Posts Tagged ‘himanshu jhamb’

6 Ways to get Your Customers Saying – Please take my Money!

by Himanshu Jhamb on December 10, 2012

Right. You don’t hear that very often. In fact, you probably don’t even think it! In fact, the reverse is usually what we hear – in stories, from our friends, from our colleagues and pretty much every where from customers.

“Please don’t take my money”

“It was not worth it”

“It’s too expensive”

… and many variants of the above.

But, this post is about great customer service. No, wait! It’s about excellent customer service.

I was recently in Peru with my better half and it was the first time I had set foot in the continent of South America – different people, different language, different food – everything was different and yes, being that it was a self planned trip, the “different” was expected. We had planned to be in Lima for a couple of days and like typical tourists, were looking to do the touristy things – experience the food, the people, visit the historical landmarks ‘et al. Yet, at the same time, we wanted to do something that would give us a taste of Peru; something the locals would do. And that happened on our 2nd day when we met a local couple – Sam & Lucas. OK, it was no accident that we met them; they run a culinary tour company, called Capital Culinaria Lima Gourmet Tours and I found them from their almost perfect TripAdvisor reviews.

It’s true that there are many lessons in business one can learn from others, only if we observe them. And observe I did  and here is what I learnt about great customer service:

  • Make a promise… and then keep It. They promised on the experience (which, I believe is what the adventurous traveler seeks the most) and then delivered on it… multiple times over in the tour.
  • Listen. And get to know your customer. Their tours are designed to listen to the customer. For instance, they do not take more than 6 people at one time so that they can create the space to listen to the customer.
  • Give Personal Attention. Lots of it. Well, there is no dearth of that given that they run quite a few tours themselves and I am sure the ones they are not able to, are no less personal!
  • Run Smooth Operations. Given that it’s a 5-6 hour culinary tour, it can be a bit of a tricky proposition to time 3-6 touristy stomachs for that time! Also, since they visit quite a few establishments in the tour – the timing needs to be exquisite with the local providers, too.
  • Be Nimble. They are immensely flexible. Even though they hit an issue in the morning and had to quickly readjust plans – Lucas was right on time to pick us up.
  • Win the Customer. Yes, with the great stories (they have a fantastic entrepreneurial story on how they started off), the mouth watering cuisine, and (ahem) the fabulous Pisco – it is a sure shot recipe to win the customer.

To be brutally honest, they had won me over as a customer half way through the tour. The rest of the time, they were just winning a friend! Now, how do you put a price on something like that…

Himanshu JhambThis article was contributed by Himanshu Jhamb, co-founder of ActiveGarage and co-author of #PROJECT MANAGEMENT tweet. You can follow Himanshu on Twitter at himjhamb.
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Week In Review: Apr 3 – Apr 9, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on April 10, 2011

10 Lessons in Leadership from a WORLD CHAMPION!

by Himanshu Jhamb, Apr 4, 2011

The Indian team won the Cricket World Cup 2011 in a grand finale in Mumbai by defeating a very strong Sri Lankan team. It was a high stakes game with the hopes of 1.2 billion Indians hanging in a balance. The Indian team captain MS Dhoni, took matters into his own hands and led the team to victory. His amazing leadership qualities were in display and are instructional to everybody. Hats off Captain Cool! more…

Project Reality Check #16: The Folly of Audits

by Gary Monti, Apr 5, 2011

Running a project means you need to produce reports too. Sometimes reports go haywire. This happens when they are laden with expectations that fail to map to the reality of what it takes to get the job done. Or the report projects an inaccurate balance between all the contexts present. The solution to poor audits and reports is in listening; listening for how people work to get things done in spite of the system. more…

Spirituality in Business: As the Paradigm Shifts

by Rosie Kuhn, Apr 6, 2011

This is the start of a new Series “As the Paradigm Shifts” by Dr. Rosie Kuhn, who will be taking you on a Spiritual journey in the land of Business, in her subsequent articles.

