Monday, August 07, 2006

Well I'm the Guy Who Never Learned to Dance, Never Even Got One Second Glance

The human element is often amusing and tragic, wicked, and confusing. I suppose the best 'shield' for these events is being aware. For the strong it's irony, for the weak it's cynicism, but however the case, we all in some way shape or form are a victim of circumstance, some can be controlled, some can't.

Mixing studying and blogging, I'm going to examine the human life cycle in parallel to the 5 project management process groups, and as I'm typing, hopefully I'll gain some insight of what can be controlled, and what is harder to control for reasons of, that's where I'm from, or this is who I am, so on and so on.

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Initiating
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Life begins, you're given the name chosen by your parents, I would have preferably got a one syllable name that rolls off the tongue, but I'm content. You learn how your limbs work, how to talk, how to eat, how to play with blocks, develop your senses, etc, but for the most part you are subject to what 'business objectives' are prescribed by your parents. You're in the world weather you like it or not, I'd say this lasts till around age 5 or 6 until organized education comes along.

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Planning
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Planning takes on many iterations, obviously, and 'executing' (what comes next) go hand and hand in these iterations, while you’re planning something, 'life' is what's being executed. Kinda like that slogan life happens while you are busy making other plans. Here, you work out your communication plan, decide which things YOU are interested in, you process inputs, outputs, tools and techniques and constantly 're-baseline' your life if you 'accept the change.' Re-baselining means adjusting timelines, costs, life scope, quality, risk averse-ness and other things. You figure out your thresholds, understand your strengths, threats, opportunities and weaknesses, and you carry yourself over the horizon into the brave new world, or ....not.

Planning involves breaking shit into small work chunks, WBS in the project world, thin slicing as Tipping Point guy would say. It involves having goals, deliverables, performance measures, and other that other stuff that involves practical vision (which to me is defining 'the work and only the work') needed to be done to get where you need to be.

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Executing
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As you execute your plans, you keep in mind assumptions and constraints. If you need a mate to be by your side to function, factor that in as a constraint, and understand there are ‘opportunity costs’ (can’t do this while I’m doing that). If you're Mr. struggling for motivation, factor in the possibility of opportunities that would facilitate constant brilliance, instead of 'spurts of brilliance.' Our British brothers fought the war for the free modern world back in the day, fighting the good fight, down on their luck (it's tough, yea it's tough), and when 'reinforcement' comes, the 'project win WWII' is able to be fast tracked and crashed, moral is up, and good risk, or opportunities occur. So, if you plan for problems, they don't own you, if good luck and opportunity find you but you weren't expecting it, your challenges are all of a sudden shaking in their Nike's, or Reebox's, or whatever.

Getr' Done, as the stereotypical Texan would say, this doesn't include sleeping on the job, 'gold plating', making excuses....the precursors are simple, have a plan and follow it.

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Monitoring and Controlling
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This is where you constantly evaluate what's going on in your life, and make corrective measures if your performance measures are swaying too much from your baselines. It also involves accessing risk and opportunity. If the "I'm being a lazy ass" meter is high and in the red, if the 'man this isn't getting me anywhere meter' is high, etc --- figure out corrective measures or follow contingency plans. For me this means, biding my time, like the running back that gets the ball handed to him, he's got to 'wait for the hole to form', same here, why hop to the next lily pad till you have a rock solid plan. Some have scolded me, saying that I’m rotting away at this hell hole, and my simple response is, and I quote "I'm not hopping to the next lily pad, It's more like Neo jumping to the next building," and that takes careful planning, and flawless execution, not to mention a big set of cajones.

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Closing
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Haven't thought about this one, but the inevitable 'closing' is when your worm food or ashes, whatever you wish, or your loved ones wish. If you take consideration for the rest of the process groups, and you somewhat follow this methodology, it really doesn't matter 'when the end comes,' for you've lived a fulfilled life to the extent of what you could do, or dream, working your talents against your weaknesses and constraints.

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Closing statements -- Many 'music philosophers' have talked about 'the dance' and how it represents life. Life's a dance you learn as you go, sometimes you lead sometimes you follow......I could have missed the pain, but I'd a had to miss the dance.......etc.

Personally I don't really like the analogy, I was / am an awkward kid, I don’t dance, but I'm bouncin' thru life pretty good, and the best is yet to come.

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