From SOS to WOW!

tips for project management success

Margaret A Johnson, PE

Ideal Training, Inc.

The project management process provides the tools and techniques to manage projects effectively from conception to reality. It includes everything from detailing the scope; defining stakeholders; and managing time, cost, and quality to communications and risk management. In spite of our experience and knowledge of process and technique we may sometimes find ourselves dealing with the Same Old Stuff (SOS), running up against people and process glitches that we have previously experienced. We wish we could easily move through them to get back to business and return to progress, but it isn’t always that simple.

This paper will address an assessment of where we are stuck, (i.e., SOS—Same Old Stuff), the creation of the vision of where we want to be and the motivation to get there (WOW—Well On the Way to excellence), and tips and techniques to move our projects and teams in the desired direction. Limiting assumptions will be busted in order to plan actions to remove barriers to success through exercises to create awareness, inspire creativity, define risk, and clarify action steps for more successful project outcomes.

What Is Your SOS?

The term déjà vu is derived from French, and literally means “already seen.” It is “the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced, has already been experienced in the past, whether it has actually happened or not” (Déjà vu, n.d.). It happens occasionally in life in general as well as in our projects. In order to apply tips and techniques for project success, it is first necessary to determine where we are stuck—your project déjà vu or Same Old Stuff (SOS). There may be several areas in which you feel like you aren’t making project progress. It is helpful to make a list of the areas that might need attention. First examine different aspects of your projects. Is it that meetings frequently run overtime? Is the team working together efficiently and keeping the lines of communication open, or are problems arising between groups or individuals more often than not? Are the politics of the organization continuing to sidetrack the project?

After reviewing your project situations, the selection of the situation at the top of your list that causes the most difficulty or stress is recommended for the purpose of applying the tips outlined in this article. Reflecting on what makes you feel like you aren’t making progress in this situation and detailing the barriers that prevent forward movement create a solid foundation to move ahead.

What Is Your WOW?

The second step in improving project success is to visualize how you would like things to be in that particular area that requires change. What would you like to be different about that SOS? Where would you like to be, or what would you like to have in reference to your project(s) that you don’t have now? What will it look like? What shift(s) will you have to make for the desired change to happen? Exercises, selecting pictures as metaphors for the new desired situation, or detailing in writing how one would like things to be provides a clear picture of the future we would like to experience. Select a method and create your vision.

Remember that this target will change with time so that instead of having arrived and being “done once and for all,” you will always be Well On the Way (WOW) to where you want to be in managing your project processes and people.

A client of mine was asked to put together a budget presentation for all of the programs she wanted to implement in her spinoff company and the individual projects that would be required to accomplish the changes. She had prepared charts and graphs and calculations and felt well prepared. As she was working through the final details, including her PowerPoint presentation, I asked her to try something. Instead of focusing on the numbers and the data, I asked her to step back and reflect on the future and imagine how things would look if the projects she was recommending were in place. She visualized a successful team with a full schedule of client projects, a safe work environment, teams that worked together effectively and communicated in a professional manner, and other aspects of her plan that included less stress in her life. When she was able to share not just the statistics and numbers but also the emotion and passion behind her desires for this new work environment, the effectiveness of her presentation and her enthusiasm for her work increased significantly.

Write out your thoughts or create a vision board for your future reality. Regularly reflect on this vision. How would you act? How would other aspects of your work life change for you? What would be different? What are you waiting for?

Motivation to Move From SOS to WOW!

Motivation is the reason why we do something. Are you motivated? You say, “Yes, of course!” Are other people motivated? Hmm. Many times I hear project managers say that team members are not motivated. I propose they are motivated, but they may not be motivated to do what you might need them to do when you want them to do it. They are motivated to work on, or not work on, other priorities. So, how do we get to WOW from our SOS when it requires motivating others or ourselves in order for it to happen? There are several ways to look at it.

Clarifying our values and what is important to us may provide motivation to take action. The client mentioned in the previous section valued achievement (many client projects), other people and life (a safe work environment), and communication and interaction (teams working together and communicating effectively), among other things. These values provided her with the energy to take action and stay focused on where she wanted to take the new organization. If we are clear on our values, honoring them becomes a motivation. How does your SOS-to-WOW journey connect to what is important to you?