If you are thinking spirituality in business means praying before, during and after every meeting, you cannot be more wrong! Spirituality is living in faith; faith not as religion, but faith as in practicing trust. Shifting from what you know to what you don’t yet know, letting go of what you may be firmly attached to for something that may be tenuous at best, takes faith. A leap of faith is the essential and most fundamental practice of spirituality. more…

Flexible Focus #48: The Principle of Initiative

by William Reed, Apr 7, 2011

One of the central insights of the Mandala Chart is that the world we see is actually the world as we see it, not a fixed reality to which we must succumb. While we share the same space, we do not see or experience it in the same way. Our disposition determines whether you see the world in a positive light or cast a pall of darkness. The Mandala Chart Principle of Initiative is about being proactive at the edge, being a player rather than a spectator. Realizing that the world is as we see it gives you a fundamental change in perspective. You can use the Mandala Chart as a lens to change your focus. more…

Leader driven Harmony #19: Gen-Ys need Special Handling when entering the Workforce – Part 3

by Mack McKinney, Apr 8, 2011

In the previous post Mack discussed how to get Gen Ys to start contributing and provide them clear standards. This post is about people skills. These are hard to change because they are deeply intertwined with how we see ourselves, the world and other people.  People skills are formed, and then selectively reinforced, throughout life.  But people can change. So enlightened organizations are providing new Gen Ys with both training and with frequent nudges that reinforce the good behavior and correct the areas where they need to improve. more…

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Week In Review : Feb 27 – Mar 5, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on March 6, 2011

5 Reasons why IT Outsourcing may not be living up to the hype!

by Matthew Carmen, Feb 28, 2011

Large and small companies alike find out very often that their own cost savings due to outsourcing do not match the case studies they were sold on. Several reasons can result in your company essentially leaving dollars and services on the table with respect to outsourcing.  There’s no such thing as too much thought when evaluating an outsourcing initiative.  If you need help, there are many experts available to you who can provide guidance. more…

Project Reality Check #11: Frame of Mind

by Gary Monti, Mar 1, 2011

“Everything is simple” if you have the right frame of mind. “What happens when you follow the rules?” is the question that will determine the frame-of-mind appropriate for a project. Gary describes 6 of them in this post. The reality and challenge are the fact that all 6 frames-of-mind or some subset can be present on a given project. The goal, then, is to make sure the project terrain is gauged accordingly and the style(s) adapted are appropriate. more…

Ready to be Enchanted?

by Himanshu Jhamb, Mar 2, 2011

Enchantment is Guy Kawasaki‘s 10th book and according to him, “Enchantment is about transforming situations and relationships to invent new possibilities; ones that you probably did not think were possible.” There is something in this book for everyone and is full of practical advice. An actual review of the book will be coming out on Active Garage, on March 08, 2011 – the official release date of Enchantment. Go ahead and pre-order your copy right away! more…

Flexible Focus #43: 8 Levels of Consciousness

by William Reed, Mar 3, 2011

There are 8 levels of consciousness. The first five are the five senses: VisualAuditoryOlfactoryTaste, and Touch. The sixth is Ideation, our conscious thought. These six levels of consciousness then make up the conscious mind, the part that we are mostly aware of. The next two layers are part of the sub-conscious mind, which are the Ego, and the Seed (Storehouse) consciousness at the core. Our subconscious mind is a garden, which bears fruit according to the seeds which are planted and cultivated. The practical application with the Mandala Chart, is to cultivate a flexible focus and select positive and harmonious seeds to plant in our unconscious. more…

Leader driven Harmony #14: If you are Civil, you will get (more) beer – Part I

by Mack McKinney, Mar 4, 2011

People listen more attentively to civil persons than to rude or boisterous people. Humans seem to be drawn to calm, collected people.  They have a calming effect on persons around them. Cultivate the ability to always be civil even (maybe especially) to people with whom you totally disagree.  This is a powerful skill. In our next post Mack will talk about the remarkable benefits of following the Desiderata. It is a powerful document that will show you how adding just four simple rules at the dinner table will get you labeled diplomatic and get you invited to dinner parties a lot more often! more…

