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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Putting what you know together with what you do

One of the luxuries of taking a class that covers material that I've been doing is NOT that I've been doing it, but rather, that is reminds me of the steps I've been skipping.

For example, I've been managing projects for the past thirty years.  I've got (somewhere around here), a print copy of the PMBOK guide, as well as a shelf full of books on software engineering, process, project mangement, et cetera.  I'm used to applying project management to software development projects.

What I'm NOT used to, is applying that knowledge to other kinds of projects, since I've neither been the PM, nor part of a project large enough (until last year), to require some serious PM skills from me.  So, the reminders I've been getting in class are good, timely, and helping me to recognize where to apply those skills to my more recent work.  And it's of course, just in time education, which means I'm getting it when (or just slightly after), I need to be using it, which means I am using it, which means I'm learning it (and teaching it to others, which is an even more effective way to learn it).

So, to cap it all off: This weekend I applied it to my personal life.  We are planning a move to happen some time in the next year, allowing me to move my mother in with the rest of my family.  But I need a bigger house, and for several other reasons, moving is more attractive than building.  So we kicked off that project this weekend, and I have a charter, list of stakeholders, WBS, task effort estimates, and a few other things already from that first meeting.

Project meetings are weekly on Saturday morning [after coffee/breakfast, before cartoons].  So now I get to try this three ways.  What fun.  And now my kids get to see what I do for my day job applied to their lives.

We've got a set of items to do for the next two weeks, and if we hit everything (or nearly everything), everyone gets to go out do dinner (on the project sponsors [my wife and I]).


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