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10 Rules to Get the Job Done

Ten Rules for Getting the Job Done

Here are 10 rules for planning and managing projects more effectively. If you use these rules you will become a better manager of your projects.

1) Set a Clear Goal To get a job done start at the finish and work backwards. By incasting the project you are clearer about the end result of your project. Even though it may change, the more effectively you can plan how to get there the more you can anticipate how it plays out. First realize that everyone on the team must be clear about the goal. Even when team members have excellent skills and the best available technology, they cannot do a good job if the end result is unclear. Setting a goal a goal takes a concerted effort and a dedication to the principles of effective goal setting. It means making sure that your goal is measurable and clearly understood by every member of the team.


2) Determine the Objectives Once you have a clear goal use objectives to help divide the job into specific parts for each team member. Objectives help team members understand how their contributions relate to the overall project. By identifying each objective with a specific group or individual develop ownership and responsibility. Objectives help teams help you manage the project.


3) Establish Checkpoints and Time Estimates Checkpoints keep goals and objectives on track. Activities carry you from one checkpoint to the next. Pay attention to detail, identify every activity necessary to complete the project.

The process includes activating the relationships among the activities and their performance order. Identify where simultaneous and overlapping activities occur then establish a schedule and resource guideline for each activity. Bring all the participants together. Delegate.


4) Draw a Picture of the Schedule Through the first three rules a viable project has been identified. Now create images that illustrate the timeline, resource schedules and a prototype description of the completed project.

The next steps manages the people and resouces to bring the project to fruition

5) Understand People The most basic, fundamental and often overlooked rule about sucessfully managing projects is you can’t do it alone. Projects often fail because managers do not build a strong team of collaborators. This generally happens because managers focus on the technical aspects at the expense of understanding the human facors affecting the projects. Know how to lead people.

6) Reinforce Commitment Research has shown that clarity about project goals is directly related to the commitment, loyalty and productivity of the team. By constantly keeping the goal before the team members, you’re more likely to get their commitment. Nourish the heart of the team through milestone awards and individual recognition. These powerful means are two ways of maintaining commitment to the project.

7) Keep the Team Members Informed When project managers are in the day to day they may neglect to keep the team members informed. Take the time to step out of the project and look at it from the outside then return to it and report to the team members. The key to improving communication challenges is to get ideas across from the perspective of the team, and to continuously give and receive feedback.

8) Build Agreement Disagreements and conflict are unavoidable. Studies show that managers spend nearly half their time settling disputes. A major reason for this is that project management requires coordinating the work of many different people, most of whom do not report directly to the project manager.

A good manager recognizes that disagreement and conflict in a project is actually quite desirble. Conflicts ensure continued interest and commitment. They encourage innovation and integrated solutions. They focus attention on potential difficulties. They create energy. Know that people do not fight about issues they don not care about. What is necessary is manage conflicts so that all energy is focused on getting the job done.

9) Empower Yourself and Others All project managers need more power than they have. Managers lament “If I only had the authority necessary to get those people on track.” “If only I had the power to influence my superiors.”

When they don’t have the authority they need, managers depend on personal power. One way that a project manager can build power is to recognize that team members look for honest, competent leaders who provide direction and delegate power.

10) Encourage Risk Taking and Creativity Project teams are usually set up for spurring innovation breakthroughs. Encourage risk taking and creativity among team members. Make goals and deadlines clear. Allow for mistakes without intimidating or inhibiting people in trying new approaches.

Concluding Word Follow these ten rules will enable you to develop a solid plan that is strong yet flexible enough to handle inevitable unexpected problems. It also will be a plan that your team can commit itself to follow.

Got a project – want my attention keeping you on track. I have a Zen-taoist way to do this.


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