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Week In Review : Jan 16 – Jan 22, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on January 23, 2011

Still busy? – Even with all the productivity enhancing gadgets

by Vijay Peduru, Jan 17, 2011

A recent article in NYT  talked about how kids are wired for distraction by always being online . Every Gadget they use is connected to the internet and the kids are always distracted. It is not just the kids even we grown-ups do this. Each one of us wants distractions and these tools are just another avenue for our distractions. We want distractions because we want to escape from things which are bothering us. Choose to face the problem and use the time previously used for distractions for more enjoyable tasks. more…

Free eBook: Freedom, money, time and the key to Creative Success

by Himanshu Jhamb, Jan 18, 2011

In Mark McGuinness’ own words: Creative people are those who work hard, but because they love what they do, it doesn’t feel like work. Your key to success doesn’t cost a dime… Get your FREE copy of Freedom, Money, Time and the Key to Creative Success by clicking here OR by going directly to the download page. It’s a light read – 34 pages in all. And it’s full of practical advice you can apply to your own situation. more…

Project Reality Check #5: The Devil is in the Details

by Gary Monti, Jan 19, 2011

Expected Monetary Value (EMV) connects the customer with the team. This tool is very powerful. At the core, an EMV calculation comprises probability times impact to get a weighted number. The EMV model is a great way to connect with stakeholders and work rationally while keeping relationships intact. more…

Flexible Focus #37: Navigate with Nanba!

by William Reed, Jan 20, 2011

Earlier in this series in an article called Mobile Mandala, we introduced an exciting new iPad Application called theMandalaChart for iPad, which is available in the iTunes Store. We are proud to announce the first of these templates, a set of 30 Mandala Charts for the iPad application called the Nanba Diary. These pages explain how the MandalaChart and Nanba Diary work for you. more…

Leader driven Harmony #8: Get a FIRE going in Your Belly!

by Mack McKinney, Jan 21, 2011

Let’s pretend you have a major, life-threatening disease and are seeking treatment.  Do you want to be treated by a physician, physician’s assistant or nurse who just kinda likes their job?  Who just muddles through the day?  Who is about as good at the job as most other physicians?  OF COURSE NOT! Same applies to you if you are providing some service or product to someone. In this article Mack tells you how do you get to be the best and how you can rise past the others in your field and become the “go-to” person?. more…

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Week In Review : Jan 9 – Jan 15, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on January 16, 2011

Project Leadership #4: Trust is bidirectional

by Himanshu Jhamb, Jan 10, 2011

Trust is a key ingredient for a project’s success. Establishing bidirectional trust with the stakeholders – Client, Management and Team, lowers the cost of transaction and improves the quality of your projects. This happens only if you care for the stakeholders – all of them. Project that operate in this mode will flow smoothly and be phenomenally more successful! more…

Project Reality Check #4: Know the Business, Gain Power

by Gary Monti, Jan 11, 2011

Project managers (PMs) have to deliver; yet power to get the job done can be elusive. But PMs can take care of themselves and the team knowing they are lower on the food chain and get some power. How? By understanding and communicating in the language used by those with more strategic positions and power. This language also needs to provide a portal through which the PMs can express project concerns. The language is risk management.  more…

Social Media and Tribes #26: Social Media in 2011. Are you still in the GAME?

by Deepika Bajaj, Jan 12, 2011

By the end of 2010 the concept of social media became part of our lives because there was a need for an “Online Conversation” – to talk, listen and engage with your influencers. “SO WHAT? WHAT NEXT?”. You may have just scratched the surface of social media…new challenges and new opportunities are in the horizon. The bars are being raised and the learning curve is steep….What matters is Are You Fatigued or Are you Adapting? more…

