that what you heard is what they said. Second, make sure you are the one they are asking to do it. Finally, put it in writing for review and approval. “Approval” in different settings means different things. It could range from verbal to email confirmation to wet signatures. Choose appropriately.

So to identify the real tasks the questions you should ask are: (1) Did you just say what I think you said?” (2) “Are you talkin’ to me?!?!?” (3) “Could you please sign here…and here…initial here…and thumbprint there?”

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