These past few days, I’ve discovered that the thing I like most about my Be Neighbourly business project is being able to design miniature villages and bees. I spent several hours on Saturday creating a teeny weeny butchers’ shop complete with ham on hooks and I was deliriously happy. Then I designed many, many bees. A whole hive in fact. And I went to bed feeling fulfilled and at one with the world.
This tells me two things:
1. That I missed my calling and, instead of wasting all that time being a lawyer, I should have been working on Sim City or LEGOLAND; and
2. I am avoiding doing the real work on the projects.
I know this to be true, because the post-its tell me so. They are always there, surrounding me, with their accusatory neon hues. Always pointing out what I haven’t done.
The Mack has a new post-it system (he is nothing if not progressive when it comes to post-its). He adapted it from a project management seminar that he went to recently (one which overran and didn’t cover half of the promised material… hmmmm).
We used to have a 3 tiered system, with the most urgent tasks on the top line. But this has radically changed. Now we have a 3 tiered system, with the most urgent tasks on the top line. But these tiers now have names: Work In Progress, To Do and Backlog. And there are rules for the number of post-its that can go on each line. You must not have more than 2 post-its on your Work In Progress line (in fact, it’s labelled Work In Progress (2), so you are in no doubt). And there are a maximum of 6 tasks for To Do (6). Backlog is more relaxed. You can fill a whole wall if you so choose.
It has revolutionised my working life. Because now I look at my two priority tasks and they’re on a line that says Work in Progress. And I think: Great! Someone is progressing these tasks. So I can kick back and concentrate on designing some more pastel-coloured town houses…
Limbo, limbo ah-hah
We’re in a bit of limbo, the Mack and I. Our projects are in the hands of developers, busily trying to turn my rudimentary powerpoint mock-ups into working websites. We’re passed the design stage, so there isn’t much for us to see. Occasionally, my developers Skype me when they’re having some “doubts” about my requirements (I choose to see this as a language issue – I’m pretty sure they’re not feeling that negative towards my entire concept). But really we’re just waiting for them to finish programming, so that we can test the sites.
I’m not very good at waiting. I get twitchy. I’m a humungous control freak and leaving things to others to complete goes against everything I stand for. I like to be able to watch over people when they’re doing a task for me, so that I can snatch it out of their hands the very moment that they make the slightest error.
Bit tricky when your developers are in Jaipur…
If I were a different (better?) person, I would be using this time to get ahead of the curve. Drawing up my checklist for testing the website; pulling together all of the content sources that I need to get the first info up onto the site; identifying the local businesses that I want to partner with to attract users in the first few months post-launch.
Alas. It seems that my time is already taken up with designing tiny meat products.
Still, I’ve got as far as putting those tasks on post-its on the “To Do” tier, so I’m bound to get round to them soon.