Flexible Focus #36: Charting New Territory

by William Reed, January 13, 2011

It is time again to look back and gain some perspective on where we have been in the last eight weeks. Revisiting these articles will help you re-explore the territories where we have been, and see also how they fit together. And also reflects the amazing range of topics possible to address with the Mandala Chart. more…

Leader driven Harmony #7: Failure is required (Part II)

by Mack Mckinney, Jan 14, 2011

In the previous post Mack discussed the danger of not experiencing enough failure in life and how well-meaning people who shelter us from failure can rob us of the mental toughness that we need to get through life. Now a days, people who have tried and failed are much more attractive to most employers than people who have led sheltered lives, protected from failure, with teachers and parents hovering over them and protecting their increasingly brittle self-images. So, push yourself hard enough that you sometimes screw-up. more…

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Project Leadership #4: Trust is bidirectional

by Himanshu Jhamb on January 10, 2011

There have been many a books written about TRUST. It is, without doubt, one of the most important assessments that we, as humans, make, usually internally and act on the basis of that. In the project management world, there are a number of levels at which the PM needs to establish trust, before s/he can make anything happen. A few key ones that are encountered day to day:

  • Trust with the Client
  • Trust with your Management
  • Trust with the Team

Now, trust is a funny thing. It has a way of following the age old adage – “What goes around, usually, comes around”. In other words, it is bidirectional. The tricky part about trust is that you cannot control when and how you’ll get it, no matter how hard you try. In fact, it is one of those unique things that you get, only by giving first!

Coming back to my three categories above:

TRUST with your CLIENT

Establishing trust with the CLIENT is to provide them with stellar service that sends a clear message that you CARE for them. It is not about appeasing them, but guiding them. Amateur Project Managers might shy away from guiding the client thinking “The client is always right”, Project leaders know that clients are humans, too, and that humans have this strange knack of “Not always being right”. In this knowing, Project Leaders are compassionate to their clients’ needs and also, their ignorance (Yes, clients can be ignorant – not a bad thing, if you are compassionate to their needs). Once the clients learn to observe and value this CARE, the ground is fertile for trust to bloom. Trust can be a beautiful thing. It lowers the cost of transacting with the client(s) manifolds. Project leaders who have experienced this know what I am talking about.

TRUST with your Management

Assuming that you work for someone, there is a set of folks who are as important to your career well-being as the client. Your Management team, that is, the people that you report to. Your Management team is your primary client – You could do a fabulous job for your company’s clients but not take care of the concerns of your own company; that’s when this distinction shows up in not so pleasant ways. You need to establish trust with your management so that you keep the cost of transacting with them low, as well. Here are a few ways of doing that:

  • Reporting status to them before asked for.
  • Making sure there are no to very little escalations in your project(s).
  • Running your project on time and within budget.
  • Being a hawk with scope on your projects.

These are all ways of taking care of the concerns of your management – and hence, the building blocks of trust with them. By now, I am sure you are getting the gist of this post: These actions are all about giving first… and in turn, you are rewarded with their TRUST.

TRUST with your Team

One of the most important and commonly overlooked aspects by project managers is establishing trust within your team. Again, it all starts with a declaration of CARE for your team. Project Leaders show this in a number of ways. My favorite is to make sure that when you make commitments to the client and put a plan together to deliver those commitments, you DO NOT plan on having your team work more than the regular workday. I have seen many a project plans where the team is slated to work 12-14 hours in a day for over 2 months at a stretch. Heck! I saw one in which the PM had the team working for 36 hours in a day! It is not surprising that morale is low in an overworked and underappreciated team. Another way is to be result-focused and not overly rules-focused. Unless you are working with a bunch of monkeys (highly unlikely – though, I have heard some folks call their teams that!), you need to take care of the human concerns of people. As long as you keep your head wrapped around results, and be flexible with everything else – you will be rewarded with TRUST. I have personally been bailed out of sticky situations by my team many a times, and have even had the team putting in extra hours to get stuff done on their personal time – WITHOUT being ASKED! It’s a wonderful thing when you see this on your projects… when things follow the path of least resistance and simply flow… bidirectional, like TRUST!

