2013 version of Evolving Sunlight
Imran to his 3rd boss - 21 Sep 2013
I regret to inform you, the technical skills I possess are in my opinion, only the tip of the iceberg. My true strength can lie elsewhere. But it's something that needs experience and guidance to develop. I can understand all elements of operations and have very little interest in watching things play out with everyone doing less than they are capable of.
I've seen more than one company suffer because management hasn't given enough importance to building in the free time for the select few people who CAN make a difference to actually do. And to let those individuals get bogged down in the petty short term goals of billing and deadlines.
I know we need to deliver projects, but there is so much more I would like to do. Skip to the fantasy part to see a few thoughts on how.
I'm not presuming to explain to you how all these things should work, just starting a document where we expand on our thoughts for bringing around each department.
And if nothing here is new to you / is already in execution, great, just tell me where all I can fit in and let me be a part of it.
In another 100 years or so, the craze to use technology to be well off monetarily has worn off. We have started to use technology to explore the human potential, liberate the life divine. We are no longer driven by fears or greed and have matured in a peaceful harmonious way.
Imran: I may be crazy, but better crazy than hopeless. Besides if the approach is practical enough, why worry the end goal. We all get a little more involvement in work, get better paid, less stressed and have better quality of life. I'd like to show the western world we still know a thing or two about running companies and maximizing gain.
To break the current cycle early and offer employees the chance to grow with as little hindrance and negativism as possible. To become good at identifying and attracting individuals who can bring the most growth to our company. To become good at transforming companies in this fashion to liberate more and more people that way. To help employees develop as individuals and find their right place in the grand scheme of things.
Principle of Kaizen
Japanese for "improvement", or "change for the better" refers to philosophy or practices that focus upon continuous improvement of processes in manufacturing, engineering, and business management. It has been applied in healthcare, psychotherapy, life-coaching, government, banking, and other industries. When used in the business sense and applied to the workplace, kaizen refers to activities that continually improve all functions, and involves all employees from the CEO down. - wikipedia
Areas of Implementation
Make an initial project plan, segment into phases. Go about changing current company into the desired one just like you would a regular project. Assess the risks, possible negative outcomes and find some way to minimize those.
Plan either on iterative execution each department one level at a time, or exhaustive - each department as much as possible in one shot.
Hinge this project on a small team of motivated, controlled people.
Plan your information flow. Both in terms of transitions expected, guidelines on new processes and ways to transit.
As you plan level by level / department by department, use the team to identify / collect information from key personnel in the department concerned. Also you can pick one or 2 departments and slowly add members to this focus group from each department.
Don't forget to overlook help from people who can make suggestions but are bound with work that limits their involvement.
Process Information and Tools
Remember, Process, Information and Tools are a key factor. And information is useless unless it can be put at the fingertips of the person who needs it.
This has to be applied in every department and though the tool isn't the be all or the end all, it can literally in some cases make or break the situation.
Consider trial runs of tools in select projects, Offer employees the chance to build internal apps. Let them make it open source. Dont seek to brand their (mostly voluntary) work and lose the benefit of it developing into something better by proper feedback from other (companies) as potential users.
Let the employees feel they are making a difference. After all the Key department is the head, and the head needs information on its employees, their skills and motivations and desires.
Plan an efficient intranet site, which serves as a repository of knowledge on the many fronts.
Break the Monotony
Employees may want to change technology / even roles sometimes. Make that possible.
Encourage Developers to participate in competitions, internal projects,
Even simple workshops where they swap roles with members of other departments can prove more productive than a silly paper staring them in the face asking for suggestions when they have 2 deadlines staring them in the face
If time is a constraint, perhaps even have a special saturday every 2 / 3 months where all employees come in, but all sorts of hell can break loose. Technical problems, seminars, 1 day apps and projects etc. I've heard of companies that just pick their employees brains for products one day in a year and can capitalize on it. This would be a lot more interesting that planning outings and dinners.
Health and Fitness
Encourage employees to use the stairs, do 2 man meetings over walks etc.
Help them avoid problems by finding free tools like workrave which frequently alerts them to take micro-pauses, rest breaks and restricts the daily limit.
Good attention to ergonomics will go a long way.
Hold sports fests on wekends etc.
Try walking into a room and offering 500 bucks to the guy who can complete 10 pushups the fastest...
Have a physical recreational room / a yoga room where they can work out, especially the ones with issues.
Have everyone understand each others areas
Nothing will work if sales doesn't understand production, or project managers who don't understand implementation challenges miss planning for important stuff.
Have the right information to everyone to help them make informed decisions in a timely manner.
We can't apply all changes to all projects. Lets single out a project, and give it all we've got. Not necessarily the larger projects, but the ones with the more able minds (where we can allot them) and we build into the plan from the pre-sales phase, the time to get things right.
Once we've done it, we know that we can, we know how and the habits can be passed on from team to team.
Find the technologists and find them the time to contribute to the various technology knowledge bases, mentor others and share their learning into future projects. If something goes late / early, see that other project managers know why.
Mentoring is a serious business and shouldn't be as loose as "see that your team does its best"
Employee Demographics and Motivational Coverage.
What sorts of Employees do we have, how do we keep them motivated. Does our motivational plan cover all the types? Are we focusing enough on the ones we really want to keep?
A big part of Motivation is also removing demotivational elements. As a company it may be most prudent to identify the more adverse factors and to remove them at the earliest.
This could be tools, painful process, environmental factors (including people) and lack of clear purpose and direction from the management or sometimes even conviction on how these sorts of changes can come about / of what benefit they will be to them.
An Actual Plan could include
- Preparatory Phase
- Phase N
- Stakeholders & Key Players
- Audience and Information Management Goals - who should know about the activities, how should their perception change etc
- Game Plan
[Such were my thoughts 10 years ago, visit WORK to see it in action today.]
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