Project Notes

  1. Do not expect systems to be perfect. In any system involving human collaboration, miscommunication and misconception of expectations are bound to happen.
  2. Investigate all (or as many as possible) potential action plans by looking for works documenting a comprehensive survey of existing products.
  3. Rank action plans by importance (largest impact to achieve main goals) and difficulty of implementation (required new skills, technical complexity,  available resources).
  4. Present to team. Accept feedback. Revise plans.
  5. Execute plan to the best of ability.  Ask for help but do not block self-progress under any circumstances – keep looking for workarounds if blocked by lack of information.
    1.  A lot of information about a system or project can be learned by gradual progress and time spent troubleshooting other areas of the project that might not be directly related to the area in which you are blocked, potentially leading to a discovery in how to solve the blocked problem.
    2. “Nothing motivates more than progress, no matter how small it is” – Dr. Brooks.
  6. People who can be motivated by your positive attitude, vision and progress made on the project, will be motivated. The team is happier.  Loftier goals can be achieved.
    1. People who cannot – maybe motivated via some other means- but to complete a high quality project within a tight time constraints, you have to decide if spending time trying to motivate people is productive.  This depends on the person and your personality.  If time is not a factor, and this project is on-going for as long as you are employed in that team, then working on the relationship with those people in order to motivate them is important. This requires a post of its own.
    2. I have heard of a start-ups where the manager said “We are a small company. We have to move fast and move smart. We cannot afford deadweights. If you’re a deadweight, you’re out”.
  7. This is only tailored to my personality:
    1. If 50% of the goals of a project has been met, aim higher. Look at Step #2, design higher goals. If the bar is too low, you will be less likely to exceed it.  Give yourself the opportunity to exceed your own expectations.

About Alexis Chan
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