Time management and productivity principles

“Heavy Lies the Crown” – William Shakespeare

Leadership is the most powerful and the most heavy position in a company. It implies someone with great responsibilities who worries constantly. These leaders could influence the people for doing right things, and on the other hand they could make them do wrong things. Even if everything is on fire, the leader should be the last one demonstrating uncertainty, fear or anxiety.

Some people are lucky to be born leaders, while others should make it up by reading and following good advises. In this blog post you will find some of the principles that you could benefit either from the role of a Team/Technical Lead or by being an employee without management responsibilities. Most of the principles are covered in a wonderful presentation by the Microsoft Guru Scott Hanselman which can be viewed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWPgUn8tL8s&feature=youtu.be

4D'S: DO IT, DROP IT, DELEGATE IT, DEFER IT (from David Allen: Getting Things Done)

Delete(or drop): If it isn’t important, delete it right away. Drop that call. Delete unwanted emails.

Delegate: If someone else can perform a task at least two-thirds as well as you, delegate it. You are not limited to delegating downwards to those who report to you. If you find you don’t have anyone to delegate to, can you start training someone or outsource the task?

Defer: Some tasks can be done later, but no later than the last responsible moment. (This applies especially to agile methods.) Due to the ever changing environment we live in, some tasks become obsolete if we defer them.

Do: Buckle down and get the task done. But before starting work on something, prioritize tasks and work on one thing at a time.

THE EISENHOWER METHOD

The Eisenhower Method helps you decide which action you should or shouldn't do. It aids you to divide actions into one of four categories. The quadrants are divided by importance and urgency.

POMODORO TECHNIQUE (TOMATO PRINCIPLE)

The method is based on the idea that frequent breaks can improve mental agility.
See full video for how does it work: http://pomodorotechnique.com/

“Everything important will find its way to you many, many times: don't worry if you miss it. Remain in your flow: be wrapped up in the thing that has captured your attention.”Scott Hanselman

ASKHOLES – FIND THEM AND IGNORE THEM

ASKHOLE: n. = A person who always asks you for advice then does the exact opposite of your suggestion.

HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY

Although it sounds more like a mantra than a real principle, here are the key aspects:

Clients will always change their mind about something.

Clients will always want to expand scope.

Clients will always need something sooner.

Clients will always think it was going to do something else.

These are the things that happen. And so, if you know that, you also ought to have a plan for what happens when these things make an appearance in your project. Hope is something we all should have. It’s a great thing. Embrace it. But don’t make it your strategy. Have a set of risks articulated that are reasonable to consider, and then have contingencies for each. That way you won’t have to rely on hope.

PARETO (80/20) PRINCIPLE

“For many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.“ - Wikipedia

The value of the Pareto Principle in management is in reminding us to stay focused on the “20 percent that matters”. Of all the tasks performed throughout the day, one could say (based on Pareto’s Principle) that only 20 percent really matter. Those tasks in the 20 percent very likely will produce 80 percent of our results. Thus, it’s critical that we identify and focus on those things. When the fire drills surrounding the “crisis of the day” begin to eat up precious time, remind yourself of the critical 20 percent you need to focus on.

LEAN IT PRINCIPLES

Lean development can be summarized by seven principles, very close in concept to lean manufacturing principles:

Eliminate waste Amplify learning
Decide as late as possible
Deliver as late as possible
Empower the team
Build integrity in
See the whole

Read the Wiki article here for full details and explanations of the principles.

BUS FACTOR

In business management, and especially in the field of software development, the bus factor is a measurement of the concentration of information in individual team members.” - Wikipedia

How do you recognize the bus factor?

In your mind, go through each person in your team and ask yourself if the project could go on pretty much as usual if they were not part of the team tomorrow (hit by a bus). If you say “no” or even hesitate about the answer, you’ve found the bus factor in your team.

How to get rid of the bus factor?

THE BIGGEST BUS FACTOR IS YOU!

Educate your team, use the daily stand-ups to share critical information, do code reviews, organize training sessions, etc.


Hope you enjoyed! In the next blog post, we will dive into Software Development Principles. Stay tuned!

Veronica Milcheva

About Veronica Milcheva

I am a passionate Sitefinity blogger, developer and consultant. In my spare time I enjoy running and listening to music. My personal quote: There's no tough problem, just not enough coffee :)

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