Allocating “The right Kind of Time”

I loved this article and thought of sharing it with you:

http://www.managementblog.org/archives/2010/04/29/the-right-kind-of-time/

The sentence I loved the most is:

“We don’t need a lot of time, but we need the right kind of time.”

YES, we have to learn to allocate the right kind of time for everything.  Setting the right priorities and knowing what deserves to take our attention, when and for how long is one of the secrets of success in management.

Don’t assume that People Understand

Sometimes we ask someone for something or request a service.  We explain what we want and we assume that people understand.  Amazingly people can misunderstand you very easily.

When a manager is asking an employee to do a certain task, he’d better explain it very well and put it in writing.  You have to make sure that the person you are talking to understands exactly what you mean or else you will be surprised and maybe frustrated by the results. 

A nice joke that serves as a good example for my argument is the one I received from Mr. Paul Sloane (http://www.destination-innovation.com) in his destination Innovation Newsletter:

One of our staff was leaving so I phoned the bakery to order a special cake. They asked what wording I wanted.  I said, ‘Best wishes Suzanne’ and underneath that , We will miss you.’  This is what I got.”

Lessons learnt are: 

1- Be specific not vague.

2- Explain very well.

3- Don’t jump into details without a proper introduction for mind setting, if needed – Don’t assume people know what you are talking about.

3- If you can put it in writing do that (if applicable)

4- Make the person you talked to repeat the task he’ll do in his own words to make sure he grasped what you said.

After all that, all you can do is hope that your message was not misunderstood.


The Lucky Winners

This is to announce the lucky winners of a free copy of the book “Powered by Happy” by Beth Thomas.

I conducted the draw and here are the names of the two winners:

1- Rehab Genena.

2- Hossam Sadik.

Here is the original post where I announced the draw:

https://dohashawki.wordpress.com/2010/04/04/how-to-get-and-stay-happy-at-work/

Congratulations Rehab and Hossam and I hope you enjoy reading the book.

How to create a Project Financial Program

Today I am hosting a post written by Mr. Jason Westland, the CEO of www.projectmanager.com , who has 15 years experience in the project management industry.
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They were generous enough as well to offer 3 free licenses of their project management software to my interested readers (worth 495 USD each).  Whoever is interested, please send me your email and full name and I will conduct a draw.  Three lucky winners will win a free license of their software

I was so happy when he contacted me and asked to publish articles in my blog, so here is the article as written by him:
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If you need to deliver projects on time and under budget, then you have to have a Project Financial Program to made you do it.  Producing this programme is not a simple task, but by learning this article you can learn out how to execute it in four simple steps.
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How to create a Project Financial Program

Step 1: Number the Financial Expenses

The best measure needed when specifying a Financial Design and placing a project budget, is to identify all of the varieties of expenses that are probably to be obtained throughout the Project Lifecycle.
Typically, most projects drop the majority of their budget on purchasing, leasing, renting or contracting the resources to the design (e.g. labor, equipment and materials). Yet other sorts of expenses found may take those associated to the:
  • Procurement of resources from providers
  • Formation of a Project Place
  • Governance of the project

Step 2: Quantify the Financial Expenses

Once you have placed a particular list of expenses to be acquired throughout the project, the next way is to calculate the unit cost of every expense type listed. The unit price is merely the price of a single unit of a certain expense particulars. For instance, the total cost for:
  • labor may be figured as the value every 60 minutes supplied
  • equipment may be guessed as the lease value per day
  • materials might be figured as the purchase cost per quantity
After numbering the unit value, you should estimate the complete sum of every expense item needed to undertake the project. For instance:
  • Identify the number of uses necessary
  • Quantify the items of equipment required
  • Discover the sum of materials required
  • Quantify the procurance particulars to be sourced from suppliers
  • Figure out the organization value the project

Step 3: Make an Expense Schedule

You have nowadays collated each of the info involved to form a particular expense agenda. This schedule enables the Project Manager to estimate the complete price of undertaking the project on  a daily, weekly or monthly ground.
To create an Expense Schedule, form a board which numbers all of the expense types down the left hand side of page, and all of the weeks in the yr across the page. Then distinguish for each week and for each expense sort, the total of financial expenditure to budget. Once finish, you can add up all of the expenses for whatever certain week to increase a weekly budget for the total project.
Of course you may want to estimate a daily, monthly or yearly prospect, depends upon your particular project need. Likewise don’t forget to number some presumptions taken during the creation of this Financial Plan. For example, it may be assumed that:
  • “The project delivery dates will not change during this project.”
  • “The unit value calculated are exact to within 5%.”
  • “The funds listed by this programme will be accessib as needed.”
And lastly, list whatever constraints identified during this financial planning operation. For example:
  • “Limited data was accessible when recognizing costs”
  • “A marketplace shortage has resulted in a higher labor amount”

Step 4: Specify the Financial Operation

Now that you have created your Expense Agenda, you have to determine the procedure for monitoring and controlling expenses (i.e. costs) all over the Project Lifecycle. Set the Cost Management Form for your project by documenting the:
  • Function of the process
  • Steps taken in undertaking the operation
  • Uses and duties involved in undertaking the operation
  • Guides utilized to backup the process
And there you made it! By finishing these measures, you can make a particular Financial Plan to assist you deliver on time and reasonable budget..
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They were generous enough as well to offer 3 free licenses of their project management software to my interested readers.  A single license costs 495 USD. Whoever is interested, please send me your email and full name and I will conduct a draw.  Three lucky winners will win a free license of their software

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Jason Westland has 15 years experience in the project management industry. From his experience he has created software to help speed up the management process. If you would like to find out more information about Jason’s online project management software “http://www.projectmanager.com

How to Get and Stay Happy at Work

“Powered by Happy” is a book written by Beth Thomas, where she talks about how to get happy and stay happy at work.  And how can managers create a happy environment to boost performance and increase success.

