Don’t Just Manage Your Time; Master It!

When it comes to project management, regardless of your position in the company, the size of company or even what industry you’ve been in, time is a mission critical factor that often makes completing projects a challenge.

We’ve all been there: not enough time, no solid schedule, poorly defined goals and objectives, no formal plan, out of control scope creep, miscommunication between people that are involved in the project, etc.

As a result, projects are delayed, time is wasted, clients are angry, your company’s reputation is damaged and you lose customers, people are frustrated and stressed out, team members have to work extra hours to catch up, morale goes down, and employees lose confidence in the company.

If you’ve invested time and money in trick after trick – such as using different project tools, begging and threatening, shouting, motivating team members, holding group discussions, adding more people to the team, and working more hours – but nothing has worked, I would ask you to give this book, and The Project Management Formula it contains, a chance.

Here’s why: You’ve been investing in a host of project management tools and services because you want a better income, a better life for your family, more freedom and independence. But tools alone are useless without solid foundations.

You need strategies for using tools. You’ve been focusing on tools and solving problems instead of focusing on creating strength and power that can be leveraged to avoid problems in the first place. That’s a mindset I hope to change with the Formula I’ll be showing you in this book.

It might help you to think about it this way: let’s say you have the fastest car in the world in your garage. But you don’t know how to drive. The car will be useless to you because you don’t know how to move it, let alone master all the strength, vitality and speed that’s being wasted under the hood. But if you are an excellent driver, even a slow car will be able to get you from one place to another.

In this book I am going to show you how to take charge of your projects and run them in a simple, step-by-step way that will enable you to complete them on time, starting today. This can boost income now and bring you the high-caliber clients that you want to attract. It can also make your company more efficient and competitive and begin refining and spotlighting your brand starting on this very page.

The best part is you don’t need any special background, education, or skills to use this Formula. That said, you do need one special super power to put it into use: action. And not just any action, but aggressive action. Process without action will never produce change. Process without action is simply doing the same things you did yesterday – and the day before – and expecting change.

 Albert Einstein said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Something is missing from that equation; something vital. That something vital is aggressive action.

If you don’t take aggressive action once you’ve seen the path I’ve laid out for you in this book, then I can’t help you. Real Success is for people who take action. Mediocre people follow the herd and wait passively for things to “maybe” change in the future.

You are not like that. How do I know? Because you’re here, with me, reading these words and hoping, ready, for change. I am going to show you how to drive your projects and you’ll be able to use this knowledge with any tool that you currently have.

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Instant Messaging

Instant messaging has become common in our daily routine. So we have decided to offer it as part of Elementool to help you improve your communication with your team members. Especially if they are located someplace else.

To start a new conversation using the Instant Messenger, please follow these steps:

• Click on the ‘number of users’ online link at the top of the page to display who is currently logged in to the account.
• Click on the name of the user to start an Instant Message session.
• The Messenger window will be displayed on your screen.
• Type your message and click on the keyboard Enter button to send it.

When someone starts a new conversation with you, you will see a red flag next to the ‘number of users’ link.
Follow these steps to join an instant message session:

• Click on the ‘number of users’ online link at the top of the page.
• The person who sent you the message will be marked on the user list.
• Click on the user’s name to open the messenger window.
• Type your reply in the text box and click on the keyboard Enter button to send it.

As you can see, Instant Messaging is easy and can make the communication with your team faster and more efficient.

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How to Edit Your Customer List

In this clip I’d like to introduce a new feature in our Help Desk software called ‘Customer List’.
As you are probably guessing, the Customer List enables you to define your customer contact details in your Help Desk account.

This way you can store and display on the Help Desk ticket form the customer name, email address, phone number and other contact details. So you can easily contact the client about the specific Help Desk ticket if needed.

The first step is setting up the client list.
To setup the client list, please follow these steps:
1. Login as an administrator.
2. Click on Control Panel.
3. Click on Edit Customer List.
4. Use the Add New section to add a new customer to the list.
5. You can also edit existing customers by clicking on the Edit button on the right.

