There is less than with 45 days left this year; and, of course, there are still projects outstanding. Some of these critical projects are behind schedule. With looming end-of-the-year deadlines, you have to reprioritize your projects and review your schedules. If there are contractual obligations where you have to meet a deadline then you must decide which time and schedule compression techniques you will use to avoid financial penalty. Two schedule compression choices are fast tracking and crashing. There are pros and cons with each. Below are their definitions and examples when to use them.
Fast tracking is a technique that performs tasks in parallel to finish them quicker and save money. There are pros and cons towards selecting this option. The pros are that fast tracking costs less money and the tasks are done together. The cons are that project risks increase and the duties must be overlapping in order to be done in parallel. If you can use the same resources and people to produce two or more of the company’s projects simultaneously then fast tracking would be the preferred option. Next is crashing.
Crashing is a technique that’s normally considered when fast tracking doesn’t accelerate the project fast enough. With crashing, the resources are added to the critical path to speed up the schedule. The pros are that crashing works well when activities are on the critical path and the cost associated with finishing quicker. Usually crashing is chosen only when there is a financial penalty of a milestone or deadline wouldn’t been met. For instance, if you must have this product delivered by November 30th else your company pays a penalty, then you’ll have no choice but to crash your project by placing all of your work on the critical.
Although crashing and fast tracking are to be used under extreme conditions, you can still manage these techniques by developing a milestone list. This milestone list is a way to keep track of your project’s progress. Whenever you resort to use these tactics, risks automatically increase. You’re already behind schedule. You don’t want it to become anymore of a disaster.
First, before creating a milestone list, let’s define what a milestone is. A milestone is any significant task in your project. A milestone list is a list of milestones that defines project milestones, oversees milestones progress and telling the status of the compressed schedule’s story. A milestone list will communicate project progress to the team during crunch time. This list will help you and your team in the remaining 45 days to track your project and deliver any and all good news. Good luck!
The editorial staff at PositivityChange is happy to announce that we’ve created a BlogLovin profile. This media move is to increase our readership and digital footprint. It is imperative that our site establishes itself as the preeminent authority on positive change management. Here is the link to follow: PositivityChange on BlogLovin
The world has been shrouded in fear as of lately. People fear living their lives, their health and their safety. All of these fears can be extremely detrimental to our health. To combat all of the negativity and random acts of violence it is essential to be courage and live your life on your terms. Living courageously defies the enemy because you are exuding positivity and resiliency in every breath you take. Positive change takes courage because most people view change in the negative. Change is seen as loss; however, there is positive change out here too. Being courageous is the embodiment of positive change.
Here at PositivityChange, we thrive on promoting positivity to our readers. Positive thinking is essential towards effectively managing positive change. To that end, here is an article written by Greg Riley entitled ‘Positive Thinking and Its Effect on Your Health’ linking positive thinking to better health results. Check it out here: http://www.articlecity.com/articles/self_improvement_and_motivation/article_9366.shtml
November is here and there are only 60 more days remaining this year. Although there is still plenty to do, there isn’t as much time. Well, do not get overwhelmed by the looming year-end deadlines. Here are 4 steps towards finishing this year strong without being stressed out.
Prioritize what needs to be completed.
Some things are more important than others. These high-priority tasks require more time and effort. A technique used for these essential projects is called fast-tracking. Fast-tracking is where activities that were once done in order are now done together. Doing them simultaneously reduces the amount of time necessary to complete the entire project.
Break your projects down into smaller pieces.
The goal is not to get overwhelmed by the enormity of your objective. Breaking your tasks accomplish this. If it’s a big task that will take the whole 60 days, plan each piece by week. If it is a small task requiring a couple of weeks, plan each piece by day. Daily and weekly planning achieve two things: they doesn’t overwhelm you and they let you track your progress.
Monitor your plans.
It is essential to monitor everything that you do because hiccups will occur. When they do happen, you will be able to identify them then go to your contingency plan. Contingency plans are mandatory because even with 60 days out, things rarely go according to plan.
Reward yourself at the end of each completed phase.
Stopping to catch your breathe is very important during this time. You don’t want to get so ingrained in your plan that you don’t acknowledge your progress. Each completed phase puts you one step closer towards completing your small and big tasks in 60 days.
Hopefully these 4 steps will help you organize your work for the next 60 days so that you can save time, money and, most importantly, sanity.
Oftentimes people stop working as hard once the momentum starts accelerating. You gain some traction and all of a sudden, you think that the ‘machine can runs itself.’ That’s the biggest mistake you can ever make because this is the exact when you should be working overtime. You want to continue the good fortune that you’re currently experiencing. Below I offer the why and the how to keep the momentum going.
Why Keep the Momentum Going?
You’re not done yet. You don’t celebrate wins when you’re only 60%-70% there. You haven’t fulfilled your goal yet.
