Just-In-Time Project Management

Just-In-Time PM #13: Component Thinking

In Part 12, I described the shift from a just-in-case to a just-in-time philosophy of work, using late starts as an example of the benefits it offers.

But if nearly everything can be done later, and there are major benefits to doing so, one question comes to the forefront: what in the world should I do now?

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Just-In-Time PM #14: Personal Productivity Networks

In Part 13, we looked at the benefits of Component Thinking, which involves thinking of any product we are working on as made up of subcomponents, which can be evolved or swapped out over time.

Now I’d like to take a step back and consider the big picture of what it means to work in small packets.

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Just-In-Time PM #15: Multithreading

In Part 14, we looked at the potential for massively increasing our bandwidth by creating “personal productivity networks.” These networks are made up of packets of work that move between “nodes” where some kind of intelligence is applied, whether human or software-based.

But what does it look like to operate such a network in our day to day work?

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Just-In-Time PM #16: Effective ROA

In Part 15, I advocated for multithreading, or weaving together multiple projects to take advantage of unexpected opportunities and synergies.

To take advantage of the benefits of multithreading, it’s critical that you begin to think of yourself not as a lone project manager, but as a project portfolio manager (PPM). Traditionally found only in large companies with hundreds of simultaneous projects, digital technology has made it possible and necessary for each of us to manage a portfolio.

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Just-In-Time PM #17: States of Mind

In Part 16, we refined our understanding of Return on Attention by taking into account our biggest constraint as knowledge workers – not just our attention but our deeply focused attention in particular.

But human attention is not a simple commodity like oil or gold. It can’t be stored in barrels or vaults or measured in liters or grams. Attention emerges from deep within the human psyche, which means that all aspects of human psychology come into play.

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Just-In-Time PM #18: Motivational Waves

In Part 17, I argued that unique states of mind are the most powerful resource available to knowledge workers. But these states are difficult to reproduce on demand, and come and go unpredictably.

Our challenge becomes clear: how do we capture the value from a series of valuable, yet fleeting mental states?

Let’s take the following states of mind for example:

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Just-In-Time PM #19: Explosive Inspiration

In Part 18, I introduced the idea that our states of mind come and go in “waves of motivation,” and that we should try to use them to our advantage, instead of forcing our mind to conform to our will.

A “motivational state” is more colloquially known as a “mood.” Moods usually have a negative connotation when it comes to productivity. Feeling “moody” is generally not considered a desirable thing while working.

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Just-In-Time PM #20: Speed as a Capability

In Part 19, I argued that continuously finding new sources of motivation was the most important challenge for knowledge workers, and that the best way to get started was to generate momentum through a series of small wins.

Although Progressive Summarization can bootstrap you to a minimum level of motivation, at some point you do need to go from faking it to making it. The mind can be tricked, but not fooled for long.

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Just-in-Time PM #21: Workflow Strategies

Now it’s time to look at the JIT Project Manager’s toolkit. How do we put these ideas into practice in our day to day work?

Through Workflow Strategies, a set of practical techniques for executing modern projects. Here is the full list, according to whether they work better for small or large-scale projects, and what kind of situation they are best suited for.

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