The next step is to choose the customer name on your Help Desk ticket form.
On the ticket form, the customer name field displays a dropdown list of the customers. When choosing a name from the list, the customer details are automatically updated.

Very simple.

We plan to add additional options to the customer list feature in the upcoming weeks. Stayed tool.

If you already have an Issue Tracking account, you can add Help Desk to your account for only $29.99/month by going to “Control Panel”, clicking on “Edit Accounts”, then clicking on “Manage Account List”, changing the Help Desk package to Premium and clicking on the Update button.
If you still don’t have an Elementool account, click on the ‘Sign Up Now’ button below to open a free trial account.

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How to Create Agile Project Schedule

In this clip I’m going to show you how to create an agile project schedule.
As you know, in agile development we take the project and divide it into mini projects called Sprints.

There are many advantages to using the agile method of sprints. A few major ones are:

• Agile development gives you better control over the project – when you run a project, there can be many factors that you need to control. Such as resources, tasks, clients, etc. The more variables there are, the greater the changes are that something will go wrong. Dividing the projects into sprints, gives you better control over the project process since the sprints are shorter and require you to worry about a limited number of factors.
• It makes it easy to keep the project on schedule – if your project is a few months, or a year long, it makes it harder to estimate the project’s schedule. Who can predict what might happen 6 months from now? When you divide the project into short sprints, you only need to schedule one or two sprints at a time. This means that the estimation period is much shorter and more accurate.
• Agile development also helps keeping your clients happy – this is something many people are unaware of. While you work on the project, your clients wait to see results. If the project is long and the clients don’t see results for a period of several months, they start to worry whether things go according to plan. They also sometimes forget why they ordered the project in the first place and might change their mind about it.
When you develop the project in sprints. Each sprint is a mini project. At the end of the sprint, you release it to the clients. This shows them that the project moves forward and keeps them in the loop. They are likely to get less nervous about the schedule and be more committed to it.

OK, now let me show you how you build an agile project schedule.

The first step is to divide the project into workable tasks and submit them to your Issue Tracking account as separate issues.

Then go to Scheduling and click on Edit Schedule to build the project schedule.
The first step is defining a project.
• Click on the Add button and choose the Project option.
• Type the project name.
• The project’s description and start and end date are optional. The system will automatically update the start and end date based on the schedule.
• Click Save.

Now that we have a project, the next step is to define the sprints.
The sprint length is determined based on the project’s length. For example, if the project is 12 months long, the sprints should be between 1-3 months each. On the other hand, the sprints should not be too short. They should be long enough to be considered as a small project.

Click on the + button next to the project’s name.
Choose the option Sprint.
Type the Sprint’s name.
The third step is to add the tasks that should be completed as part of the sprint.
These are the actual work that will be done as part of the sprint.
Click on the + button next to the sprint name and choose the option Issue to add an issue from the Issue Tracking account.
Select the account name and type the issue number. When done click on Save.

Repeat this until all the issues are added to the project.
The final step of building the agile project schedule is to define the estimated time for each issue in the sprint.
Use the Start and End date fields to define the schedule.

As you can see, the schedule of the first sprint is set.
You can repeat these steps to add additional projects and sprints to your project plan.

That’s all for now.

If you already have an Issue Tracking account, you can add Scheduling to your account for only $29.99/month by going to “Control Panel”, clicking on “Edit Accounts”, then clicking on “Manage Account List”, changing the Scheduling package to Premium and clicking on the Update button.

If you still don’t have an Elementool account, click on the ‘Sign Up Now’ button below to open a free trial account.

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Do You Have an ETA?

Visibility is one of the main reasons why projects fail. It means that the project manager doesn’t have a full picture of the project’s progress at any given moment.




When you have full visibility, you’re able to stop bottle necks in your project’s progress. This allows you to make changes to the project plan and find ways to solve these bottle necks before it is too late.

I would like to introduce a new feature, The ‘Task Completion Date’ that will allow you to know at any given moment what the status of your project is, and when tasks are going to be completed, by integrating Elementool’s Issue Tracking and Scheduling.

As you remember from our previous clips, you can use Elementool’s Scheduling to define the project’s schedule and the start and end date of each issue that is assigned to the team members.

