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Submitted by jeffh on


I wrote this summary for my montly status report. It covers some of the thinks I found to be most applicable to my current role as a project manager.



[b]Key Lessons from Manager Tools Effective Manager Conference[/b]

* Based on recommendations from this conference I am implementing these tools for my projects. In three months, I will evaluate the effectiveness of these tools and add new tools.
_* Weekly one-on-one meetings
_* Peer feedback
_* Scheduling time to read email
_* More effective weekly priority planning
_* Preparing quarterly goals and performance reviews for all projects
* Horstman’s Laws
_1. It's All About People
_2. More Communication is Better
_3. You're Not that Smart; They're Not that Dumb
_4. Control is an Illusion
_5. The River is Wide, the Currents are Messy, but all the Water Ends up in the Ocean
_6. There are No Secrets
_7. How You Feel is Your Fault
_8. The "Other" Way Often Works Just Fine
* One-on-one communication is key to developing relationships, communicating requirements, delegating, and developing your people. It is best to hold a brief 30-minute meeting scheduled weekly. Format: 10 min for their issues, 10 min for my issues, 10 min for development. It is OK if the first two items take 15 minutes, with no time for development. Be sure to discuss development plans at least once per quarter. This is not a communication meeting, it is a conversation about work, goals, and issues that are important to the employee.
* Frequent feedback is necessary. Manager Tools proposes a simple feedback model to acknowledge behavior and it’s impact. Ask me for details or listen to their podcast on Giving Effective Feedback:
* Develop people by delegating your tasks to them. Frequent communication is key. Periodically review their workload and remove work that is not essential. Set quarterly performance goals and coach them to achieve those goals. The goals can be an incremental improvement over current performance, or can be a newly delegated task. It must be measurable with a due date. The measurement may be ‘did you do it: Y or N?’ It is OK to reschedule due dates; this is development, not a critical deadline. Don’t be too flexible on rescheduling to avoid sending the message that it is not important. The development model: 1) Measure performance and set a goal, 2) Identify resources, 3) Make a plan, 4) Act. Repeat step 1, and adjust/increase goal as performance improves. Ask me for more details.
* Effective priority management comes from weekly planning. Things to consider with priorities: Multi-tasking is a lie: People waste significant effort when switching tasks. The next task suffers when we switch. Per Drucker: It is harder to speed up than to slow down. So let people work Monday morning, schedule meetings later in the week. Schedule at least 3 hrs per week for strategic objectives. 2 hrs Monday Afternoon, and 1 to 2 hrs Wednesday morning. Set a scheduled time to read email 2-3 times per day. Email can be disruptive. We give it continuous partial attention. This causes other work to suffer. It is OK to scan email subjects to check for a ‘fire’, just do not read and respond to email continuously.
* Effective managerial communication: Effective managers communicate often. If you say something seven times, people will swear that you only said it once.
_* Daily feedback for most team members
_* Weekly one-on-one to discuss tactical and some strategic issues. Collect from team and report up.
_* Monthly status report on tactical and strategic actions. Collect from team and report up.
_* Quarterly goals report on performance to strategic goals. Collect from team and report up.
_* Quarterly performance review. Collect from team and report up.
* There was much more, these are the things that I think are most applicable to my current role.


Thanks Mike and Mark for bringing us such good material.
And thanks Kimberly for typing up Horstman's laws.

BTEDWARDS's picture
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This is a comprehensive report - I had the opportunity to have lunch with my CEO and gave a similar verbal report. You have reminded me to follow up with a written report. Thanks.


trandell's picture

Nice work jeffh. Thanks for sharing.

jeffh's picture
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Thanks for the support folks. I've received some positive comments from the folks who read it. My direct manager even asked me how to tell when directs think he cares about them. That's easy I said.... Know them well enough to... (you can fill in the rest.)


Mark's picture
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CLASSIC! Love the report.