It’s the start of a new year and you know what that means: New Year Resolutions! I see evidence of this each year at my gym, which gets very crowded during the month of January. Many people focus on their personal lives, resolving to eat better, exercise more, and improve their relationships with others. And that’s all very good. However, if you are a project manager or the owner of a project-centric business, the start of a new year is also a good time to resolve to improve your work life.Tweet
When I was a child, there was a sticker on the telephone at the house of an old relative. Yes, I mean the telephone (there was just the one). The official looking AT&T sticker read “wait for dial tone.” When we visited, I’d wait for no one to be looking so I could pick up the phone and listen. Sure enough, there was always a dial tone–the days of waiting for an operator or mechanical switch to connect a circuit were already gone (I’m not that old). Things were connected!Tweet
David Allen, a time-management expert, states that we all know that a computer is a powerful tool that can make our work easier, faster and more efficient–but few of us are realizing these objectives. Why not? We don’t achieve our goals for the same reason we can’t find the television remote or our car keys. We are human and most of us don’t actually organize our work and/or follow that organization all the time. Most of us spend approximately one third of our time just trying to find our “lost things” even if they are on the computer. This is especially true for computer workers who share data and processes with co-workers.Tweet
So many people assume that critical project data is accessible and safe because different people on the team claim that “they have it covered” or “I know where it is.” However, in many cases, the data is not really centralized.
Documents are scattered in different people’s personal folders, their desktop or somewhere in their email Inbox, or they consist of just a plain piece of paper. All of this means that the data is really sitting on multiple information islands. Scattered information happens when people do not work in a centralized program that manages all of the data for them. What if someone leaves for the day or forever? How do others find all the information they need? Usually with a frantic search punctuated by cries of “where is it??”Tweet