You can watch the clips called ‘How to Create Project Schedule’ on our blog for more details on how to build the project schedule.

The team members can submit the time that they spend on the tasks in Elementool’s scheduling and this enables you to see the development progress of each task.

I explained how to do that in a recent clip called ‘Track Time Spent on Tasks’.

Now I’m getting to the new feature that we just added:

When a user works on an issue, they can define the estimated completion date on the issue itself, by submitting the completion date in the Priority List section.
The Completion Date is also being displayed on the Scheduling Gantt chart.
When you look at the chart, you can see the issues that are part of the project, their start and end date, and the dark blue bar shows you the actual development progress of each issue. The border of the progress bar represents the estimated completion date of each issue.

By looking at Gantt chart, you can tell within seconds the development progress and the estimated completion date of each issue.
That gives you full visibility of your project development progress and allows you to know if things start to get off track, and make changes to the project to keep it on schedule.

Isn’t that cool?

If you already have an Issue Tracking account, you can add Scheduling to your account for only $29.99/month by going to “Control Panel”, clicking on “Edit Accounts”, then clicking on “Manage Account List”, changing the Scheduling package to Premium and clicking on the Update button.
If you still don’t have an Elementool account, click on the ‘Sign Up Now’ button below to open a free trial account.



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Track Time Spent on Tasks

In this clip I’ll show you how you can use Elementool to track the time that team members spend on issues.
Tracking time enables you to view the progress of the project and make changes to the project plan if needed.
It is also useful for billing in case clients pay you by the hours you spent developing their projects.

To start using this feature, you should have the Issue Tracking and Scheduling services, because time tracking is done using the integration between Issue Tracking and Scheduling.

The first step is to submit the issues to the Issue Tracking account and assigned them to your team members.
I’m guessing you already know how to do that. If not, please see the Issue Tracking User Manual clip for instructions.

The next step is to assign the issues to a project or projects in the Scheduling service.
To do that, please follow these steps:
• Switch to Scheduling.
• Click on Edit Schedule
• Click on the Add button to add a project. You can assign issues to one or more projects.
• Now that the project is defined, click on the Add button to add the issues to the project.

After the issues have been added to the project, the team members can use the Scheduling section on the Issue form to submit the time that they spend on the issues.

To submit the time spent on an issue, please follow these steps:
• Open the issue
• Scroll down to the Scheduling section
• Submit the date and time that you spent working on the issue.
• Click on the Update

If we go back to Scheduling and look at the Gantt chart, we can see the project plan displayed in light blue and the actual time that the team spent on the issues in dark blue. This gives us a quick view of the project progress.

If you still don’t have an Elementool account, click on the ‘Sign Up Now’ button below to open a free trial account.

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How to Send Daily Reports

Hi, it’s Allison again.
Today I would like to present two new features that we added to the reporting section:

• The option to define the view type of the Quick Reports.
• The option to automatically send a daily report by email.

The reports offer 5 view types:
• Normal – this is the standard report type that is display on your browser.
• Dynamic – The Dynamic view type enables you to make changes to the issues directly on the report. This allows you to update multiple issues in a single update instead of opening each issue separately.
• Print View – this is a printer friendly view of the report, that is useful in case you wish to print the report.
• Excel CSV and Excel HTML – these two view types enable you to export the report to an Excel file. Each offers a different Excel formatting option and you can choose the one that suits you the most.

We added an option to define the view type of each Quick Report. It saves you the trouble of defining how you would like the report to look like when running it.

Please follow these steps to change the view type of an existing report:
• Select the report from the Quick Report list.
• Click on Edit Selected Report.
• The Quick Report setup window will open.
• Click on the Step 3 button and the on the Step 4 button to go to the Step 4 page.
• On this page define the View Type and click on Save.

The Send Daily Report option enables you to send reports on a daily basis to other Elementool users or to external people who don’t use Elementool.
It is an easy way to send updates about tasks and issues that you have in your account.

For example: every morning you can send a report of all the open issues in your account, to inform people of the tasks that need to be taken care of.

