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Flying the plane, while inventing it: your style?


shootingstar
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I work in a dept. where the majority of my co-workers like to plan in advance, be prepared and provide the deliverables, requested service.  They do have some tolerance for disruptions, the unpredictable kinks in projects.

I like to plan, be prepared, deliver the service, etc.  However I am prepared to deal with sudden switches if there is a good business reason or even a half-baked reason.  After all, it's usually people who cause the unpredictable wrinkle in deadlines, missing piece, etc.  In some bizarre way, I do get abit psyched with change and some unpredictability,...if it's eventually controllable with a solution.  So I don't mind helping to build the plane, while flying but prefer it didn't crash midway.

However, I'm not sure I could enjoy working in a start-up company.  https://torontolife.com/tech/truth-tech-insider-got/

I already worked in a major construction engineering project, where project team members were hired and setting up operations, depts., Stuff had to be done within lst 3 months or your job was gone. So I've lived through merry go round of changing staff from within Canada and new foreign recruits.  I lived in this environment for 3 years.  I saw way more than I ever dreamt and saw how some people who built their careers on projects, by hopping from company project to antoher different company and its project, were not properly mentored with certain people skills.

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A major part of my work practice is based in Naval thinking.  You create and execute the plan and stand by for the emergencies. Military training involves a lot of  drills that practice coping with emergency situations. I am the edge of the blade, finely honed and ready for action.

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16 minutes ago, donkpow said:

A major part of my work practice is based in Naval thinking.  You create and execute the plan and stand by for the emergencies. Military training involves a lot of  drills that practice coping with emergency situations. I am the edge of the blade, finely honed and ready for action.

That works for simpler projects and staff members with less role automony. It only works when all stakeholders obey and communicate to each party.

It's not happening that way.  There's a division of IT who has been quite cooperative in project and communicative.  A 2nd division of IT is not.  they resent us but too bad. We've asked them to plan. They have refused.  They cling to their software expertise...and don't know how to plan.

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Up front planning is what I did.  Most tend to believe that things will go as planned.  I tend to see things failing due to insufficient planning. Example:

The dump valve on that engine has a limit switch to tell when it's closed.

Me:  So you believe that if it's not closed it must be open??  What if the closed switch fails?  What if the valve jams halfway?

Solution, limit switches for closed and open and software that declares a problem when both switches indicate "not here" after a reasonable period of time allowed for movement.  (Test cell instrumentation system.  On the actual aircraft a more expensive 1 to 100% position indicator is used and I don't know how they determine or handle errors)

 

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57 minutes ago, shootingstar said:

That works for simpler projects and staff members with less role automony.

You assume the method is not scalable, adaptable, and flexible. If you plan, you build in contingencies. If you supervise, you lead.  How is that not applicable to complex projects and whiny people?

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1 hour ago, donkpow said:

You assume the method is not scalable, adaptable, and flexible. If you plan, you build in contingencies. If you supervise, you lead.  How is that not applicable to complex projects and whiny people?

Couldn't agree more.  Even though Donk was a Navy puke our methodology is similar and it can work with large complex projects.  I'm juggling a very large projects involving Branch Managers, IT, installers, construction foremen & my team.  

Often times things go wrong, timelines get missed which throws everyone else off or people just drop the ball.  Focus on the primary goal, plan for the contingencies, prioritize and communicate the changes.  

 

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3 minutes ago, donkpow said:

Guess who is not in a tizzy at times like that. 

Shit happens, it's how you deal with it that makes or breaks the project.

I have an odd perspective that may not apply to most.  As long as nobody's shooting at me or trying to kill me it's all good, no need getting worked up over it. 

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3 minutes ago, ChrisL said:

Shit happens, it's how you deal with it that makes or breaks the project.

I have an odd perspective that may not apply to most.  As long as nobody's shooting at me or trying to kill me it's all good, no need getting worked up over it. 

You know, it's a big part of leadership to hold steady in certain circumstances and force the issue in others. Workers need that kind of thing from you. There have been studies suggesting how much and when.

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On ‎12‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 9:46 AM, donkpow said:

Guess who is not in a tizzy at times like that. 

We're planning at the 2nd tier of this large organizational wide project affecting 36 depts.   The upper tier of planning, the project manager is not giving us even high level projected milestone date or 2 after Feb. 2019. Nothing.  I don't she wants to be held accountable for not holding to a generic drop-dead finish date at all.

Remember this is taxpayers' money in the end.

In a way, I'm glad not to be in my boss' role, stickhandling enough political Gordian knots.

I actually enjoy working /leading projects that involve change affecting clients and service delivery, process transformation.  Every job I've had, I've had to do it..and sometimes supervise people to help others. In this job, I don't supervise. More like coach, coordinate and a lot of multi-client group outreach as part of change management.

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