Figure out where you want to go first
One of the fun things about knowledge work is that it is flexible and often there are many ways to solve a problem. But one of the key things that you need to know is where you want to be when you are done. There were a nice pair of articles in my feed reader this morning that are connected to this topic.
Jim McGee describes How better thinking about deliverables leads to better knowledge work results.
Focusing on deliverables means working backwards with the end in mind. Knowledge work is valuable to the extent that it produces end results, i.e. deliverables, that meet the unique requirements of a particular customer or end user. Time invested in understanding what that deliverable should look like will yield the greatest return in defining and focusing the activities that contribute to creating that particular deliverable at the right time and place.
And Luis Suarez reminds us Don't Start with the Tools: They Are Not Your Final Destination, and he started that off with a great quote from Oscar Berg's thoughts on the same topic, Don't start with the tools. "A fool with a tool is still a fool." Indeed.
This takes me back to one of our favorite questions at P3 Consulting Group: What does good look like? This applies to everything from grocery store checkout to running projects at your organization to your supply chain to your organization's style. When you are in the middle of it, and when you are done: What should it be? What should it look like? What should people see? I'd wager that "using Facebook" or "writing a report" isn't on that list. You might get there via that method, but the result is something very different.
[Photo: "Start well. End well." by Adi Respati]
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