To setup an automatic daily report, please follow these simple steps:
1. Go to the report page by clicking on Issue Report.
2. Select a report from the Quick Report list.
3. Click on Send Selected Report.
4. Define the recipients by selecting Elementool users or by typing email addresses of external people.
5. Check off the ‘Send report automatically daily’ check box.
6. Select the time when you would like to report to be sent daily.
7. Click on Send.

Very easy.

We plan to release more new features in the near future.
Stay tuned!

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How to Submit Issues Faster

Hi, I’m Allison, and I’d like to tell you about new options that we added to the Field Dependency feature. This is a very helpful feature that allows you to quickly locate and select relevant information when filling out a form.

The Field Dependency feature enables the creation of relationships between fields in such a way that a dependant field’s value list is determined based on a value selected in the source list.

For instance, let’s say that you have two fields on a form: State and City. The State field lists all 50 states in the U.S., and the City field lists the 10 largest cities in each of those states. Currently, without using Field Dependency, the State field list shows all 50 states and the City field displays a long list of 500 cities in those states. So if a user wants to choose their city from that list, they need to scan through all 500 to find the one they want.

However, by using the Field Dependency feature, the process becomes much easier. It allows the person to first select their state in the State field. At that point, the Dependency rule automatically filters the city list so that the City field only displays the 10 cities from the selected state. This means that the user can simply select the appropriate city from the list of 10 rather than poring through a long list of 500.

To access the Field Dependency feature, you should go to Control Panel, click on Edit Issue Form and then click on ‘Edit Dependencies’.

Click on Add New Rule to add a new rule.

In Step 1, select the source field that triggers the Dependency rule.
In our example it was the State field.

In Step 2, select the target field that is being changed based on the rule.
In our example it was the City field.

In Step 3, define the rules.
For example:
Select State = New York.
Select cities in New York State.

Click on the Add button to save the rule.

You can repeat these steps to create additional rules for these fields.
When you’re done, click on the Save button to save the rule.

We added two new options to the Field Dependency feature:
• The ability to make a field required based on the value of a certain field.
• The ability to hide fields based on the value of a certain field.

Let me explain how these new options work:

The first option enables you to make fields required based on a value of another field.
For example:
I would like to make the City field required when selecting a State value to make sure that when a person fills out the form and selects a State, they also select the city.

To define the city as a required field, move it to the Required Fields list on the Dependency setup form.

The second option is to hide fields based on a Dependency rule.

For example:

I have a field on the form called Country with a list of country names.
When a person selects a State, they should not select Country. To prevent the person from selecting the Country, I hide the Country field when a state is selected.

To define this rule drag the Country field to the Hidden Fields list.

As you can see, the Field Dependency feature makes filling out and submitting forms much easier and far less time-consuming.

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Effective Time Management and Priority Settings

We want to talk to you about personal time management. This subject is a little bit of a detour from our more specific project management program. But we believe that time management is an issue that affects everyone, and it’s important that you know how to deal with it.

Your ability to maximize your team and your own productivity by maximizing your time and how you use it will greatly influence the results you get. That’s why we’re going to help you improve your time management by sharing some simple strategies that you can implement immediately. They’re easy, and you’re going to start seeing amazing results right away.
The best methods for upping productivity are based on two key objectives: The first objective is to capture all the things that need to be done – now, later, someday, big, little, or in between – into a logical and trusted system that’s outside of your head and off your mind. The second objective is to discipline yourself to make front-end decisions about all the inputs that you let into your life, so that you’ll always have a plan for next actions that can be implemented at any moment.
Most people these days will tell you that they have too much to do and not enough time to get it done. We’ve enhanced our quality of life in so many ways, yet, ironically, we nearly kill ourselves with stress by taking on more work than we have the resources to deal with.
That’s why time management is so important, because it’s really a kind of stress management. Have you ever wondered why you can’t seem to shut down your brain at night when you’re trying to fall asleep? Why are so many thoughts running through your mind all the time? That’s stress. Now let me explain how stress is created. It’s not just the big problems that create stress. All of the little unresolved tasks that we have to deal with sit at the back of our heads, subconsciously creating tension. As soon as you attach a “should” or “need to” to a task, it becomes incomplete. Decisions that you still need to make about whether or not you’re going to do something are already incomplete. If you put your mind’s attention on something that needs to be done, and then don’t complete it because it’s low on the priority list, your mind will have already created an open process that keeps running in the back of your mind, and is going to keep bothering you to complete the task. Worse of all, it takes up your energy and prevents you from having a clear focus on your more important tasks.
It’s kind of like your Windows Task Manager. When you open Task Manager, you see that there are a lot of processes running in the background – processes that you didn’t even know existed. Many of them don’t do anything for days, but there they are consuming your computer memory and causing it to run slowly. But if you shut down the processes that you don’t use, then it frees up the memory and your computer will run faster.
All these open processes create stress. So how do we handle all these processes and how do we minimize stress? The key is to clear the open processes from our mind by having something else managing them.

