Archive for June, 2010

Ideas x Organization = Impact

The first NXNE interactive was in Toronto 2 weeks ago. (it’s the canadian cousin of SXSW)
The location was at small & decent, but when compared to SXSWi, it’s like the Ontario soccer finals vs going to the World Cup. Both were great, but in completely different magnitude.

At SXSWi, I was afraid of to just ask questions or talk to the author. While in the cozier environment at NXNEi, you get to talk to great authors without intimation of a big conference.

One of the excellent author I was able to meet was Scott Belsky (Making Ideas Happen) to get his insights. Scott’s book & talk was about … well … making ideas happen.

I don’t know about you, ideas & solution come to me everyday, but it seems hard to implement any of those ideas. Which is why i’m learning project management.

One idea i found fascinating was a just simple formula:

Creativity x Organization = Impact

     Zero x 50 = Zero
     50 x Zero = Zero
     20 x 5 = 100

Basically you can do the work or create a lot ideas, but if you can’t implement effectively, you can’t get results. We have seen this a lot … we have seen many great idea in IT startups, but not a lot become a successful startup.

At a day-to-day scale, we can generate projects/solutions (idea) everyday/week/month.
If we can’t tracking or implement the solution, you won’t have results.

You don’t have the biggest ideas person, if you have good level of organizational skill … then you can get larger result.

There were tons of detail on how to create impact through some process & skills

Just got the Making Ideas Happen audiobook, can’t wait to learn from & share it.


Requests Losing in Priorities

As I dig through my old e-mail & to-do last friday, I stayed behind again to close out some of the pending task that got lost in priorities for the week.

Half the time, I find that other priority is overwritten by other priority, I also found this is true for most of the people I work with. With each e-mail, each meeting & each day passes by … more & more tasks goes on our queue.

Here’s the Problem: A ‘Medium’ priority can easily becomes ‘Low’ after a few new requests.

In IT, we rely on completed task of others to close or even to start other of our own task. In basic development process, Development is need before Testing & that is dependant on Design. To prevent from bottleneck, we need to be organized & follow-up.

Incoming Tasks: Organizing & To Do
Using some Get It Done techniques, here are some task that has been helpful for me

Write It Down:
Rather than remember tasking, I write down a list to handle the tasks to be done with the next 1-2 days

2 Minute Rule:
If there are a task/e-mail that can be done in 2-minutes, then do it immediately. I usually set it 5 minutes instead of 2 to be more effective.

Long Term To Do:
For the tasks to follow-up on & meetings to-do, use a digital to-do list (google task) to track & follow-up

Outgoing Tasks: Follow-up
Nowadays, everyone has dependency task where someone have to finish a task or 2 before you can start on your task.
To make sure your request don’t get lost in priorities, here are 3 simple thing you can do:

1. Don’t Assume
Don’t assume a task would get done … we all are busy on some/most days, we can miss some task if we are not organized.
So don’t assume, just follow-up.

2. Follow-Up
Use a light toned follow-up by asking for an update in a short e-mail (you can also offer to help or any clarification)
… don’t follow-up too much, it would just get annoying & they would help you next time.

3. Be Understanding
Everyone (including you) have missed a request once or twice due to other priorities. So if someone missed it after a day or two, just ask for updates, don’t guilting them for missing it. (Guilting them won’t help, but ruining relationships)

Many company has their own task management systems but don’t just rely on it … create your own system. It took me a lot of trial & error to find something that I can used as some kind of task organization

By end of that day, it felt great to close some of those task that could of been a bottleneck if left not done.