Frustration can be motivating. If the current situation causes us stress, seeing and believing in the possibility of a work life with less stress can be motivating. You will hang in there and make the necessary changes because you desire the new situation more.

Motivation is very individualistic. It varies from person to person. It also depends on the desired result. We may be motivated differently to complete a task at work compared to a task in our home.

What will serve as your motivation to make the necessary changes to transform from SOS to WOW? Will holding the vision of the new future be enough? Will setting deadlines to accomplish tasks and assigning a friend or co-worker to hold you accountable work for you? Set aside reflection time to clarify your underlying motivation and ways to keep yourself on track.

We’ve defined where we are and where we want to be and examined our motivation to make the move. Let’s take a look at specific steps to get there.

How Will You Get There?

The five areas considered in this paper for project management tips for success to move you from SOS to WOW are:

  1. Focusing versus multitasking
  2. Busting assumptions
  3. Sparking creativity
  4. Risk taking
  5. Self-talk

Focusing Versus Multitasking

I bring up focusing before addressing assumptions, creativity, and risk taking because I believe your attention is the key to making progress. If we can remove the distractions that take you away from your purpose and the time wasted switching from one activity to another, you will experience how much more effective and productive your work will be. Many people never get to WOW because they are constantly putting out fires instead of working on the most important activities to make progress.

Having control over our attention is a critical skill. We are bombarded with distractions, especially from the digital world. Many believe that they are able to successfully multitask and perform several actions effectively at the same time. The truth of the matter is we lose effectiveness, efficiency, and accuracy when we try to do more than one thing at a time. It is true that some of us actually need more stimulation to reach our peak attention/focus zone (e.g., the addition of music in the background), while others work best in a quiet and less stressful environment. But the key is to be mindful of multitasking and use it to amp up or lower your energy level when needed, not to use it as a distraction from the task at hand (Palladino, 2007, p. 26).

Single-tasking is focusing on one thing at a time. For example, if you are in a project meeting paying attention to the speaker and the questions and responses of those in the room, you are single-tasking. If you are texting or e-mailing on your cell phone while you are in the meeting trying to listen to the speaker or the team work through agenda items, you are multitasking. You may miss out on part of the conversation or make mistakes in your texts and e-mails. The brain can focus on only one thing at a time. It tends to go back and forth giving full attention to one thing, then another. And it takes time to refocus on the new task, so efficiency is lost. “While multitasking, efficiency is reduced by as much as 40 percent. This is because the brain needs time -- up to 15 minutes -- to refocus on a task after a distraction” (Jayne, n. d.).

A simple test to prove this to yourself is to grab a piece of paper, a pen, and a timer. Time yourself as you write down the phrase “multitasking is not focusing” at the top of the piece of paper, put down the pen, flip over the paper, pick up the pen, and write the numbers one through 26 in order on the back side. For the second timed exercise alternate writing one letter of the phrase with one number, flipping over the paper between each number and letter so that your numbers are all on one side and the phrase is on the other. Add the caveat of putting down the pen when you flip over the paper and picking it back up each time you start to write a new letter or number. How much longer did it take to perform the second task? It most likely took twice as long or longer. Your focus was interrupted as you switched back and forth, and you had to refocus your attention on where you were in the phrase or which number was next. This can be an eye opener as well as a great reminder of how much time is wasted switching from one task to another in our normal workday. There are a number of exercises on the Internet to test this in other ways, including short video games and handwritten number and letter exercises. Search for “multitasking versus single-tasking exercises” if you need more proof of your compromised performance.

So, what can we do to stay focused on and engaged in the project task at hand? One method is to make a list of important tasks and block out specific amounts of time to stay on task, not allowing telephone calls, texts, e-mails, or visitors to disrupt the time block. Taking set breaks after each focused segment to respond to e-mails or calls and returning to your blocked-out times can make a difference in productivity. For assistance in staying focused on specific tasks, check out http://www.pomodorotechnique.com for a simple process you can apply to your work or personal projects for better performance. It may be of interest to those who could benefit from work-focused time blocks.

Turning off e-mail, text alarms and other digital interruptions; closing your door; or moving to a quiet, out-of-the way office or area are simple ways to improve your focus at work. Or how about that list of things to do? How long is it, and do you ever really check off everything on it by the end of a day? Narrow your focus on what you try to accomplish each day. Remember that the ability to effectively multitask is a myth. Don’t you want to be more effective at work?