Usually the reason something is on your mind is because you want the situation to be different than what it currently is. The problem is, you haven’t yet worked out exactly what the intended outcome is, you haven’t decided what the next physical step is, and you haven’t put reminders of the outcome and the action required into a system you trust.
And until you do all that, your brain will refuse to put the matter to rest. You can try to fool the people around you by acting like everything’s okay, but you can’t fool your mind. Only it knows whether or not you’ve come to the conclusions you need. Until you clarify your thoughts, make the decisions, and store the data in a system you can trust, your brain will keep nagging you about the next step and adding to your stress.
You should start by clearing your schedule of all the most urgent projects. Try writing down the project or task that is weighing most heavily on your mind right at this moment. What’s bothering you most, or causing the most distraction? Maybe it’s something that truly interests you or that you’re really passionate about. The point is to identify whatever is consuming you most.
Once you have figured that out, describe your intended successful outcome for this situation in a single, written sentence. What would need to happen for you to be able to check this project off your list? That sentence might be “Handle the situation with Client X” or “Implement a new investment strategy,” or any number of other things. Next, write down the first physical action required to move the situation forward. If you had nothing to do, where would you go right now? What visible action would you take? Does it give you a sense of control and motivation to act? It should. And it’s through this kind of organization and decisive action that you will pursue and reach your goals.

That brings us to the question of how you process this information. First of all, you need to determine what the item is and what you’re going to do about it. For example, maybe you have letters from the bank or the government. Or maybe you received an email from a supervisor about a new company policy.
Ask yourself: Is this item actionable, yes or no? If no action is needed, then you have three options. One, it’s trash – so throw it away. Two, no action is necessary now, but you might need to do something later on, so you mark this item for later reassessment. Three, the item is potentially useful information that you might need later on, so you can classify it as a reference item and file it away.
If it is actionable, then something has to be done. So, ask yourself: What project or outcome have I committed to? And also, what’s the next action required? Determining the next action is a critical step for anything you’ve collected. The next action is the next physical activity that has to be done in order to move the current situation to completion.
Once you’ve decided on the next action, you have three options. Option One: Do it. If that action will take under two minutes, you should do it then and there. Option Two: Delegate it. If you aren’t the right person to do the job, assign it to the appropriate person or entity. Option Three: Defer it. If the action is going to take more than two minutes, and you are in fact the right person to do it, then you can track it for later on a Next Actions list.

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How to Learn and Acquire New Habits

We at Elementool have been happy to share our secrets about how to practice good project management. But we also recognize that there is more to your job than just the technical process of managing projects.

Right. That’s why we’d like to take a moment to talk about the process of learning and the process of change. These are big ideas that affect the way you perform as a project manager, so they’re really worth exploring on their own.

When you’re managing a project, you are always adapting to new changes as they come along. On a larger scale, you also frequently have to make changes in the way that you and your team function on a regular basis – and you may find that some people on your team resist those changes, no matter how logically you explain the benefits of that change.
Even if you force them to implement changes, if they don’t truly accept the importance of the change, it’s likely that they’ll resist and eventually go back to their old habits. Making lasting changes can take a lot of time and persistence, and it requires genuine commitment on the part of your team.
This program itself is going to bring changes to your work and your life as you implement the ideas we’ve been talking about. You’re learning new techniques and methods that will create changes in the way you run your projects.

