Planning, execution, and control are essential to a successful team’s DNA. In Part 1 of this series, I expanded on planning . In this essay, I dig into execution . Execution Execution is where the real tangible work happens. It consumes most of the working hours for individual contributors. This is by far the most challenging part to get right. Why? Planning and Control are top-down. There are good examples of how to get them right. Execution, on the other hand, has many variables. The larger the team (or the company), the more complex things get.    Execution depends heavily

Successful teams follow three disciplines pretty well: planning, execution, and control. Teams can be of any size: a small team, a department (collection of teams), or a company  (collection of departments). When I mention successful teams, I’m referring to the teams that consistently reach their goals. This excludes sparse successes where they get there by chance. This generic trio fits into any operations style, from waterfall to agile. The topic covers a lot of ground on team success. I break this topic into four parts to keep the essay reader-friendly. In this essay, I expand on planning. Planning Planning refers

After publishing my essay on Burnout, I found a gap in a burnout risk calculator tooling without sharing information with other parties while maintaining records of previous results. That triggered creation of a simple risk calculator to make it easier for people to evaluate themselves from time to time and see improvement (or not).  I used the best no-code tool out there: Google Sheets! There are 20 questions scattered over 4 categories: Emotional Exhaustion Work-Life Balance Work Environment Support & Personal Growth There are 5 questions for each category. The answers are from “Strongly Disagree” to “Strongly Agree.” After answering

Time is scarce. We have limited time during the day to work, rest, socialize, and spend time with our loved ones. The more time spent in one category, the less we have in others. In a way, managing time is like managing money: limited money, various categories to spend. However, time cannot be borrowed nor saved for rainy days.  I’ve observed many instances where people struggle to manage their time efficiently. This issue has caused them frustration. They deliver less and have a hard time scaling themselves. How we utilize our time is key to personal satisfaction and career progression.

Burnout is a term used to describe a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion that results from prolonged and intense stress. It is a common problem in today’s fast-paced and competitive world. It can affect everyone in all professions. Burnout is not a medical condition but can impact an individual’s health. Burnout is often caused by chronic stress, resulting from various factors such as work pressure, long hours, high job demands, low job control, interpersonal conflicts, and lack of social support. When individuals experience prolonged and intense stress, their body’s stress response system may become overactive, leading to physical

Each individual does their best in their environment, within their logic realm, to achieve what they need. In environments with other stakeholders, one individual’s actions affect others. So, how can we reconcile different motivations and behaviours in a shared environment to create harmony? Human behaviour, like other species, derives from reward and punishment. The reward can be monetary (e.g. bonus), status (e.g. promotion), or social acceptance (e.g. likes on social media). The punishment can be losing a job or a privilege. Of course, different people respond to different types of rewards and punishments. In modern and civil society, it is

How often do we pause to reflect on the problems we are solving every day? Why do we do them? What business value do they bring? Whether we are in a middle of a project to add a new user flow to a website, migrate to a new tech stack, or create a new data pipeline, we are solving a problem. But is that the right problem to solve in the first place? Is the new user flow bringing millions of dollars to the company, or is it just a new shiny thing on the website? Is migrating to a

Project owners use effort, cost, or value to estimate or show the progress of a project. For example, in a marketing campaign project, it is common to hear some variation of: “ In the past X months, we spent $Y on this project that led to a Z% increase in revenue. ” In this example, “ X months ” shows the amount of effort (proxied by time),  “ $Y ” is the cost, and “ Z% increase in revenue ” shows the value.  There are nuances for using effort, cost, and value in project planning and progression. These nuances can

Nothing is perfect. Even when you think you’ve done a perfect job, there is always something you can improve. Chasing the ideal outcome leads you to spend time and resources to improve things beyond necessity. This is true about any project in any domain, from renovating a house to getting a car to deprecating a software service. There is always an objective goal where the project can be considered good enough . Back to the previous examples, in the case of renovating a house, good enough can be when your house doesn’t need any general repairs in the next ten

Over time and with more life responsibilities, I’ve found it hard to stay in touch with my network. Outside of working hours, there is always something to do around the house, from fixing stuff to going over the bills to spending time with your significant other. Those activities have a sense of urgency in them. They can easily through you off of less urgent but important matters such as socialization.  I was reading this article when it hit me that I haven’t been in touch with my old friends and colleagues for a while. At work, I’m preaching to use automation