Other people like to help you plan for resolutions. Well, I'm a bit contrary. I don't buy this resolution business. I never succeed. (I'm not alone in that.)
On the other hand, I like to integrate tips for my next year from my learnings from the previous year. I've been writing these tips for several years. See the New Year's Tips on the Pragmatic Manager page. Here are my tips for you, for 2017:
Tip 1: Learn early.
I have plans. Big, audacious plans. Sometimes, my plans don't work. That's okay. I would rather know earlier than later.
In the agile community, there's a saying called “Fail fast.” I don't like that metaphor. I might not succeed, but have I failed? Probably not. I have definitely learned. I want to learn as early as possible.
Here's something I learned this year: I'm part of the writing group for the joint Agile Alliance/PMI Agile Practice Guide. I thought I could maintain my normal writing schedule and still contribute. Oh, no way! I was disappointed, but that's one of the reasons you're only receiving eleven issues of the Pragmatic Manager this year.
I can't catch up. I can change what I do and go from there.
Tip 2: Replan, don't try to catch up.
I would love to catch up with many things: certain projects that have been on my someday list, cleaning my office, more of my site updates. I am sure there are more. I suspect that you also have a never-ending list of things you would like to do.
When you can't do it all, it's time to replan. You can't catch up. When I fall into the “catch up” trap, I go just a little nutso. Maybe you've noticed the same thing?
Whatever capacity you have, that's what it is for now. You can increase your capacity with learning, stopping the multitasking, and working with others, to name just three ways. But catching up? I haven't seen it work.
Tip 3: Focus on results, not busy-ness.
I see managers (project managers, program managers, people managers) focus on the fact that people are working, rather than on their results. I have found more value in focusing on results, rather than making sure people are “working.”
This is one of the reasons I am focusing on my flow and helping my clients learn more about the flow of work through their systems.
Results are valuable. Busy-ness? Not so much.
If you would like to learn more about flow efficiency, see the Pragmatic Manager Do You Want More Productivity?. You can see all I've written about for flow efficiency see this flow efficiency search.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and that you have a healthy and happy 2017. I'll see you in 2017 with more pragmatic and practical ideas you can use.
Is 2017 your year to improve some of your skills? I'm offering these public workshops:
Writing Workshop 1 is full for January. I expect to offer another in May. Let me know if you're interested.
Writing Workshop 2: Secrets of Successful Non-Fiction Writers has room for two more writers if this fits for you.
The Practical Product Owner workshop helps you learn to build roadmaps and the stories that help the team deliver working product on a regular cadence. I have room for two more people if you would like to join us.
Gil Broza and I are offering the Influential Agile Leader in Toronto May 9-10, 2017. Sign up now and reserve your spot.
Are you new to the Pragmatic Manager newsletter? See previous issues.
If you like the idea of romance between smart technical women and just-as-interesting men, I'm starting to write romance in my spare (!) time. See Johanna's Fiction.
Till next time,
© 2016 Johanna Rothman
Tags: flow efficiency, New Years tip, project management tips, project portfolio management, tips