Remember how hard it was to get started
Paradigm shifts consume time and energy. You are changing your mind and routine. Imagine if you stop in the middle. You’ll have to summon up the same amount of strength and fortitude to restart. Keep going because you won’t have the same enthusiasm doing it over again.
Don’t Look Like a Quitter
Stopping in the middle makes you look like a quitter. Who wants to be around one? People avoid quitters like the plague. Quitting midstream makes you look uncommitted.
How to Keep the Momentum Going
Remember that once you’re done, you don’t have to do it ever again. For example, part of the joy of completing your degree is knowing that you’re done. Yes, trade war stories at the alumni gala but you’re glad the ‘battle of earning your degree’ is over.
Remember why you’ve started
You want to have a better future. You’ve made a decision to change your current circumstances because you don’t want to live your old life anymore. Following through until end is an important reason to keep the momentum going.
Insanity is doing the same thing but expecting a different result.
You don’t want to be in the same place as you’ve started. Don’t get stuck in the mud. Remember how immobilizing mediocrity was until you started doing something different. By keeping the momentum going you are accomplishing two things simultaneously: distancing yourself from your old self and getting closer to who you want to become.
Decide to stay unstuck by keeping the momentum going right now. Your future self will thank you for it.
The global workplace is uncertain. You don’t know if you’ll be with your current employer by the end of this week. Even the federal government isn’t safe from layoffs with sequestration. Self-investment is certain but the question everyone poses is how do you afford self-investment on a shoestring budget?
Regardless of what happens, start saving 5%-10% of your monthly income.
It provides you with a cushion to afford options. I’ve used this cushion to self-finance my PMP certification and community college courses advancing my career.
Look at your employer’s resources
Your company might offer training programs, tuition assistance for college courses and leadership development programs. These corporate courses let you cultivate and develop the necessary skills to get to the next level. I have been selected into two leadership development programs with two separate federal agencies. I have acquired new skills and obtained new sponsors who would advocate for me internally.
They have residency discounts with people in the county. Community colleges also specialize in workforce retraining so you won’t feel out of place with younger students like at four-year colleges. Community colleges have perennially catered to the needs of older workers retooling themselves for the current marketplace.
Don’t sleep on libraries. They offer the best career resources. Many libraries provide free computer courses and databases to upgrade your skill set. Furthermore, they also have career books and magazines that you can read to refine yourself.
Professional organizations offer continuing education through their chapters. Furthermore, they provide discounts on industry certifications. In addition, these organizations also have continuing education seminars and workshops to educate their members on current industry trends.
Many college alumni associations have online and offline educational discounts for their members. You can also use their networks to ask other members for career resources.
MOOCs (Coursera and MIT OpenCourseware)
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offer free resources to upgrade your skills set on your own time. MIT OpenCourseware possesses a wealth of free courses. Coursera offers free courses and certificates for $49. Some of these courses might qualify for personal development units to renew your professional certification.
Online Courses (Ed2Go)
Ed2Go is an affordable online course website that many community colleges partner with to offer their students more options. Depending on the college, classes range from $99-$130 apiece. I have used Ed2Go to take and renew my project management certification.
Hopefully, any of these free or low-cost options will enable you to jumpstart your self-investment journey. Self-investment is the best investment.
While perusing LinkedIn this morning, I’ve come across Penny Zenker’s Why thinking positive doesn’t always get you the result’ article, (You can view the article link here: http://bit.ly/1GmlGOZ ). Her article has struck me because it’s about positivity right up http://positivitychange.com/ lane. I agree with Zenker that positive thinking alone doesn’t get you the desired result. Thinking must be paired with positive action. This combination the only way to get the desired result.
This is the final quarter of 2015. Ask yourself a question: what do you want to drop for the New Year? Think about it. Okay, well why wait until January 1, 2016? Do it now in October 2015. Why stay miserable for another 80 days? Liberate yourself from the things that weigh you down because this kind of honesty saves time and money.
You have a finite amount of time on this earth. Why waste it? Honesty improves time management and eliminates waste. Stop throwing good money after bad. Honesty helps time management. You sharpen your focus on what you truly want. Directed, intentional focus always increases productivity. Increased productivity means increased visibility. Increased visibility could mean increased promotions. Right now is the time to strike because everyone is preoccupied. People are already on mental autopilot with Halloween parties and setting up discount flight alerts for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Why wait until 2016 to be honest with your time?
How much money have you wasted going in the wrong direction? I admit that I have spent a couple thousands of dollars pursuing another certification because I thought that it would differentiate myself from others. Although this additional certification would distinguish me from my competition, I’ve found another certification that more closely aligns myself with my future goals. Yes, I’ve wasted money but I’ve stopped digging and realized that I am going in another direction. I am better for it.
Instead of waiting until 2016, why not use this fourth quarter of 2015 to gain momentum towards your new goal. Remember, insanity is doing the same thing but expecting a different result. Stop this madness by being honest with yourself now in October 2015. Your future self will thank you for it.