Have any stories that made your life really easy as a Project Manager, once you established TRUST? Do share!

Himanshu JhambThis article was contributed by Himanshu Jhamb, co-founder of ActiveGarage and co-author of #PROJECT MANAGEMENT tweet. You can follow Himanshu on Twitter at himjhamb.
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Week In Review: Oct 31 – Nov 6, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on November 7, 2010

Project Leadership #3: Courage and Stupidity

by Himanshu Jhamb, Nov 1, 2010

Well, you think Courage and Stupidity are two separate categories of actions? May be not. They may be separated by a very fine line indeed. Asking what may seem to be a dumb question or taking a stand for your team in front of your boss may seem stupid. But they may end up saving the project. more…

Chaos and Complexity #8: Governance, Boundaries and managing Time

by Gary Monti, Nov 2, 2010

As a leader you do not have enough time to get involved in every decision the team has to make. Traditional management technique of dealing with individual situations or exception management is not the solution. Applying management efforts across a boundary will decrease the number of interactions a leader must and returns some of their time. more…

Social Media and Tribes #19: Travel tribe takes medieval ages online

by Deepika Bajaj, Nov 3, 2010

Prague still uses the local currency and does not accept the Euro. It lacks a reliable taxi service, among other things a tourist would need. Thanks to social media, in spite of these handicaps, Prague is successful in attracting a fair share of tourists. more…

Flexible Focus #26: Leveraging your time

by William Reed, Nov 4, 2010

We all perceive time in different ways and not all of them are equally powerful. Some approaches are to redefine it as experience or think of it as change. But the first step to gaining a flexible focus on time is to free ourselves from the tyranny of a single perspective on time. more…

The Origin of Leaders #1: Imagination – Developing your most powerful human talent

by Conor Neill, Nov 5, 2010

Imagination is what sets humans apart from animals. We don’t just respond to the world, but can begin to see a new world and thus plan and act accordingly. Especially true for a leader. A leader must see a future that is not yet here. The clearer you can see and touch and feel this potential future, the more compelling you can communicate it to others. So, how can you develop your imagination? more…

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Project Leadership #3: Courage and Stupidity

by Himanshu Jhamb on November 1, 2010

Contrary to the first impression you might have got looking at the title, I am not going to spell out courageous actions and Stupid actions on projects.  That would be too common. My mission is to reflect on my Project Management journey and share valuable insights I have gained from my mistakes (admittedly, more so) & successes in my journey.

In this article, I am going to talk about how being stupid is actually the first step in being courageous.

There are times when you come to a point where you simply have to act out of courage. Any amount of planning, foresight, anticipation or execution skills simply just don’t cut it. You find yourself in a zone where you go on your gut, just because… well! There is no because. You just do it. That is not to say that you (as the picture suggests) start playing Russian roulette with your projects (well, that would be a bit stupid!). Though, if you think about it, you really cannot be courageous and have zero risk of looking stupid, at the same time.

Here are a few circumstances that might sound familiar in the context of this article:

