Use Systems and Project Management to stay on track with this years intentions.
Goals and resolutions are similar, yet different. A goal is usually a specific task or project that you want to get done. A resolution is typically more related to changing your life or habits and routines.
For instance, one of my goals for this year is to develop some useful products for my web site visitors. One of my resolutions is to lose 20% of my body weight.
Using project management techniques to reach my goal of developing new products is fairly straightforward. The project has a definite start and end and will go through typical project life cycle phases, such as initiation, requirements gathering, product design, product testing, implementation and marketing as well as post implementation followup. While I may change my daily routines a bit to find time for the project and work on it, developing a product will not necessarily cause life changes for me. While developing the project may eventually lead to finding a system to develop more products, a system isn’t necessarily required for me to produce the first one.
While I can use project management techniques to assist with my resolution to lose 30 pounds, those techniques alone will not support success. I’ll also need to develop new systems.
I have a lot of experience managing computer projects and developing computer systems. Before retiring in 2010, I was a computer system development manager and am still (as of this writing) a Project Management Professional (PMP is a certification from the Project Management Institute). I took many classes, seminars and other types of training sessions to gain expertise in different project management techniques – such as Waterfall, Joint Application Design & Information Engineering; iterative development; and Agile types of management. With over 20 years of practical project development and implementation, I got pretty good at putting in projects.
I’ve also used many different tools and techniques to study work systems so that manual work could be converted to computer processing. This took hours of study, observation, interviewing and more to figure out what people did to get their job done, how it related to other pieces needed for the whole and lots of thought as to how best to design and code a computer application to do that work.
I’ve even spoken on How to Build Systems for Your Blog – at FinCon13 this past October in St. Louis.
If you have had trouble in the past sticking to your New Years resolutions, try looking at your 2014 resolutions through the lens of project management and systematization. Continue reading