Reflect on what focus means for you and your projects, how you operate now, and what you could change to stay focused and moving in the WOW direction. Commit to it.

I do want to add a word of caution regarding focus. I was coaching two executives who wanted to grow their well-established corporate consulting business. In the conversation one expressed dissatisfaction with a recent airline experience and detailed the letters he had written to the company. I asked if he had considered offering his company’s services to the airline instead of just expressing his customer dissatisfaction. He hadn’t, but he thought that would be a great idea. His focus on his frustration with the airline caused him to miss seeing it as an opportunity for his business. A check from a person not involved in your day-to-day operations may provide insight into how you may be so focused on current ways of doing or being that you are missing opportunities placed in your lap. Consider intermittent checks from a trusted advisor to keep you focused yet open to possibilities. Focus on the tasks at hand, but remain open to other ways of accomplishing the tasks.

We will explore how to keep your mind open to possibilities in the building assumptions and sparking creativity sections ahead.

Busting Assumptions

Our ability to move from SOS to WOW could be stifled by the assumptions we hold.

We all do it. We make assumptions about what we think people will do or say, or we decide whether or not a new process or approach will work based on an assumption. Assumptions are necessary for progress. Without them we might be stifled indefinitely, waiting to be sure of an outcome. But assumptions can also lead us down the path of misconception and trouble with possible damaging results.

As a young engineer, I recall running into my boss’s office after hearing an announcement regarding upcoming organizational changes. “Employee Olympics,” my former boss exclaimed. “Jumping to conclusions again, are we”? That was his nickname for it. I laugh when I think about it now, but this path we follow from initially observing something to selectively collecting data and finally believing it to be the truth is referred to as the “ladder of inference.” It was first put forth by organizational psychologist Chris Argyris and subsequently used by Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization.

The process starts with the observation of the reality of facts and events. We, as the observers, then choose which specific actual events we want to focus on. This is referred to as selective reality. Based on this selected focus, we make assumptions about what is happening. We draw conclusions based on those assumptions, start to believe the conclusions we have manufactured, and end up acting in a certain way because of what we believe (Senge, 1990).

Here is how it might work on a project: A team member from another group is transferred to our group to assist on a project. The team member is quiet in meetings and does not respond to greetings in the hallway. We take that data and selectively look for other instances when the team member is quiet or does not respond to greetings and discover it happens again. We collect more information when they exhibit these behaviors and start to make assumptions about their knowledge and friendliness and ability to get along with others. We then conclude they are not friendly and don't know enough about the project to contribute and start to treat them as if that were true. We have followed the steps on the ladder of inference and arrived at a conclusion that we do not know is the truth but assume that it is. The team member could be quiet in meetings and unresponsive in the hallways for any number of reasons that may not match our assumptions at all.

So, what stories are you telling yourself about what is and are not possible? Are you holding yourself back from moving from SOS to WOW in your selected project area? Do you hold beliefs about yourself, other people, or situations that may not be true? Take a hard look at these beliefs and how they affect your actions. Resolve to be open to other interpretations and possibilities. Test your assumptions. Are their assumptions about equipment production times or people’s openness to change? For example, do you believe that your hands are tied regarding the project budget? What if it weren’t true—how would your actions change? Ask questions. Clarify what you believe before you start acting on false conclusions. Practice self-awareness so that you notice when you are starting to climb the rungs on the ladder of inference. You will save yourself a lot of agony and backpedaling, and you will see possibilities where barriers stood before for project process.

Sparking Creativity

Do you believe you are creative? Many years ago, an owner of a publishing company wanted to find out if his employees were creative, so he hired a consulting firm to investigate. They researched and interviewed the employees and found out that those who thought they were creative were, and those who thought they weren’t creative weren’t. So, yes, everyone is creative in different ways. We might not take the time to let our creativity flow. Or, we once believed we were creative but don’t anymore. How do we get it back? “You start believing in YOU again. You start by believing that you ARE creative and that your innovative spirit can be ignited once more.” (Byrd, 2013, p.16) Along with believing, practicing your creativity will move you toward your desired WOW.

When would you need creativity at work? Are you stuck and cannot figure out how else to approach a situation? Do you need new ideas for a process? Are you stumped on how to approach a conflict or other personnel issue affecting your project? Do you need to find ways to shorten a task time? Did your project budget just get cut severely and you now have to make things happen with significantly less money? Taking time to play with creativity and develop new ideas may resolve many types of project bottlenecks.