But change can be difficult, and we know that the idea of making so many changes may seem overwhelming. It might even be tempting to think, ‘Well, my current system works fairly well, so I don’t really have to make changes.’ Or maybe you’re thinking, ‘I’d like to make changes, but I’m just too busy working on all these projects to actually do it.’
But don’t let yourself get bogged down in that kind of thinking. Learning new things and making changes can be a positive force in your life.
Part of the trick is just understanding how we learn and change. It’s helpful to know how our minds take on these vital processes.

Take the learning curve. When we imagine a learning curve, we usually think of an image that shows a slow beginning as we attempt to learn, followed by a steep acceleration in success, then finally a plateau at the performance level that we are trying to reach. This leads us to expect rapid changes. This happens often, where people start learning something new, assuming the learning process will move fast, as the curve suggests. But then, when things don’t progress at the rate they expected, they feel a little stuck. As a result, they get discouraged and give up.

That’s why you need to understand that the actual learning curve looks a bit different. Imagine looking at the traditional learning curve through a magnifying glass. What you’ll see is a much more staggered and complex process. You make some improvement as you learn the new skill, followed by a slight decline, leading to a plateau that is higher than the point where you started. The skill improvement, decline, and plateau might vary from one step to the next, but this process will continue gradually upward until you have finally mastered the new skill.
So what is the reason for this process? Well, when we have a skill, we perform it using the habitual part of our brain. That skill becomes a habit, and the subconscious brain is in charge of executing the task. This means that we are able to perform the task without even thinking about it. An example of this that almost everyone can relate to is driving a car. Once you have learned to drive and become experienced, you don’t even think about it anymore. The action is performed almost subconsciously, allowing you to do other things while you drive, like talking to the other passengers in the car, singing along to the radio, or thinking about the day ahead.

When we learn a new skill, we take in new information that allows us to do things that we couldn’t do previously. This is represented by the increase in the learning curve. But, in the beginning, we absolutely must be focused on the task. As we’re learning the new skill, we need to use our conscious cognitive brain – that’s the part that does the thinking. We have to be aware of everything going on around us, and we have to think before taking any kind of action, no matter how small.

If you think back to when you first learned to drive, you’ll probably remember how focused you were on every little aspect of the process. You may have even been a little scared, worrying about getting the sequence just right. Pressing the gas pedal, keeping the steering wheel straight, watching the road signs as you drove along, and making sure to hit the brakes in time. The last thing you wanted to do was turn on the radio or have a conversation with the person next to you because your cognitive brain was too busy focusing on the act of driving.

Even after you’ve become comfortable driving, you’ve probably had the experience of driving in an unfamiliar area. Suddenly you find that you have to shut off distractions like the radio so that you can put your conscious mind on the task of concentrating on turning lanes and street signs as you try to orient yourself in the new environment.

That’s how the learning process works. New information improves our situation by helping us to accomplish things that we couldn’t have done before. This is the rise in the learning curve. But the learning process also requires us to think about and practice the new skill, causing a slight decline in our learning curve. Then, after we have spent some time practicing, the new skill becomes a habit in our subconscious mind and we can do it without thinking. At that point we reach a plateau, which is higher than the place we were before we began the learning process.

This process of learning a new skill might sound difficult, but studies have found that, on average, it only takes 30 days to acquire a new habit. NASA discovered a good example of this many years ago when it used an experimental training program to help astronauts deal with the disorienting effects of space travel. The astronauts in the experiment wore glasses that turned everything upside down, and they wore those glasses day and night for 30 days straight. Then, a totally unexpected phenomenon occurred. After Day 30, the brain re-programmed itself and flipped everything right side up again! They did the experiment again with a few changes, asking some astronauts to take the glasses off on Day 14 and put them back on again on Day 15. But those who had removed the classes had to start over again. Their brains only flipped the image after 30 consecutive days.

