Disorganized Constraint

Resources can be constrained by disorganization. Disorganization can result in only being able to tackle the important things instead of all the responsibilities they have.

Enough disorganization of a critical resource and it becomes the system’s constraint.

Once a disorganized resource is the system’s constraint all other aspects of the system are subservient to the capacity of that resource.

How do you think they feel when they realize that their lack of processes impacts everyone else around them?

How should a leader respond?

3 Step Formula for Every Project

People-Get the right people.

Processes-Define your processes. Rehearse them. Make sure that a policy isn’t going to lead to an unexpected bottleneck.

Progress-The push towards business value is strong, but without the first two ingredients it will be hard to move forward. Once you have them moving forward will be moving quickly.

Uncertainty isn’t always negative

Uncertainty is a part of our lives. We don’t know the future and we we try to estimate it (as a species) we fail miserably.

8 X 8 does not equal 64.

Why? because 8 might feel like an accurate assessment but there is some level of variation. If you did (8+/-1) X (8+/-1) you don’t get 64. You get a range that includes 64.

Because we’ve all been burned by estimates not becoming reality we can have a tenuous view of the future.

That tenuous view isn’t an absolute. Sometimes we like uncertainty. Comedy and Magic both play on our love of uncertainty with a positive outcome. Presents are another form of uncertainty with a positive connotation.

As a Project Leader it’s important to view uncertainty as neutral. There are both threats and positive surprises. The balance may be more on the threats, don’t be wary of being guarded against them.

Be cautious about being too guarded. If your project sees you constantly overcome and viewing uncertainty as only a negative element, they’ll follow your lead. Treat uncertainty in a way where it can be both positive an negative.

The OODA Loop

Humans are emotional creatures. In stressful situations our emotions can distract us from being able to focus and make effective decisions. Thankfully smart people who have lived in stressful environments have figured out ways to overcome the stress by simplifying the process of dealing with that stress. One way to do that is the OODA loop.

Not only does this sound cool when you say it, but it’s highly practical as well.

As you can guess, it’s a acronymn and each letter stands for a different step of the process.

  • O-Observe
  • O-Orient
  • D-Decide
  • A-Act

As it turns out following these steps turns out to be a natural process–if we don’t let our emotions distract us.

OODA isn’t just something for Vietnam era fighter pilots. It’s something that we naturally do.

When starting a new phase of work/job/relationship or just taking the time to appreciate the reality of your current work/job/relationship the OODA loop can be a great way to help bring insights from your experiences.

Time to Explore

I have an app on my wrist that used to tell me when to breathe.

I muted notifications. I already know how to breathe.

What the app describes as breathe though isn’t necessarily a bad idea, it’s just that the app uses a term I don’t appreciate. Taking the time to let air flow in and out of my body isn’t something I need to budget time for. It just happens.

I think it’s more important to budget time to explore.

When was the last time you noticed something normal and asked questions about it?

I did this once at the dentist (an experience I don’t necessarily enjoy) and found myself being fascinated by the multitude of specially designed tools used to create the experience that would improve my oral health. Among the things I mentally explored were the specific qualities of steel (iron & carbon mixed) in order to produce the thin metal tools used. The chair was hooked up to electrical and vacuum systems, contained foam designed during the space race of the 1960s, and X-rays developed when space was still the subject of science fiction.

A simple experience I took for granted contained a history of artifacts that combine to deliver value via oral health.

Taking the time to explore isn’t just fun. The insights can help you appreciate the world around you.

Give it a go on something that’s routine today. You don’t have to go to the dentist to see the good in the world around you.

For the record, I still don’t like going to the dentist, but I know I’ll at least find something new there that I can appreciate.