One way to get new ideas on an issue is to play “pass the problem” with a small group. Arrange the group in a circle. Each person takes a sheet of paper and writes an issue they would like ideas on at the top of the paper. It can be something specific from the project that is giving them a headache or work in general. Maybe they are looking for a solution or another way to approach a situation. Maybe they want more responsibility so that they can eventually earn a promotion. It could be a number of things. Check the previous paragraph for additional problem ideas.

Once everyone has clarified his or her problems, each person passes their “problem” one person to the right. Allow them a short time, usually a minute, to respond to the issue in writing. They should provide ideas or direction, empathy, ask questions, offer suggestions and assistance, or respond in any way they are able to. After one minute, everyone passes the problem one person to the right. All respond to the new issue before them. You repeat the process, allowing everyone one minute to respond to the dilemma, until each person has their original problem back in their hands. It is a simple way to get new ideas and perspectives on issues that have been stalled or hit a roadblock. The point of the exercise is to move people out of their comfortable thinking ruts and allow them to examine their problems from a different perspective. The results of this technique usually provide humor and many times some realistic solutions to participant problems. In the very least, it is a start to viewing your situation in a different way.

There are as many creative idea-generating techniques as there are problems in the world. Random-word generators are another way of opening up your mind to other perspectives and lifting you out of ruts. Groups define a problem. Then a random word is selected for the discussion. The group tries to connect the random word to the problem and possible solutions. It may or may not lead to a brainstorm of thoughts. If not, another random word is chosen and focused on to see where the discussion leads. Ideas are recorded and practical possibilities are investigated further.

Random words may be produced a number of ways, including from thin air, in books with tables of random words, or by using a chart (see Exhibit 1). In the left-hand column of the chart I have listed five words, from bridge to envelope. This chart is used to create more random words by having participants fill out the chart going across the row. For each word in the left-hand column they write down the first word or phrase that comes to mind, one in each box going across until the chart is filled. Then they bring their charts to small groups for brainstorming with a slew of new random words to use to generate ideas. The initial word list in the left-hand column can be developed in any fashion, even by selecting items you see in the room you are in.

How can this be used? As the story goes, and there are many versions of it, a group was trying to solve the problem of ice forming on power lines. They used random-word charts to solve the problem. One person had honey and bear as random words on his chart. He started the conversation by suggesting they put honey pots at the top of the power poles to attract bears that would then climb the poles to get the honey. The bears climbing the poles would cause them to vibrate and knock the ice off the wires. As impractical as that is, it did get them to think about vibration, and that is how they eventually solved the problem. They flew helicopters over the lines to cause the lines to sway and the ice fell off. So, have some faith and hope in the methodology. You never know where it might lead.

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Exhibit 1: Random words creativity exercise.

Besides brainstorming, reflection is a method to provide new perspectives and solutions. Reflect on where you get your ideas. What are you doing when ideas come to you? How do you record your ideas? Take advantage of the situations when ideas are flowing and put yourself in that position more often. Many people find that when they are relaxed and performing activities that don’t require much brainpower, their creative genius is in full swing. For example, many people experience enlightenment in the shower, while driving, or while listening to their favorite music. Remember to write ideas down as soon as they come to you. If they are not recorded within a short time, usually 20 seconds, they may be lost forever. Develop a system to record your brilliance. (Note: if you are driving when the light bulb goes off, pull over to the side of the road to record your wisdom—safety first!)

Apply the creative solutions to your SOS to move to WOW.

Risk Taking

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition details four major processes in project risk management:

  1. Risk identification
  2. Risk quantification
  3. Risk response development
  4. Risk response control (Project Management Institute, 2013, pp. 309–354)

Determining what risks are likely to affect your project, the likelihood and how to prepare, and defining steps and responses as risk changes are clearly defined in this document. These are the guidelines for assessing project risk.

The risk I am referring to in propelling your movement from SOS to WOW is personal growth risk, (e.g., speaking up, changing the process, following through with ideas that aren’t popular). It requires courage to implement in order for you to move forward in your personal or professional life. These deliberate risks lead to your growth in three potential areas: self-improvement risk, commitment, and self-disclosure (Ilardo, 1992, p. 3). The same criteria as referenced in the PMBOK Guide® apply, but typically that level of detail and analysis is not required for personal risk assessment. However, these personal risks can definitely impact your project depending on whether they are or aren’t taken.

