During this course I have learnt a lot all the semester. The first thing, and what I find the most important, it is that I have start to work for myself. I have learnt how to work for myself. Thanks to the way we had to give our task (the deadline was flexible), I was happier to do my work. I was written the blog articles when I wanted to and when I had inspiration. Normally, at university you are supposed to work for yourself already but most of the time I do not have the impression, I feel I give something to satisfy the teacher. I feel that the work I was giving to my teacher was more valuable and even more qualitative.
Then, I have learnt to create and feed my personal blog. I was not that excited at the beginning of the semester to write articles in a blog. However, as I said before, with that type of work, I have worked for myself all the semester, I created something valuable for me. After, 4 months of work on this blog, I think I will keep writing on this platform. I have always loved writing (I even have a Mexico Adventures journal for example) but it was always something personal and private and I find it nice finally to share some thought to others. As the first paragraph said, I think what I have learnt the most was to value on work, being proud of it and feel that I finally own my proper work.
Also, what I learned the whole semester was stuff about the project management. In the last part of the semester I kept learning new stuff in the book the Deadline Novel: about teamwork, productivity, positivity at work etc.
It is the end of the book and the end of the journey of Tompkins in Morovia. It is the end of a great adventure. When I read this chapter, I had just dropped a friend off to the airport. It was the end of her journey in Mexico (after one crazy year), soon it will be the end of my experience here too.
During all the chapter, my brain was comparing Webster situation to mine. This sensation of melancholia, to already miss something you are still in… As Tompkins (and everyone should do it), I must take all the positive, everything I learnt in this year of exchange. Remember everything I have done and at the same time going forward.
The end of something is always the beginning of something else, new adventures are coming. If Mr. T looked sad in the book, at the end, he finally jumped in a new adventure. He is now NNL in Bulgaria and Lakhsa and him will get married !!! His experiences there in Morovia has been amazing in the learnings, achievements, personal life… However, it is time to start a new adventure that will be great too.
It made me draw a parallel, I did not handle a project management during this year, but it was a new adventure in a new country (as T) during which I have achieved many things and I feel grown up. I feel that, that kind of experiences (living in another country, far from your family, your marks) will always help you to discover who you really are and what you are capable of. Leaving your comfort zone (as Webster did at the beginning even if he did not realize) is something amazing. Even if it is scary, it so rich in learnings.
There is many information in this chapter: NNL is back, many projects are done, the company will be put on the stock exchanges, Mr. T wants to leave the company, Mr. T said what he really think about Belok….
I did not find many things to write about this chapter, perhaps because it’s easier to write about problems and negatives stuffs and there is not many negativities in this chapter.
However, I wanted to write something about the courage of leaving our job. I think that Webster had a lot of courage to do that… To decide to leave his job when everything looks to go well. It is something really hard to do, you need courage and to be determine. Webster is an example in this case: you need to follow your own inspiration whatever it will cost (do not do crazy think neither). Be able to change your life when you need it is very important. I know too many people (even people that are close to me) that do not have the courage to follow their dreams because they live in a routine and they are afraid to change it. We are afraid of the change and it is normal, but I think we should fight against this fear since follow your instinct is probably what will leads you to happiness (and then to success).
After ten months without any news Lahksa is back in the game. First, she has sent only a paper by fax. It was a message to warn about the arrival of a new consultant (looks to be famous writer). Mr. T was really happy to have some news from her. The consultant will help to resolve some problems in the company. He gaves some advices. Also, as every chapter, Webster learnt a lot with the new consultant. Learning 1: he needs to make meeting that are smaller since some team have some trouble to understand each other (because of their size). He does not need as many people in every meeting and to keep the meeting small, Mr. T needs to make it safe for unessential people to not come. For me, it is a way to create a positive work environment where everyone feels comfortable.
