A project, because old work is dying…

futurework

Note: This was also published on medium.  Not all of you are on medium, so this lives here as well.

 

There are a few very strong topics that if I get going seem to be front and center of my thinking mind, and there I have lost about everyone who was reading. But wait there’s more….

This is not a soap box, diatribe, or online rant. I am not complaining nor digital grumbling. Please don’t take this for that.

I am writing this because of the need to get started on a project, or projects which will consume the next few years of my life. That is all this is. This is the stone tablets, the declaration, and the charter. I don’t want to make this more than it is but I really need to put a few things in writing and describe them then let you go. Thanks for reading by the way.

I don’t have many answers but see a work worth doing. That is what is on my mind. In 1999, I had a few things happen which were a true life changer for me. I had a handful of simple goals, and felt like with hard work and some providence they would be goals to work on for the rest of my life. One goal was to write an actual software program. I have never coded but fell in love with computers a few years earlier and really felt like I could do this. Another thing was to have a high paying day job doing something I enjoyed. Very nice. The last thing was to finish my unfinished and tarnished college degree.

Since then I have been able to transform my life with software development and have written thousands of programs, modules, interfaces, entire software systems, and have redesigned and developed modern business systems. This was also coupled by the software development providing goal number two, a high paying day job doing something I enjoyed. Midway through the software development career path I went back to college, gained my bachelors and graduated Magna Cum Laude. I did not stop there and went on to get my MBA as well. No cheering, it was all hard work, a supportive family, and very little rest. It does not come easy, free, nor for everyone.

Now today, I am looking to put some new things into the mix and push them as things to start planning a project around. These things have been consuming me for some time and I am putting them out there so they will form and become a plan for the future.

These thoughts consume my mind:

  1. Engineering and design are paths to the future. Very few people get introduced to them properly and thus miss the chance to find their space in this forward moving way of working. Old work is dying. This is new work. And in America, we are starving for engineers. Software, mechanical, structural, chemical, process, design, metal, energy, and you name it. Old work is dying. New work is emerging and those who need to benefit from it the most are being left behind because they are not being introduced to it properly and they feel they can’t do it. That is rubbish.
  2. I want to introduce people to careers in information technology. I fight to find qualified candidates to work for me. I should be flooded with qualified candidates but I’m not. We do not get people connected with careers in information technology the right way. It’s not all geeky nerd stuff. It’s business and a whole lot more. Too many smart people work at crappy jobs because they have not been introduced to how the future is going to work. Remember old work is dying.
  3. Writing is the new currency. It’s about time. Reading, writing, and arithmetic. Writing by hand and cursive are dying. They are so important. Typing and keyboarding is important too. Being able to read, write, and understand math is golden. This importance is not taught much and I see it all over the place. You must read to gain facts and intellectual knowledge to develop thoughts and a viewpoint of your own. There are billions and billions of lines of stimulating and engaging written words by the greatest minds of all time growing cold as minds consume babble and click bait. And writing is the new currency.
  4. As a society, we are not focusing on actually taking care of ourselves and rely on broken and corrupt governments to do this with policy and spending our money. I don’t know what to do here but it is front and center of my mind.
  5. I believe in local first, and go from there.

There they are. I am trying to figure out how to get them into a project or projects for the next phase of my life. I am also glad your read through all of this to this point. Most of all, I believe….

In honest hard work and a few dreams now and then.

Cheers…

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Give it a name…

I know, project management or project leadership blogs and postings are boring. It’s all the same stuff. Only the unicorns or the wizards have anything useful to say for the rest of us who daily have to manage things rather than people.

I don’t do boredom well.

I’m not a dedicated project manager as in PMP or PMi certified (yet). But I do manage projects of various sizes and if the risk, cost, or effort exceeds a certain point, it becomes a project rather than a task or support request. Elevation of an effort to a platform of being managed is a topic for another time but of great importance if chaos is to be trumped in you organization.

But what is in a name? Identity. Simply that for starts. Projects are about the pieces. Like a Rube Goldberg trap, the parts and pieces and the actions of each determine the final outcome. As a project manager/leader the first thing is to give the project identity, and start naming things. Stakeholders, sponsors, systems, resources, locations, files, reports, water boys, and anything else that is involved. Give it a name, and identify what it is, what it does, and why it is there.

Preach it, Preach it, Preach it to your team, leadership, followers, minions, and resources. No Clouds. Nothing ambiguous. No whatchamacallits. If it can’t be defined and named, maybe it does not belong.

Jettison the unneeded things early. Open the door and push, then shut the door and move on. Report the offload of the undeeded like a mob thug to your boss man. Make it clear that if it does not belong, you’re outta here.

You would be surprised what sticks in the craws of very intelligent folks over the course of a project. “Remember this, why don’t we talk about this anymore?” Then you waste time talking about something that did not get the 86 earlier on.

No clouds. No puffy white things that can’t be contained. Give it a name. Does it belong. Why is it mentioned. Be a Colombo and ask questions irregardless of the other party things your frumpy and off track. Write it down, and decide the fate on your own dime.

Does it belong. No. Lop it off and notify the team. If yes, give it a name and purpose and put it on the bench to play when called upon.