What is risk taking? It is taking action or not, when you aren’t sure what the outcome will be. You are exposing yourself to the possibility of loss or gain along the way. People sometimes forget that there is as much risk in taking action as there is in not taking action. How many times have you waited for stakeholders to make a decision and by not deciding they have decided? Risk is involved. Risk is inevitable. It is part of everyday life. We do what we can to mitigate the risk, but it must be faced.

In order to move from SOS to WOW, something has to change. Someone (you) has to take some action to make your vision happen. How will you do that? What are the steps?

First, get clear on your goal. What is it that you really want? What changes would you like to see, and what needs to happen in order for those changes to become a reality? Clarify your risk-taking goal and what you will accomplish by taking the risk. Look back at your WOW to assist you in this process.

Then, evaluate your alternatives. What are the different ways you could finally be at WOW? Use some of the creativity exercises to brainstorm different ways to make it happen. As you evaluate alternatives, consider how much of a stretch each of them would be for you. Does your heart sink into your stomach when you think of the actions you need to take, or does it seem like it will be a breeze? Which of the previously discussed options pushes you outside your comfort zone but not too far? Try that one on for size.

How do you know what your risk-taking tendencies are? Consider how you typically behave. Are you the one to jump out there and try something new, or are you more cautious? There are simple assessments you can take to determine your tendencies. If you search on the Internet you can find a number of free assessments to give you a fairly accurate reading. Those with a higher level of sophistication and accuracy are usually available through professional coaches focusing on creativity and risk. In classes and presentations I like to utilize a game from childhood that offers an interesting perspective and opens up conversations on risk. It is called Red Light, Green Light. It is a sidewalk game I played as a child with my neighbors. The object of the game is to be the first player to get to the person who is “it.” That person, the caller, stands at the end of the sidewalk while the players gather some distance away. The caller faces away from the players. When the caller shouts out “green light” the players move toward the caller at any pace. When the caller shouts out “red light” the players must stop moving. The caller turns around to check to see if anyone is moving and sends those people back to start if they are. The first player to reach the caller without being caught is the winner and becomes the new caller. The manner in which the players move toward the caller during the game can be observed, noted, and discussed. Risk-taking tendencies are displayed in the behaviors of the players when I use this game in my work, and interesting discussions and perspectives on risk taking result.

When it comes down to actually taking the risk, do what you can to improve your odds. If it is speaking to your boss, consider gaining support from your co-workers and approaching management as a united front (but don't gang up on them!). If you need more time to evaluate your options, ask for it. Test a prototype if the situation allows by creating a smaller version of the process or trying out a conversation on co-workers for their input.

Just do it—take action and assess what needs to be modified. You may need to regroup and circle back to your original goal to see what needs to change for greater success. It is a process that loops back to the start in many cases.

What is typically holding you back from taking the first step? Fear. It prevents us from moving. What are you really afraid of? Fear of failure—what will happen to your career, project, or reputation if you fail?

Fear of success—if you succeed more will be expected of you and you will be rewarded with more responsibility. Make a list of the fears you have regarding your risk goal. Analyze each fear, remembering how we addressed assumptions. Is it true? If it were true, what could you do to prevent or adjust the negative outcome? What if the opposite of your fears were true? How would that change how you act? Keep this in mind as you work through the risk steps. Consider the consequences of each possible action, and the ways you can minimize the negative impact, and improve on the positive possibilities. If you are going to move to WOW you have to take the first step. Consider the assumptions you may be holding on to that keep you from moving forward and consider which ones are really true. Respond accordingly. Success is yours.

Self-Talk

You may have clearly defined your WOW and the motivation to get there; focused on the right things and removed distractions; busted the assumptions that are holding you back; exercised your creativity to overcome obstacles; and set goals to take risks. But still, your self-talk can sabotage your process and you can end up with the Same Old Stuff. It is important to keep an open, curious mind.