Beth Thomas is currently a Managing Director and Executive Vice President of Sequent Consulting, a firm that provides training and HR services to the corporate sector, this book feeds from every day techniques implemented during her client sessions. Prior to her years with Sequent Consulting, she served as the Senior Vice President of Retail Training at JPMorgan Chase, were she was responsible for the learning and development of nearly 40,000 employees.

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Beth and Sourcebooks were generous enough to provide me with two free copies of the book to distribute on my interested readers. If you are interested in receiving a free copy of the book send me your name and shipping address by email and I’ll conduct a draw and send a copy to two lucky winners….(Monday 12-04-2010 I will announce the winners)

I conducted an interview with Beth to get an insight on some of the ideas she mentioned in her book, below are the details of the interview:


1. Give us a few hints and tips on how an employee can love his job, just a few points from what you mentioned in the book?

  • Make sure you are doing what you love, what you are passionate about(if you aren’t make a change or volunteer for the work you are passionate about) , this helps you truly be successful
  • Hang with a gang that gets it – Make sure you are hanging with colleagues that you want to emulate or are looked up to in the organization.  Steal shamelessly their tips to success!
  • Build relationships with your colleagues – help each other and they will help you!
  • Find a Mentor – one who has tenure with your company so they can help you navigate through the political landscape of the company.  Nothing can make you more “unhappy” than to be caught in a political landmine!

2. What if an employee hates his boss and this is making him barely able to wake up and go to work every day? Can the employee himself do something to make things better and to enjoy his job?

  • Ohhh this is a popular question, because 80% of people actually leave their boss and NOT their company.   Here are a few tips:
  • First Look in the mirror, do a self check.  How is YOUR attitude, work habits and performance?  Make sure YOU truly aren’t the problem.
  • Find people who have worked successfully with your boss and obtain their “secrets to success”
  • Confirm with your boss his expectations of you and try to exceed them.  For example say “If you were to tell me in 6 months I have done a fabulous job, what would I have accomplished”
  • When all else fails, sometimes the answer is to leave.  Having a good relationship with your boss can not only make or break your day, but your career as well!

3. Can you give some tips to managers on how to create a happy place around the office?

  • Create a SWAT team at work where their mission is to plan activities that give employees something to be happy about or look forward to; for example, Tuesday snack days, Thursday happy hour, Friday pot luck.
  • Create a Peer to Peer recognition program, everyone wants to feel successful and feel like they are adding value, this makes them “happy”!  So, give kudos to colleagues for a job well done!
  • Celebrate your wins and successes!
  • Don’t be afraid to laugh, work doesn’t have to be a bad place to go!  Create a culture where it is OK to laugh, tell stories, tell jokes, help bring other’s attitude’s up
  • Lastly, if you find you have a member of your team that is bringing everyone down, get them out!  One of the biggest reason people have happy cultures is that leaders get rid of the bad eggs!

4. What if a certain manager is making the lives of his employees miserable every day, what can you tell him to convince him that he is negatively affecting productivity and efficiency around the office?

  • It’s always hard to “coach up”.  Make sure whenever you do this, that you are prepared with your key messages so you stay on point.
  • Be prepared to showcase specific examples where his attitude is affecting the work.  Try to keep it focused on the lack of productivity, possible turn over, and results of the team.
  • Make sure you make him feel like you are trying to help him not sabotage him!

5.  I understand that you have some practical techniques to help companies teach their employees how to find happiness; can you give us a glimpse on some of those

  • Show you care – employees want to be loyal, but expect it back.  Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, birth of a child.
  • Make sure your associates understand what success looks like for them – set clear goals and objectives.  Make sure they have a line of sight to the vision of your company!
  • Develop your people – people are successful when they are doing what they love and what they are best suited for.  So, manage your workforce and figure out what the best job for each of your associates!

6. In just a few words how can you make company owners, CEOs and managers realize the importance of employee satisfaction?

    • 90% of productivity comes from 20% of your engaged associates.
    • Companies around the US have lost 300 billion (yes, billion) with disengaged associates, mostly from turn over, loss of productivity.
    • A leader should be spending 70% of their time with employee development, whether it is recruiting or retention or employee engagement
    • These are all facts that validate “Happy associates are productive associates” This is an epidemic.  SMART leaders everywhere are finally realizing how engaging their employee pays off BIG for them and their bottom line!

Beth and Sourcebooks (the publisher) were generous enough to provide me with two free copies of the book to distribute on my interested readers. If you are interested in receiving a free copy of the book send me your name and shipping address by email and I’ll conduct a draw and send a copy to two lucky winners.