Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness
Some readers asked to hear more on how I use my Scannable Outcome Lists in conjunction with My Personal Approach for Daily Results. Here's the work flow in a nutshell ...
MondaysOn Mondays, I figure out my key outcomes for the week. To do this:
I keep my inbox completely empty, so the only items are what comes in over the weekend. The empty inbox is particularly important for me. I get ~150 mails directly to me each day, and I send about that, so I can't be a paper shuffler. For my Scannable Outcome Lists, I use a flat list of posts in Outlook. I name each post according to category: Body, Career, Mind, Project X, Project Y .. etc.
As I scan, I use four guiding questions:
As I scan, I also do some quick shuffling:
I get a few outcomes from this
I have weekly iteration meetings with my team on Mondays, so this information helps me shape the outcomes with my team.
DailyEach day, I construct my Daily Outcomes list. Since I did the bulk of the work on Monday for identifying key priorities, this is a fast exercise. In fact, it's usually 5 minutes. It's as fast as it takes me to open a new post in Outlook, name it the current day (e.g. 02-25-07) and write the key outcomes down. Throughout the day, I add to this. I fish my email stream throughout the day for relevant actions and I add these to the current day's daily outcome. If it's a longer team outcome, I list it under the relevant Scannable Outcome List.
FridaysThis is the day where I do more reflection. To do this:
As I scan, I ask some guiding questions:
I'll note that underlying my approach is my belief that important things should float to the top, less important should slough off, and I should be able to deal with change. Having my Scannable Outcomes keeps me grounded in what's important vs. urgent. This to me is the key to driving versus reacting. If an area is slipping that I want to improve, I narrow my focus and concentrate on that. There's few problems that withstand sustained focus.
Well, that's the heart of the approach. What I like most about this approach is that it's low-overhead and it works. I've done away with over-engineered approaches, where you die the death of a 1000 paper cuts in administration. I also like this approach because it's systematic, yet holistic and flexible. Basically, it's designed for getting real results, in real life.
How do I efficiently and effectively prioritize my day ... my week ... my life? In an earlier post, I
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