  • You ask what others might term as a “Dumb question”. Yes, it takes courage to ask dumb questions… you are always at risk of looking “Dumb” in front of someone who thinks you should have known the answer.
  • You take a stand for your team in front of your boss… or your boss’s boss, which might mean you disagree with him/her. Yep, very thin line indeed. Cross it and your head might be handed to you on a platter OR you might end up saving your project by being courageous.
  • It might appear stupid to bend the rules a little when it comes to being a little flexible with your team. Think ROI. What seems stupid at first glance, quickly becomes courageous once you think of the trust and loyalty you might end up earning from your team, in return. Sure, you might end up being admonished by the “Powers-to-be”… but sending a bold message that you’ll stand for your team & get their trust in return. You do the math!
  • Asking a lot of questions can occasionally be seen as (and usually is) being stupid. And that is usually a good thing. That’s the first step in being courageous enough to get the answers you need to manage the project.
  • Over-communicating is sometimes termed as being stupid by your own team members. I get that all the time, though, the very next thought that crosses my mind is “Aah! That means at least I have communicated!”  A Zen moment follows.
  • Micro-managing. My personal favorite. Let’s face it – Sometimes, in order to get the project back on track, you have to get into the trenches and steer the way. That’s “Courageous” indeed. Though, you do have to cross the chasm of appearing like you are micro-managing before you can show the doubters and non-believers the other side.

The last one reminds me of the time when I was handed off this project in distress – midway through the project. The customer was feeling just one emotion at that time. Livid. Is that an emotion? Maybe not. But, I digress.Point is, I had an unhappy customer and the reason they cited was that “Nothing was getting done”.

After a bit of digging I realized that because my team member was at the client site (The business world lovingly terms this arrangement as “Staff-Augmentation” or more intimately “Staff-Aug”), he was a victim of poor project management – primarily emanating from the fact that he would be getting his weekly goals from pretty much everyone on the client team while he was eating lunch, walking down the halls or perhaps even in the restroom. No wonder “nothing was getting done”. Once I saddled in, I took care of it by making sure that all traffic to him was routed through me. My involvement obviously meant that my colleague had one more level of indirection added to his work that he had to deal with – ME! His reaction – “Himanshu, you are micro-managing”. We sorted the matter out immediately… fast forward one year – The customer went from “Nothing is getting done” to being a cheery one and investing >$1M over the course of the project.

So, yes, while you are running the project, there will be hurdles along the way that will have “STUPID” written in big bold red letters, on them. You need to have the courage to see them in the eye, acknowledge them and then take that leap of faith to scale them to complete the race you are in.

Himanshu JhambThis article was contributed by Himanshu Jhamb, co-founder of ActiveGarage and co-author of #PROJECT MANAGEMENT tweet. You can follow Himanshu on Twitter at himjhamb.
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Week In Review: Oct 17 – Oct 23, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on October 24, 2010

Project Leadership #2: Keep Relentless Planning Going (RPG) on your projects!

by Himanshu Jhamb, Oct 18, 2010

Planning is not an one time task. It’s a continuous activity through out the life of the project. You can come up with any number of reasons why you don’t need a project plan for your current project. But there are many overwhelming reasons why you need one. And, by the way, don’t forget Mr. Change.  more…

Chaos and Complexity #6: A Checklist that works!

by Gary Monti, Oct 19, 2010

When you are dropped into a situation, how do you figure out if the situation is complex and if so, what the level of complexity is. In this article, Gary provides a comprehensive checklist that will enable you to ask the right questions to gauge the level of complexity. more…

Social Media and Tribes #17: SMSing 2.0 – Mobile in India

by Deepika Bajaj, Oct 20, 2010

SMS (Texting) is huge in India. In fact it may be more widely used in India than any other country. It is used for everything ranging from hiring domestic help to connecting with family to voting in the “Indian Idol”. The cultural aspect that makes it possible is the because people are more trusting and are comfortable sharing their phone number. more…

Flexible Focus #24: The sky is not empty

by William Reed, Oct 21, 2010

Do you have the ability to see space or emptiness? In Western culture, emptiness means nothingness or void. But in oriental culture, it is an integral concept of art and life. Once you realize space is not empty, the Mandala Chart LOOKING AT SPACE can help you recognize its potential. more…

Why Talent Management should be a priority for entrepreneurs

by Sean Conrad, Oct 22, 2010

As entrepreneurs, we’re all focused on the success of our business. By ensuring our companies adopt talent management best-practices right from the start, we set our employees and our business up for success. more…

