April 26, 2023 | Project, Program, Portfolio Management
My husband and I were recently watching a segment of the “Top Ten Plays” on ESPN. Many of you are likely familiar with this segment in which ESPN selects the best plays across any sport, any level, and any gender that is deemed to be above and beyond a routine play. As we were watching this particular episode, we started to notice that every other top play seemed to be “routine” or “ordinary” – something that either one of us could do if we were playing that sport. For example, a catcher caught a routine pop up during an MLB game. Another top play was when a basketball player made a routine foul shot during a game – not even to tie or win the game. We were puzzled and even found ourselves getting a little agitated.
Well, the joke was on us as we realized it was April 1st/April Fools Day. Even the ESPN commentator counting down the top ten plays was fooled. Well done ESPN – thank you for the laugh. But it got me thinking about how as human beings, we have the tendency to take things for granted, especially the routine tasks that we perform on a daily basis. This is particularly true in the workplace, where we often become so focused on completing tasks efficiently that we forget to appreciate the significance of what we are doing. However, it is important to remember that every task, no matter how small, plays a crucial role in the success of an organization. In this blog, we will celebrate the normal, routine tasks we complete in our jobs and explore the impact they have on our daily lives.
First, let’s acknowledge the power of routine. Establishing a set of regular tasks and procedures not only helps us stay organized but also allows us to focus on the bigger picture. By having a structure in place, we are able to approach our work with a sense of purpose and direction, which ultimately helps us to achieve our goals. As Project Managers, it is not always sexy to keep a RAID (Risk, Action Items, Issues Decisions) log. But it is one of the most essential tools we have to keep the entire team organized, focused, and honest. How often do you work with people who sometimes get a bout of project amnesia? Our role as project historians documenting every risk, issue and decision enables progress, reduces swirl, and provides everyone with a roadmap of where we’ve been and we are going.
Another routine task in our jobs is communication. Whether we are sending an email, posting a Teams message, making a phone call, or participating in a video conference, communication is essential to the success of any project team. It helps to build relationships, foster collaboration, and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Effective communication can make the difference between a project that succeeds and one that fails. And yet, we sometimes take it for granted. Our advice is to pause and take a minute. Think before you type or speak. Know your audience, read the room, and tailor your message to the stakeholders needs and wants. You might be missing a huge opportunity if you rush through every day communication.
It’s important to recognize the impact that these routine tasks have on our daily lives. By completing them effectively and efficiently, we are able to contribute to the success of our organization and ensure that it continues to thrive. While it’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day grind, it’s important to remember that every task we perform is important and contributes to the bigger picture.
In honor of celebrating the normal, routine tasks we complete in our jobs, I’ve compiled LSA’s Top Ten plays of the month. Some are routine and some go above and beyond. All are extraordinary.
A project team received the Circle of Excellence award from a client; this award recognizes cross-functional teams that achieve significant and measurable results on a global level
Three team members volunteered for our DEI committee
A team member received positive feedback for his role in building a global forecasting tool creating tremendous efficiencies
A team member received a new business opportunity based on a previous client referral
The leadership team met for a long overdue team dinner
A team member announced she was expecting her third child in the Fall
A team member received positive feedback for her creativity, dedication, and willingness to step up on a very complex technology implementation
Two of our leaders were promoted to Senior Directors; both have been with LSA for 10+ years
We supported one of our clients through a difficult re-org
The entire LSA team had a lot of fun!
So, the next time you’re tackling your inbox or scheduling a meeting, remember the importance of these routine tasks and take pride in completing them with excellence. Your team depends on it.
For more information on how Lake Shore Associates can help you with your project management needs, visit www.lakeshore.is.
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