Innovation

Dealing with a new situation

So, here I sit in my home office. It's

been a strange two weeks, not made any less confusing by my family

being out in Oregon. I, like many people I know, function a great

deal better when I have my wife and son somewhere near by. They are,

after all, a large part of why I do what I do rather than go off and

sit on a mountain somewhere instead of a chair. The other part is

that I enjoy what I do, though circumstances make such feelings hard

to hold onto.

That I'm posting from my home office

should tell you that I'm back looking for work again. There are a

lot of different ways to spin why this happened. The truth, no

matter how you slice it, boils down to the situation did not work out

well for anyone. I did what I could. They did what they could. We

didn't met in the middle anywhere, so it became wise to move on. So

we did.

Now I find myself in the middle of yet

another large project, started just like any other IT project (in the

middle) with limited resources, almost no time before the deadline,

and uncertain functional needs. So fundamentally it's a question of

applying what I know about organization and communication to achieve

a goal without stepping over one of my two fixed boundaries.

Somehow, this seems familiar...

Like any good project, this one becomes

more complicated as I interact with my clients mostly unknown needs

(at this point, anyway) but also by my various stakeholders and

advisors. One of the stakeholders is two years old, so it's a bit

difficult for him to articulate what he wants from the situation.

Another hasn't even been born yet, but would probably like a stable

situation by February so he/she can command our absolute attention

for a few months. Still others, who've known me all my life, want to

help if they can understand what I need and why.

I've also got a good bit of market

research to do. Assessing what your clients want is, in fact, the

first part of any good project plan. Unfortunately, I really only

have one product to use in this particular effort, myself. I am what

I am, warts and all. I have specific skills and experience which may

or may not assist others in the accomplishment of their goals.

On a personal level I think my skills

bring value to those who let me use them. Over the years, many folks

have agreed. Others want my head on a stick. But communicating that

value to others, especially when I sometimes speak in tongues.

That's part of why I like to write, really. I think on my feet

reasonably well but it can take a bit of work to explain what I see

in a way others can follow. My tendency to use holographic analysis

techniques doesn't make that translation any easier, as they let me

pluck the right answer out of seemingly thin air.

In order to get everything organized I

spent a good portion of last week building my plan, working on a

market analysis, and creating iterative artifacts to keep track of my

progress. The fugue I talked about last week didn't help much; in

fact there are still dozens of loose ends I need to deal with.

Collecting those loose ends will probably take most of this week,

then I should be caught up.

Well, at least until my wife and son

come home. Then I'll let everything else go for a few days while I

catch up with them. Frankly, that's probably the best use of my time

I can imagine. Like all projects this one will end, but the

environment in which I thrive needs to be re-established or I'll

never have the strength to take on another challenge. And that will

not do at all.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox