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Posts Tagged ‘people’

Persistence and Practice; Project training essentials

Years ago, I worked on a project where we took a legacy horse race rating system used by a bookmaker and upgraded it to a modern technology platform. I spent a lot of time with guys who were professional gamblers, they were incredibly knowledgeable about horses and horse racing. They had a methodical practice that took hours each day, doing what they called, ‘rating the race.’ This was a practice that to an external observer (me) involved watching the same horse race over and over again until you had gleaned every last piece of information possible from it and had ‘rated’ (or scored) each horse in that race. After that, the race itself would be rated, and so would many other details that they had been trained to look for. This bespoke system they had developed of rating horses, races, conditions and riders all contributed to their knowledge about how the horse would perform over time. What they had observed over years, was that a horse would improve incrementally for a period but was also capable of ‘jumping’ very quickly up a few levels in performance and it was this jump that they carefully watched for in their rating statistics. It was their ability to be ready for improvement that gave them a competitive edge. Like horses, us humans, can sometimes give the impression of making an improvement very quickly the quintessential “overnight success.” Improvement requires practice and it’s never quite clear when we’re learning something new, when we’re going to improve or whether that breakthrough will happen at all. The constant practice and search for improvement can be a bit daunting and demoralising at times. This week, I was lucky enough to be present for one such improvement breakthrough moment. One of the users we’ve been working with on a project appeared in the doorway of the cupboard/ workroom that we’ve tucked ourselves away in. “I’m so happy, I have to share!” He was beaming from ear to ear. He went on to explain his breakthrough. He has been on the project team since the beginning and has been an active participant the whole way, but it has been difficult terrain. His commitment has never wavered, but we can tell that he’s struggled with the way the new system works, there have been a lot of confused looks and ‘why are we doing this?’ moments over the last few months.  His breakthrough was the result of persistence and practice. He reminded me of the importance of practice, and the absolute necessity of training for the job that people will do with their team. It’s a much more exploratory to learn but it pays off in these moments when someone gets the reward of their own efforts. We’ve spoken before about what it takes to deliver training in a project.  Over the many projects that we've worked on, and people that we've worked with, we learn more about how to better deliver training.  This breakthrough highlighted to me, the importance of persistence and practice. In this situation, we had also used the technique of having a ‘training buddy’ someone to work things out with, a fellow explorer in the new system. This mirrors a development practice in agile process, where two developers work together at the one screen. So the week's learning has been: Practice, practice and more practice! Celebrate the breakthrough moments (we did!) and acknowledge people for their persistence; Buddy up – two heads have more observation power than one! If you are struggling with the best way to train on a new system, get in touch.  We buddy up with retailers to equip internal teams for the project efforts ahead. Our project management tools are light and flexible for retailers. The 6R team work behind the scenes, leading through project management, testing, training and team building to deliver project success.

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12 point Christmas Holiday Checklist for Business

What do you think when someone mentions Christmas & summer holidays? I know my mind goes to lazy days spent at the beach, BBQs, warm balmy evenings that go on forever. An audible sigh of release. Relaxation, a chance to recharge and reconnect. Then you remember you are a business owner, you have the lead up to Christmas to get through first, and that ‘ can almost taste summer’ feeling quickly evaporates. But it needn’t be the case if you start preparing early enough. It is easy to get caught up in overwhelm but like all things; The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. – Walt Disney We have put together a quick Christmas Holiday checklist to help you prepare for the "silly season": (Read more)

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How to be truly focused and present… lessons from the wild

Before opening email or responding to texts and other messages I am enjoying the internal peace that comes from having just focused for the last 10 days on whatever was the ‘next thing.’ As I woke up this morning in my comfortable bed, with my comfortable husband after many nights of less comfortable sleeping conditions, I could feel my mind starting to move back towards the list making mode that is so much of my daily life, and I marvel at the contrast of the Kokoda experience. There have been no lists. I have had no contact with the outside world, just the people I was walking with and the news of the track. (Read more)

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Customer experience comes back to retail basics (the personal touch)

Customer experience doesn’t have to be high tech to be good. As we navigate all the different ways of interacting, remembering the retail basics of personal touch, makes all the difference, not just in terms of experience but also in terms of sales. Research indicates that 95% of customers (Zendesk) share bad experiences with others, and 65% are frustrated by inconsistent experiences across channels (Accenture). Customer focused retailers are working hard to improve these statistics by combining online booking systems with in store experiences. (Read more)

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Planning Projects | How to give it a T.I.C.K.

When you start a project typically you make a project plan. Problem with planning projects, and this is the problem with all plans really, at the time of planning you only know what you know right then. The future is unknown. So, we could say that to a certain extent project plans are ‘made up’. (Read more)

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Humans ARE underrated

It was actually the title of the book that swayed me, it’s a sentiment that I have expressed myself to clients, you can never be sure about people, sometimes they surprise you. In a good way (acknowledging also that sometimes they surprise me not in a good way). So what does Geoff Colvin have to say about the future of machines taking over our work? Of coming to terms with the fact that many tasks, even those high-value tasks like legal advice can be to a great extent be better done by machines? (Read more)

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