Management tip: Assume Nothing

Management tip: Assume Nothing

Today’s tip may sound obvious but you must train yourself to live by the principle ‘Assume Nothing’ because it’s so easy to drop into lazy thinking and miss something important.

Listen for people including ‘should’ in explanations. This is often a giveaway that they don’t know for sure and is a prompt for a good Project Manager or Analyst to get the detail checked.

In systems and business analysis there is a related principle of ‘go and see for yourself’.

If you are ultimately accountable for the successful outcome of a business process go and do a walkthrough with the staff who do the job day to day and hear directly what they have to say.

In all my years I’ve never found this to be anything but beneficial and a good use of time. At the very least the staff will welcome being consulted directly.

The art of change management

Working in IT we are probably responsible for introducing more change in the workplace than any other profession.  If a change is to be made succesfully it needs to be carefully communicated and the various stakeholders need to buy into the change, otherwise you’ll have an uphill struggle on your hands.  In my experience people can often be defensive about how they do things and can be resistant to change.   I was at a planning session a few days ago and the chairman put up this quote on the screen at the start of the meeting, “change is not a criticism of the past but recognition of an opportunity for future success”.  No one had any idea who said this but we all agreed it was a good point to communicate to everyone at the start of the project.   If you know where this quote comes from please let me know.