Lessons Revisited


After a period of 27 months, I am back in the driving seat, managing projects, leading staff and doing what I love doing the most- helping companies grow.

The last 6 weeks or so have been especially eventful with the way I was thrown into the deep end at a very stage of the project, without the appropriate resources and though some of the mistakes/ problems we faced were very similar to the basic issues I have dealt with in the past, it’s been interesting doing it again and just as a reminder to me and to all of you out there running projects, managing companies or just getting stuck in the same rigmarole, take a moment to think on how it can be improved.

Things I am definitely going to try and bear in mind in the future:

  • Assumptions!
    • I assumed that a person with the title “Senior Manager” behaved as one.
    • I assumed that when I delegated work, it would be done.
    • I assumed that everyone would have that quality called “common sense”.
    • I assumed everyone is doing the job because they care and though I don’t expect the same level of dedication and passion as myself, I expect some.
    • I assumed that if someone told me that they understood my instructions, they meant it.
    • I assumed- BIG MISTAKE.
  • Presumptions…
    • Very similar to the Assumptions list but OMG! everyone presumes too much, too little, too incorrectly, too foolishly, too… (shh, politically incorrect but true)… stupidly!
    • Presuming that all my assumptions were right- hehehehe
    • Presuming I had the energy I used to have- not taking into account the lack of break for the last 14 months.
  • Communication- the very key to a successful project
    • Whether it was between senior management, or the middle level management and senior management, or amongst departments, there was A LOT of information not communicated
    • I was reminded of the big kick-ass event I had hosted some 9 years ago- despite the fatigue, despite the stress, despite the issues, the core team met every morning and every night to check in and make sure everyone knew the whole story and you know what, it went seamlessly, from the outside!
  • Planning… yeah, I know, I harp on and on about this point
    • Every successful project needs to be planned down to the very second
    • Do we have 2 shifts?
    • Who finishes when?
    • Who is responsible for what?
    • What is the back-up plan?
    • Who are the key players and how can we ensure their tacit knowledge is codified?
    • What will the process be?
    • Who makes the final decision?
    • Who works weekends? Who doesn’t work weekends?
    • Who gets time off?
    • What is the X policy?
    • Who pulls up people for their mistakes?
    • Is everyone singing from the same hymn sheet? And if not, then why not and how can that be changed?
  • Surprises!
    • This is when they need to be avoided.
    • They can be a surprise to everyone else perhaps BUT not to the management- every surprise should actually be pre-planned.
    • Everything should have a plan, a structure, someone responsible and everything should be accountable.

That’s my top 5- I have a niggling feeling I am overlooking something so there may be part 2 yet! Here’s hoping I can deal with these things better in the future.

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