That just goes to show that 30 is the magic number when it comes to learning a new habit. The habit comes through practice and repetition, so you must repeat the new behavior each day for 30 days for it to get locked into your brain. After 30 days of regular practice, you’ll find that the new skill has become a part of you.
This applies to the skills and practices that you’re learning from Elementool. Focus on one thing that you’ve learned in this program and do it every day for 30 days. Once you’re sure that it’s become a habit, take another lesson and practice it for 30 days. Repeat the process with each new lesson that you learn. The truth is, you can’t learn everything in one day. Concentrate instead on moving one step at a time and engaging in a lot of repetition. Make it your goal to turn new skills into good habits.

For example, you’re going to learn several different topics in this program: requirements management, estimating, scheduling, and so on. Don’t try to implement everything at once. Pick a subject, like an estimating technique, and use this technique for 30 days for every task that your team runs. Once you feel that you got it, and you start seeing good results out of this change, pick another topic, like a scheduling technique, and use it for 30 days. Then move on to the next subject.

We’re not saying it’s always easy. Look, we’ve all made that New Year’s resolution that we were so excited about, so determined to keep, only to backslide weeks – maybe even days – later. It’s human nature. We’re biologically programmed to resist change. It’s called homeostasis, and it’s actually a pretty good mechanism for protecting us and helping to keep our lives stable. But sometimes it also works against us when we’re trying to make a positive change. That’s why people have such a hard time getting rid of bad habits.
The question is, then: How do we overcome homeostasis when we want to make a good change? First, you need to understand how it works. Expect resistance to change from yourself and from the people around you. Second, be willing to negotiate the resistance to change. When you feel that resistance, don’t fight it, but don’t back off. Instead, accept and negotiate. Be prepared to take one step back for every two steps forward.

Third, find people who will help you get through the process. Find people on your team that will join you for the ride, so that you can support each other, share your experiences, and get advice. The fourth step is to create the change process through routine activities. By integrating these activities into your daily work, it will become much easier for you to practice the new skills that you’re learning.

There are three main factors that might speed up or slow down this change process: The change agent, the culture, and the people. The change agent can simply be described as the person who starts the change process – this can be anyone, and a lack of power on their part is no excuse for not taking the initiative.
The culture refers to the environment that the change is taking place in, and it can have a major impact on the speed of the innovation-decision process. If the culture is supportive of new ideas and change, and everyone is prepared to help with the change effort, then the process will be much faster and easier. Ideally, the culture will also allow for time to learn and adjust to change, understanding that failures often happen on the way to success. And the culture must let people know that it is okay to fail. Unfortunately there is often limited time available to spend learning new processes that would actually increase efficiency – but the fact is that change can’t happen without patience and an investment of time.
The people involved in the change process are also a significant factor in its success, and every person reacts differently to change. Some will accept it right away, but most are slow to change. They often cause problems in this process because people tend to make decisions based on emotions, then justify them with facts. It’s not that people resist the change itself so much; it’s that they resist being changed. Most people handle change much better if they are actually involved in the process and feel some sense of control over it.

Given these factors, you should always introduce new ideas gradually, accepting that it’s a learn-as-you-go process. We suggest that you start slow, be patient, and allow plenty of time for changes to take place. Don’t just throw out the way you currently do everything and replace it with a whole new process. A better strategy is to implement gradual, experimental changes to see if the new ideas are actually able to improve the current process.

And be sure to celebrate the small successes along the way. It’s a good way of encouraging the team to continue with the change process.
Whatever you do, don’t try to do everything yourself, even though it may be very tempting to you go-getter types. And you know who you are. (looks at Allison)
Guilty as charged.

Instead, you should bring on as many people as possible to help out. This ensures that everyone feels a sense of ownership over the change process. When people know that their contribution is an important part of the effort, they start to feel like this thing is theirs, and they want to keep it going strong.
Through every step of the change process, you will be interacting with people, so that means you need to communicate. Everyone will want to know what’s in it for them. Help them understand how the change will be useful in solving their particular problems.

Now that you’ve learned a bit more about the process of learning, we hope you’re ready to take on a lot of exciting new changes.
Just remember: Be patient, be persistent, and you’ll be fine.

Goodbye until next time!

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