Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rules of Jazz

My kids are both into jazz. They have a pretty good program at the high school they both attend. I heard someone talking about the rules of jazz recently;
  1. Learn the rules
  2. Practice the rules
  3. Break the rules
The idea with jazz of course is to improvise, but that doesn't mean play which ever notes you want. However, it does mean you aren't just playing the notes written on the paper.

This is also the idea to having an adaptive project management approach. First, learn the rules. Get your Scrum certification, read some books, or attend a conference. Apply what you learn on your projects. I've talked to a number of folks that say the way to implement Scrum is to first do it by the book (rule 2).

Once you get to know what you're doing, move on to rule 3. Every project is unique, so figure out how to break the rules for your project. Again, it doesn't mean drop everything. It means knowing how to improvise without throwing the whole structure away. Have you had your jazz today?

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Don't have a backup plan

I'm still working my way through Seth Godin's Linchpin and came across another good idea. Don't have a backup plan. If you do, you could give up easily on your idea because of the backup plan. You know you have a fallback position, so you fall back instead of fighting. Rather than having a backup, keep pushing on your main plan until you are either successful or you truly fail, and if you fail, learn from it.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


One of the other books I'm making my way through right now is Seth Godin's Linchpin. The book is about making yourself indispensable so your company can't do without you because you're so unique and valuable.

One of the topics is passion. I recall when I was interviewing for the job I have now, one of the interview questions was "what are you passionate about?" Of course I said project management.

The idea here is that if you're passionate about something, you are going to work on it not because you're getting paid but because it's important to you, the end result is you become a linchpin.

So my question to you...are you passionate about what you are doing? If not, how can you find the passion?