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How to motivate yourself? September 27, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Lifehacks.
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At times it could be difficult to force yourself todo a task (like exercise) daily. Here is what Jerry Sienfield uses to motivaet himself to write comedy, daily.

Get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step is to get a big red magic marker.

For each day that you do the task, you put a big red X over that day. After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.

Don’t break the chain.


Attracting and keeping productive employees September 11, 2005

Posted by Coolguy in Management.
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Twelve factors to attract and keep productive employees:

1) Do I know what is expected of me at work?
2) Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
3) At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
4) In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?
5) Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?
6) Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
7) At work, do my opinions seem to count?
8) Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important?
9) Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
10) Do I have a best friend at work?
11) In the last six months, have I talked with someone about my progress?
12) At work, have I had the opportunities to learn and grow?

Staff demotivators August 3, 2005

Posted by Coolguy in Management.
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  • Lack of career progress path. No expectation of promotion prospects or progression.
  • Poor feedback about progress/results when things go well (or bad).
  • Lack of a training policy and opportunities.
  • Lack of process
  • Regular, mundane work
  • Low ‘feel good’ factor
  • Pay and incentives
  • Work
  • Office organisation
  • Inter team communication
  • Noise levels

Team building August 3, 2005

Posted by Coolguy in Management.
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Creating the System Vision

  • Creation of an overall “vision”, within the minds of the project team members and the business clients, of both the proposed system, as well as the necessary steps to insure its completion

Determining Task Assignments

  • Consideration must also be given to the experience level, the technical ability, the management skill, and the availability of each team member.
  • Each team member must feel a sense of challenge, and believe that his or her work is relevant and important.
  • An even higher consideration is the willingness, as well as the ability, of each individual to accept and carry out the assigned responsibility

Making Decisions

  • With decision making ability comes both control (which most leaders like) and accountability (which most leaders fear).In some cases, a decision is strikingly apparent to everyone, and the team leader serves only to confirm the choice. In other cases, the decision is between two or more choices with equal merit. Most decisions are somewhere in between.
  • Decision making rules:
  • Delegate decision making authority wherever appropriate
  • When all relevant facts, opinions, and viewpoints have been collected and assessed
  • If time is truly available to improve the quality of a decision – take it

Monitoring Progress

  • Quick team meetings with written actions communicated
  • First, clearly identifiable units of work must be assigned to each team member. These may range anywhere from a broad mandate to a detailed programming task.
  • Second, a milestone date for each defined deliverable should be agreed upon. These both should present reasonable yet challenging objectives.
  • Third, a formal accounting of these objectives and goals must periodically be required.

Opening Communication Channels

  • Two extremes are
  • One is the “keep your fingers crossed” approach: . This is where a team leader hopes that the clients, analysts, and programmers are all busily communicating away with each other about every aspect of the system without him or her having to do anything
  • The other is the “my way or the highway” approach. In this situation, the team leader controls all of the communication opportunities and only lets others into the loop on a “need to know” basis
  • The team leader must achieve proper and balanced communication between everyone involved
  • As a manager, the team leader must discipline himself or herself to react to both good news and bad news with moderation and maturity

Deflecting Unnecessary Distractions:

  • Interruptions can be handled through subtle deadline reminders, other times it may take creative thinking to find alternate means of handling the unplanned requests

Enforcing Quality Standards:

  • Not programming police
  • Quality should be inspired rather than dictated
  • process should be one of both confirmation of quality as well as identification of improvement opportunities

Watching Scope Boundaries

  • No matter how hard a team leader tries to keep the delivered functionality in scope, someone always seems to come up with a clever new feature, or an undiscovered requirement, or a “twist” on the original vision which will require more time
  • Sometimes these may seem to be just a little time here or a little time there, but it all eventually adds up to a significant amount of time, and a missed deadline
  • An alert project manager and look into change management.

Supporting a Career Development Atmosphere:

  • The inexperienced programmers gain by learning efficient and sensible approaches to creating high quality software from the more senior team members
  • The more experienced analysts and programmers gain by being given greater levels of responsibility and challenge.This provides an opportunity for them to stretch and grow to the point where they are ready to be entrusted with increasingly significant leadership roles

Managing Issues and Problems

  • Issue list reviewed, prioritized, and organized

Conflict Management August 3, 2005

Posted by Coolguy in Management.
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  • Wherever choices exist there is potential for disagreement
  • Such differences, when handled properly, can result in richer, more effective, creative solutions and interaction
  • When disagreement is poorly dealt with, the outcome can be contention
  • When disagreements emerge it is easy to hear without listening
  • Possible responses are:
  • Fighting it out
  • Yielding
  • Avoidance
  • We can reduce stress, resolve challenges and increase productivity through effective dialogue
  • If we encourage others to explain their side first, they will be more apt to listen to ours
  • Sometimes differences in organizational level, personality or self-esteem among the participants in a disagreement require the participation of a third party
  • Separating the people from the conflict
  • Setting ground rules for improved communication
  • Separating People and Issues
  • Focus on Interests
  • Generate Options
  • Use Objective Criteria to evaluate the options

Staff motivaters August 3, 2005

Posted by Coolguy in Management.
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  • Sense of achievement
  • Work itself
  • Advancement in career
  • Recognise and celebrate teams achievements
  • Consistency of policies
  • Work – life balance
  • Friendly working environment
  • Commitment to training,professional development,opportunities to try new skills or apply existing skills in new ways.
  • Good and honest communication
  • Reward structure