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Category: Life

Applying lessons from one area of life to another

power plant

I took singing lessons last fall at the Cape Consevatory. It was at the request of my wife. I’d been taking ukulele lessons prior to this and would often play and sing some of my favorite songs. It was a loving request she made, based on not being a fan of my voice venturing across the entire range of sounds a human can make while singing the same song over-and-over.

I also run. I thought about the singing lessons as I was on a 4-mile run along the canal the other day. Running is boring. My mind wanders. I solve problems. I identify birds. I take inventory of my body parts. As I worked my way mentally up my body, I noticed how labored my breathing was. Could it be that I’m getting old and have asthma? Or was it something I could impact to make better?

My inhales were in my chest. Where it seems to want to be. I placed my hand on my stomach, and consciously inhaled to make my hand push out. A few breaths later I wasn’t winded and my pace picked up. Singing lessons helped me run better. Maybe I’ll try singing loudly on a run. Or not.

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PMOs – focus on your project managers

Ensure that the majority of the processes your PMO requires provides a benefit to the project manager, and not just to the PMO. When we provide project managers with a useful tool as our primary purpose, then the secondary purpose of extracting useful information for a PMO’s use in monitoring and controlling projects will be easy.

Here’s a great way to get about 4 PDUs for under $10. Purchase the snarkiest project management poetry book available, and read it. You can get a signed copy, or order direct from Amazon. This book is Prime eligible.


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Burn your process documents

Finding and keeping the right level of processes, while respecting that all projects are unique is a challenge everywhere I’ve ever worked. Unless the project management team is focused on one specific category of projects (like deploying a similar application for multiple clients), trying to define processes everyone must follow is bound to fail. If there are exceptions to the process, then the process shouldn’t exist in the first place.

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Haiku for project managers – tools

Yes, it’s cold outside /winter driving
If you wear the right clothing /
You can still go out

With the right equipment and tools we face few limits in what we can achieve. I’ve survived in -47 degrees Fahrenheit while serving in the Alaska Army National Guard in 1984. I’ve also experienced the 110+ degrees of India in their dry season. It’s easy to come up with excuses when we’re faced with the decision between being active or sitting still. Choose active.

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