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No prizes for guessing what this post is about! Yes, it’s about Planning … relentlessly. One of the most common mistakes that I have made in my past projects (and thankfully! learnt from them) is to mistake planning as a one-time activity. If that isn’t scary enough, here’s something else – I have seen many a projects actually not having a project plan. Now, I am not a subscriber of having a pretty Microsoft Project Plan for a 2 day engagement, but would you really want to build a bridge or a building that’s probably going to take more than a year & millions of dollars to build, without a plan? No, really, would you? That is not to say that it does not happen. I have seen projects whose estimated costs could easily be more than $1M, not having a project plan because of one or more of the following reasons:

  1. We are not ready to put a plan together.
  2. Why do I need a plan?
  3. I have my tasks list in the excel spreadsheet and everything’s fine.
  4. Sure. I’ve got the plan done – look at my task list.
  5. Putting a plan together is a waste of time.
  6. It’s fairly straightforward. We don’t need a plan.

Then, there is the mythical plan that contains just a list of tasks with no indication of who is doing the task (Resources – in Project Management speak) or for that matter how much work is involved (Effort – in Project Management speak) in getting the task done.

Why Plan at all?

Unless it’s a 2 day engagement where before you create a plan, the work is done – Create a plan. Here’s why:

  1. Clearly set Expectations: More likely (than not), the customer and the stakeholders would be interested in knowing what, when and how things will be delivered. The plan is the source of this information.
  2. Clearly measure Progress: What doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get improved – is very true. A plan is what you use to measure progress against and chart alternate paths to ensure/restore productivity.
  3. Clear Recovery planning: Things usually seem to start off well. There’s plenty of excitement about the new project, lots of positivity and a lot of time to do what you got to do. Then you hit a snag and things start to fall apart… it’s hard to predict by how much and what it will take to recover, without a plan.
  4. Clearly specify Effort: Everyone is working too hard. Things seem to be getting done. But wait! Even with all the work and effort, we don’t see any results. What’s going on? Well, sure you’re going at a 100 miles/hour, the problem is … in the wrong direction.
  5. Clearly specify Roles & Responsibilities: “What do you mean I have not done it? No one told me I was going to do it. I thought s/he was going to do that.” There are no clear roles and responsibilities.
  6. Clear Schedules: This one’s my favorite. “I will get it done ASAP”. What the heck does ASAP mean, anyway? The beauty about the “ASAP” conversation is this. You talk to the folks who’ve had this conversation AFTER the fact, and ask them “So, when will this get done?”. The answer is each person’s interpretation of ASAP… which is usually, never one date. A plan helps take out the ASAP out of your plan.

Remember the first post about Kickass Kickoffs? The central theme was CLARITY. A plan does that. It gives clarity – to setting expectations (Once things are clear, you don’t get asked the same questions again, and again, and again – huge time saver and one of the tricks for PMs to avoid working overtime), measuring progress, ensuring fast recoveries (when things go wrong – and they do, all the time), avoiding “I didn’t know I was going to do it” type of questions.

Why Plan Relentlessly?

Let’s move on to the RPG part.

Planning, like measuring progress, is a relentless activity, until work gets done. Why? Because of our friend, “Change”!  which is the biggest constant. Yep, Mr. Change keeps messing with the plan, every month, every week, sometimes every day.

The Project Manager rues this. The Project Leader anticipates this.

The Project Manager wastes time thinking of the “Why it happened”? The Project Leader accepts it “As-is” quickly and goes “What next”?

The Project Manager goes in his shell. The Project Leader gets on with his RPG!

The Project Manager runs to the sidelines. The Project Leader grounds himself in the Baselines.

Get the drift? Well, either you do OR the drift gets you!

Next one up in the series – Courage and Stupidity!

Himanshu JhambThis article was contributed by Himanshu Jhamb, co-founder of ActiveGarage and co-author of #PROJECT MANAGEMENT tweet. You can follow Himanshu on Twitter at himjhamb.
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