Tag Archive: project management


…and I think this is one of the biggest causes of the great division between Employees and Management.

If you’re having back problems, you wouldn’t buy more of the chairs that you already have, so why, when projects are running behind schedule, do we require more meetings (which detract from productive time) or try to throw more people (outsiders to the current project) at the problem (which require the project ‘insiders’ to slow their work to catch their new counterparts up on the tasks at hand)?

Again, I defer to the law of extremes:
-if you threw a million people at your problem would it go away? Most likely not. You would have a smaller, core group working and a much larger group just standing around.
-but, if you put someone who was extremely talented on the job, how would your job look? It would most likely be completed in a timely manner and to a high degree of quality.

So, which will you choose?

Finding quality people and making more productive meetings is hard, but the dividends pay off in the long run.

Task Lists.

Who ever thought that “Task Lists” were a good idea? Why are they so widely accepted and why ┬ádo we keep making them?!?!

A friend of mine at work recently showed me his current task list. He was feeling overwhelmed, and I can understand why!!!

When I looked at his task list, all I saw was item after item. I couldn’t tell what items were related, I couldn’t tell how much work was involved with each item, and I couldn’t tell which tasks were the highest priority.

Now, I realize that some of this can be overcome with boxes, bullets, arrows, bold headings, and outlining, but, while this may help create a sense of order within a project, the relation to other projects is often missed.

Here is my proposal (and please speak up if you have some better ideas or additions!):

  • Tasks are like bubbles rising to the surface of water in a jar.
  • The higher the bubble, the higher the task priority/the sooner the project is due.
  • The bigger the bubble, the larger the time commitment.
  • The color of the bubble indicates the status of the project (completed/not started/on hold/etc)
  • “Nested” bubbles are subtasks within a parent task.

I think it would look something like this (but nicer, if done with software):

Now, this may not have 100% of the accuracy of the information (the priority/workload/date due is relative), but I think this would help serve as a super quick visual representation of your total workload. It would be a much better way to have meaningful discussions with your boss about what to work on (comparing workload vs. priority).

What are your thoughts? How can we make this better? Do you have an idea as to which software could be used to create this graphic from a table of information?