Learning 2: in his journal, Webster did a reminder about angry managers. He made the relationship between anger and fear. The managers who are abusive with their subordinates it is because of the fear. If everyone in a project will now that most of the time ANGER =FEAR, it would be a transparent signal and the anger person will not be able to show its anger because the subordinates will know that’s fear.
Then Lahksa really came back to Morovia, her and Mr. T had many discussions together and they tried to fix many things and the big news is that Belok is gone, he has an infection and he will not be in Morovian for some times. After this good announcement (not the fact that Belo is sick but the fact that they will be in peace for the last part of the project), Webster changed the deadline even if Continue reading "Lahksa is back!"
The whole subject about chapter 19 (Yes, I know, we already have read a lot chicos) is about the efficiency in the creation of the software design. The managers came with some marks for each team: which team has done a good work concerning the design of the product. It could be surprising, but it is the smaller teams that have done something cleaner and better than the big teams.
What could explain this?
According to Mr. Tompkins and his journal, “When work is divided over a large staff prior to completion of design, the interfaces among and among work groups are not minimized”. The bigger teams loose too much time with all the talks, meeting… It creates a lot of interdependence between every worker. It can even create frustration because not everyone will be able to express himself.
To conclude, to have good results, it requires small teams for most of the project. You do not need to have a huge team, just the right number of people. Having a small team serve to optimize the circulation of information’s.
I am totally agreeing with that, and you can even see this kind of problems in team works at university. The more you are in a group, the more you will lose time with discussions and in the reunions. When you are less in a group, everyone will be concentrated at the same time, the exchange of idea is easier and faster. When you are many people, you must repeat everything. Some people in the groups are not invested, they wait for the other to work for them etc. On this subject university and work are quit comparable.
This semester, because of the coronavirus, we started the online clases. We had to get use to it. I learnt how to work from my house. I had to adapt myself to this type of environment and this new way of studying. At the beginning, it was difficult for me since I live with many roomies. It was harder to concentrate and it is still hard. Moreover, I really miss going to the TEC Campus. However, after some difficulties I have my habits now and I like having my online class, it helps me to concentrate on something else than just the quarantine.
Then, what I enjoyed the most during partial 2 was the many guest speakers that went to explain us to explain their background, their work. This semestre we had the chance to listen and to ask question to ex TEC students. We had at least 4 guest speakers. It was really nice to listen to people that are already done with their studies. We discovered many differents work environments. It helps me listen to people that already work because I still do not know what I exactly want to do with my life and they have really good advices (even if I am not interested in the same industry than them).
Also, we still had to read and comment the book the Deadline Novel. The project in the book is not going that well. The managers have to handle a lot of problems: dealing with a chief that is not connected to reality, managing conflicts, how to have a good productivity rate etc. As always, even if is a fiction, what we learn (at the same time that Mr. T) is very usefull in the Project Management class. Resolving conflict for example is something every manager should Continue reading "What I learnt this semester"
All the 3 chapters I have read for this week where about (mas o menos) conflict management. I was very interested in this topic as I am a conflict hater and I never know to handle this. In this chapter, they discover that no one in the company was ready to handle conflicts. As well, conflicts are everywhere in our life: in the professional, personal… We can find some type of conflicts everywhere, that is why we are supposed to manage them as good as we can. We can learn of to manage them and that is what Webster did.
As Webster was aware that conflict exist, he wanted to find someone to guide them on this subject. So, he met two persons that helped him (I think) to have a cleaner vision on the conflict resolution. They explained him that it is not because you are trying to avoid conflict, that conflict will disappear. Moreover, conflicts are not so negative: it is okay to have conflicts in an organisation. Everyone in an organisation has to “respect” conflicts. The resolution is for the organisation best interest.
Then, Tompkins has learnt that the most important is to understand each other needs in a conflict resolution. More than negotiation, the most effective method is meditation. Mediation is way easier than trying to negotiate your differences. Persons that are in conflict need to see that they are on the same side and that the problem is on the other side.
