White water rafting

Alex G made us laugh during one of our frequent Skype conference calls earlier today. We were catching up on the progress of our technical build and G who is acting at the build’s project manager was reflecting on the joys of his role. He told us that trying to lead the technical team through to launch was akin to trying to steer a raft down an enormous set of white water rapids.

As we now enter calmer waters and edge ever closer to our alpha launch we thought it might be a good time to share some of our key learnings of the project so far – in the form of a list (of course):

1. Work with people you have worked with before and like

2. Play to their strengths – people perform much better when they focus on the tasks they like doing

3. For key requirements hire full-time contractors

4. Reward your team on a deliverables basis

5. Factor in a contingency for production times. Then triple it

6. Let the team set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound objectives

7. If you run in to problems, focus on solutions as a team – finger pointing and shouting achieves very little

8. Manage expectations – yes, it’s an old cliché but it’s also so important

9. Get the right balance of realism and optimism – this is never easy to do as an entrepreneur but vitally important

10. Exercise regularly – even if you’re busy and working hard to meet a deadline – there is no better way to get rid of stress

11. Lastly, take time out to laugh, even when things seem really, really bad

Not sure this is anything like a definitive list but it is perhaps a start of one I will later publish on Snagsta. If you’d like me to add anything I would appreciate suggestions – while you’re at it, a couple of tips for Mr. G on white water rafting would be welcome too!

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7 Responses to White water rafting

  1. alexgardner says:

    Great picture, it seems to sum up my twin approach to project management perfectly – either I am the guy totally out of control at the top or the guy weighing everything down at the bottom.

  2. phil hofmeyr says:

    Nice post Alex – at times you were uncharacteristically amusing. And some good tips – i don’t recall them all though as i nodded off towards the middle of the list. One day i am determined to read an entire post of yours. Must remember to grab a mug of coffee first…

  3. phil hofmeyr says:

    one more thing… you missed the positive aspect of disagreements. Challenging each other has turned some of our average ideas into great ideas. Thank goodness G & I have managed to talk you out of some serious hairbrain schemes! (Sadly we’ve had a lot less luck with your Bill Cosby sweaters and Eighties music…)

  4. Alex Moore says:

    Remind me why I decided to go in to business with you again Mr. Hofmeyr?

  5. phil hofmeyr says:

    Because the more i disagree with you the smarter you become…

  6. […] If you’re a regular reader of our humble blog, you may have noticed that we like rivers here at Snagsta. A few weeks ago I wrote a post about Alex G’s theory about project management being a bit like white water rafting. […]

  7. Clark says:

    Hello to all, it’s in fact a good for me to go to see this web site, it consists of valuable Information.

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