What is self-talk? It is the activity of talking to yourself either out loud or silently. It can be positive or it can be negative. Positive self-talk can be uplifting and keep the mind open to possibilities—a motivator. Negative self-talk can limit your vision and destroy confidence—a de-motivator. “Research shows that when people work with a positive mind-set, performance on nearly every level—productivity, creativity, engagement—improves” (Achor, 2012). This mind-set can benefit a project manager immensely.

How does one cultivate a positive mind-set? By practicing self-awareness first. Noting how you speak and think and whether it is serving you, and how you could change the way you are thinking to be more positive and productive develops this mind-set. Some people set daily alarms at regular intervals to do a personal check on their positivity. There are a number of other exercises you can create on your own, or you can follow some practices from coaching. One is to keep a success diary. Each day you make a journal entry on all of the positives that took place that day, such as the things that went right with project progress, communications with team members, and problems that were solved. At regular intervals review the journal to confirm that you are on the right track.

Another favorite exercise of mine is to make a list of all of the things you do want to happen in a particular area of your work. Consider all of the things you DO want to happen on your project: you Do want it to come in under budget, you DO want team members to notify you early if problems meeting deadlines are a possibility, you DO want to be handsomely rewarded for your work managing the project, you DO want the completed project to be successful and an example for future projects. Keep this list with you and review it daily throughout the project lifetime. It will keep you focused on positive outcomes and possibilities for assuring the DOs really DO happen.

What will be your method of maintaining positive self-talk? Investigate options, create your own that works with your style, and keep at it. Soon you will be Well On the Way!

Moving Forward

Visualizing your SOS and your WOW and clarifying the actual steps to get there follow a process I developed called the Heart N’ Smart™ goal process. George T. Doran first published the SMART acronym for goal setting in the early 1980s. He worked as a consultant and was the former director of corporate planning for Washington Water Power Company. The paper in which the acronym is defined is titled “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives.”

If you are not already familiar with the acronym SMART, it stands for:

S – Specific – to define a goal clearly so that anyone can read your description and understand what you are talking about

M – Measurable – that the goal be defined in such a way that whether or not you reach it can be measured

A – Actionable – that who is responsible for taking action for the goal to be achieved and what needs to be done is clearly defined (I’ve also seen agreeable used here, where all involved must agree that the goal is a worthwhile place to focus energy)

R- Reasonable – that it is reasonable to assume this goal can be accomplished

T – Time-framed – that there is a deadline by which we can expect the goal to be reached

In the Heart N’ Smart™ goal process one defines their vision in line with their values for how they would like things to be in the transformation from SOS to WOW. Then they clearly define goals and the actions they will take to make it happen—the smart part. By combining the emotion and passion of the vision with the practicality of steps, one can more effectively move forward in any desired area.

Regularly reviewing the steps outlined in this paper will bring you to WOW (Well On the Way) with your project processes and people: :

  • Evaluating the area for change—SOS;
  • Visualizing a more effective and productive mode of operating—WOW;
  • Recognizing and capitalizing on your motivation;
  • Focusing on one task at a time and avoiding the pitfalls of multitasking;
  • Assessing where you are making assumptions, how you are holding yourself back, and how you will remove those barriers to progress;
  • Opening your mind to possibilities through creative techniques;
  • Examining the risks involved in making changes and adjusting the approach for more successful results; and
  • Keeping a mind-set of positivity and focus on what you want to achieve and not what you want to avoid

Your WOW will always be changing slightly as your vision for where you want to be changes, but the tips to continue moving forward will remain the same.

Stay curious and open to possibilities!

Achor, S. (2012). Positive intelligence. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2012/01/positive-intelligence.

Byrd, J. (2013). Voice of the innovator. Minneapolis, MN: Author

Déjà vu. (n.d.). In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Déjà_vu

Doran, G. T. (1981). There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives. Management Review, 70(11), 35–36.

Ilardo, J. (1992). Risk-taking for personal growth: A step-by-step workbook. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Jayne, A. K. (n.d.). Single-tasking vs. multitasking. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/singletasking-vs-multitasking-32781.html

Palladino, L. J. (2007). Find your focus zone. New York, NY: Free Press.

Project Management Institute. (2013). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK® guide) – Fifth edition. Newtown Square, PA: Author.

Senge, P. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York, NY: Doubleday/Currency.

This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI or any listed author.

© 2015, Margaret A. Johnson, P.E.
Originally published as a part of the 2015 PMI Global Congress Proceedings – Orlando, Florida, USA

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