I have found one part very interesting, it is about the personalities that contribute to projects by helpings teams to avoid conflicts, to create a team spirit… This kind of person keep the organisations healthy and productive, even if you have the impression that they do nothing Continue reading "We need to handle conflict"
In the 16th chapter of the Deadline novel, the events get more complicated. The situation looks stressful for Mr. T. He is supposed to handle the fact that the managers sometimes can be really angry to their employees and the fact that specifications that they have for the projects are not precise at all.
In this chapter, I learn many things that I have never thought about before reading this. First, as Mr T. wrote in his book:
“Anger and contempt in management are contagious. When upper management is abusive, lower management mimics the same behaviour”
I never really had a reflexion about this, but it is logical. You are putting the stress and the anger that people put on you on the others.
Then Mr. T understood that too:
“Ambiguity in a specification is a sign of unresolved conflict among the various system stakeholders.”
They have had a big debate about the specifications for the projects, and most of the time when the specifications are unclear it comes from above. For me, when the stakeholders cannot be agreeing on the important decision, they are not able to create an ambitious and productive work environment. However, it gives more freedom to the managers that are closer to the reality. To my opinion, it is not to bad, even better because they know better what the best for the company.
For me, this chapter is on the conflicts and what is create the unhealthy environment of work. I have always thought that your manager is responsible of the ambiance in the company, but it comes from above. The culture in a company depends from the head managers, they create the environment in the company. For me, working in a nice and healthy environment is the most important, Continue reading "How to have an unhealthy workplace?"
I’m still reading the book the Deadline and I will still keep you update on what happen in it. In Chapter 15, we assisted in a big debate about the productivity rate and how to do to increase it. Each person had a different point of view. Some of them were thinking that if you put a lot of pressure on people, they will gain in productivity, some of them will loose productivity… Even with overtime hours, some of the manager team were totally in favour of putting some hours (Belinda for example, was in favour to put more overtime hours at the end of the project but reasonably) some of them were in favour to put many overtime hours to finish the work on time (60/70 hours per week of work, that hurts). However, at the end everyone discovered that putting pressure, having more overtime hours do not increase the productivity and do not decrease it neither, it does not change anything.
“PEOPLE UNDER PRESSURE DON’T THINK FASTER.”
This quote is a good illustration of putting pressure in a company. Adding overtime hours, putting people under a huge pressure will not help you to achieve your project faster. Your employees will be unhappy to go work; they will be stress… Moreover, you can try with thousand solutions, it is not because you put pressure on people, that they can think thousand times faster. The human brain does not increase his performances by 100%, when you are under pressure (to me, it is even worst to work under pressure if you are someone anxious).
To my opinion, to be productive in your daily work, you have to be in a feel-good environment, and you have to cut your private life from your personal life. The
As the time pass, the project is working well for all the teams even if Mr. T is sur that all the projects will not be deliver on time (he is still hoping for some of the projects). There is an inspection team checking every side of the proejct to see the advance in the work, and they gave some recommendations about the productivity. They want that the team enhance the productivity to deliver the final product on time. However, Mr. T explain that this strategy will make them lose a lot of time in the process. To my opinion, of course trying to improve your processes will you make lose time at the beginning, but it is really important for any project and organisation, you will gain time at the end. So, maybe the improvements have to depend of how long is your project? « The danger of standard process and not trying to do be improvement in the way you are working with your team is that you will miss changes to take important shortcuts » and that finally you will take a lot more hours to achieve your goals.
Mr. T, after this discussion tries to have more information about this question of having a better productivity. He has a discussion with Mr. Kenoros. Keneros explain him that the best way to win time and to improve the productivity it is to avoid having bugs in the programming of software. Since bugs can take 50% of the project time, it is important to avoid them. I did not really understand all the details on how it Is possible to avoid bugs on your software, they spoke about the bugs that are in the module etc. (I do not know anything about programming to Continue reading "ONLY 345 DAYS TILL D-DAY"