Monday, June 23, 2008

Setting Goals

Well I ran Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth Minnesota over the weekend. I didn’t go as fast as I wanted. I was originally thinking 3 hours 10 minutes. As I got going, I settled into a pace to get me to the finish in 3:15. However, it started warming up, I started slowing down, and I finished in just over 3:25.

It’s good to set goals to move you forward, but some times you just can’t reach your goals and you have to know when to re-adjust. If I had tried to finish in 3:10 from the start, I probably would have dropped out by around 18 miles. It happened to me once, so I know. However, by knowing when to reset my goal, I was still able to finish.

I’ve been on projects that set off with some lofty goals, but is that really good? Is it really motivating to give people an impossible target, or is it more demoralizing? As project managers, our objective is the success of the project, but we have to know how to define what that means.

I don’t consider my marathon a failure because I didn’t hit my original target goal. I still ran over 26 miles in less then three and a half hours. I finished in 472nd place out of 9800 runners, so I was in the top 5%. I know there will be other races in my life that I will exceed my goals, so I’m happy with the results.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lessons Learned

I'm back in New York City this week. I got in some runs in Central Park and around the reservoir. It's been 5 years since I was last here, but the park hasn't changed.

I keep a running log so that I can go back and see what kind of training brought me success, and how I was racing in past years. As I get ready for my marathon (9 days away!), I can assess what kind of shape I am in compared to past years and how I will do. I'm predicting around a 3:10. I wanted to break 3 hours, but I know my training hasn't been that good.

I also keep a personal journal so I can track what has brought me success in work as well. It also has my observations of how I can improve. Sometimes (like this week), I'm to busy to think about it. Over the weekend though I plan on taking some time to check my log and make some entries on the professional side.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Post Modern PM

Dave Prior has an interesting post in his blog, DrunkenPM talking about the Post Modern Project Manager.

The quote I liked was when he talked about a project manager "Getting past the point where you consider one approach to be the “one true way”, and on to a place where you see each approach as viable and important"

Just as each project is by definition unique, we need to think about how we approach each project, rather than trying to shoe-horn a standard approach every time. It might be waterfall or agile or spiral or somewhere in between, we need to figure out the best way to get it done.