This week our attention is going to shift to quickly explore 5 key skills in project management. Whether you are creating an e-book, designing a new program or deciding on new systems for your business, as solopreneurs we are regularly managing projects as a team of one.
In project management, historically, the foundation has been that for any project there is a triple constraint – time, budget and scope. Like a triangle, it is said that these things are fixed (at least in traditional project management). So if my budget gets reduced, it might take a little longer to do things as we now need to do them in-house OR the scope of the project may change given that we no longer have resources to complete a six month project, so instead we may need to do a three month project.
With this in mind the first project management skill I think is important is getting good at identifying project requirements.
Spending additional time making sure we have this first step of project requirements right, helps to make the rest of it flow more smoothly (usually!).
It was in this phase of project identification that I first became aware of the adage that “10 minutes of planning can save 2 hours of unfocused effort”. So true!
With this is in mind, let’s look at five key project management skills that solopreneurs will want to boost:
What do you see as essential project management skills for solopreneurs? Which ones have you been leaning into as a project team of one?
Share with us using the comments below.
Keeping Neuroscience at the Forefront of Good Design - © Jennifer Britton
Photo Credit - Britton, 2017 (Excerpt, Effective Virtual Conversations)
In Effective Virtual Conversations I share the journeys of two professionals who work in the virtual space – Jane and Jo. In chapter 5, Jane reflects on what it takes to incorporate science into her work with groups in the virtual space. I highlight eight different areas of focus.
We want to design with the learner’s entire self in mind, brain included. This month at the Learning Lab Design Studio. I explored eight different neuroscience elements you will want to keep in mind as you go to design your own programming.
As you read through today's blog post, consider what elements you want to be focusing on in your work:
Under times of stress our brains may revert to their more reptilian past, and we may go into “Fight” or “flight” mode – looking to fight or wanting to run away respectively. What can you do to create more certainty and safety for your learners and in your design.
Mirror Neurons – Just like a mirror, we are influenced by those around us. The notion of mirror neurons indicates that our brain will “fire” in ways that is similar to those we are in dialogue around. With this in mind, what is the environment you want to create for your groups?
PEA/NEA – Explored by Richard Boyatzis and his team, the Positive Emotional Attractor Network (PEA) is a series of components of the brain, which support in “opening up” the brain. When we ask questions like “What’s possible?” or “What would you do if you won 50M dollars?” all active this network, and create an open space. Consider what you can be doing to incorporate these questions and/or work around vision in your programming.
Micro-moments: Barbara Frederickson writes that change and connection occurs through what she calls “micro-moments”. Consider how you can be building this into your design, or getting your group to become more aware of their significant micro-moments.
Positive Interactions – The highly disputed Losada Ratio found that in order to “thrive” we need three positive interactions to one. While the ratio is disputed mathematically, it is valuable to think about the ratio of positive to negative conversational elements. John Gottman found that this ratio is closer to 7 to 1 for teams that thrive. What can you do in your design to boost the habit of providing positive interactions with your group/team members?
The Social Brain – The notion of the social brain is multi-fold and includes the notion that we learn through and in connection with others. What are you doing to boost peer connection?
Oxytocin – also known as the bonding hormone, this hormone is important for teamwork and group cohesion. Be aware that this is activated through touch and togetherness. What can you do in your design to leverage this “feel good” neurochemical?
Latency and Recency Effects – We remember the start and end of things but everything in the middle can get muddied, unless it is memorable. What can you do to create something novel mid way to loc k in learning? Consider visual anchors, polls etc.”
End of Excerpt. Copyright 2017-2018, Jennifer Britton. All Rights Reserved
To read more about program design the virtual space pick up a copy of Effective Virtual Conversations.
Resources to explore
Chapter 5 – Effective Virtual Conversations, for more on these 8 elements
Barbara Frederickson – PositivityRatio.com
Richard Boyatzis NEA/PEA: The role of the positive emotional attractor in vision and shared vision: toward effective leadership, relationships, and engagement
Richard E. Boyatzis,1,* Kylie Rochford,1 and Scott N. Taylor. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4439543/
Mirror Neurons: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/the-athletes-way/201402/do-mirror-neurons-help-create-social-understanding AND https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/brain-myths/201212/mirror-neurons-the-most-hyped-concept-in-neuroscience
What are your specific steps to incorporate neuroscience into your work?
Enjoy the start to your week,
Author of Coaching Business Builder (2018), Effective Virtual Conversations (2017),
Potentials Realized - Supporting Coaches, Businesses, Leaders and Teams
Is 2019 your year to take it ahead? Join me for one of our two annual groups - The Learning Lab and Design Studio (focusing on program design) or the Coaching Biz Growth Lab (focusing on coaching business development)
Coach Jennifer Britton has worked with entrepreneurs across a variety of sectors since the late 1990s, even before she was in business herself. From supporting micro-entreprise and eco-tourism businesses to working with service based entrepreneurs and coaches, her PRACTICAL and TACTICAL approach to business coaching is ACTION focused, with emphasis on AWARENESS as well. Jenn is the author of the Coaching Business Builder Workbook and planner, and 3 others books related to group and team coaching and virtual conversations. She also hosts the Coaching BIzGrowth Lab, an open-enrollment group coaching program for coaches. Jenn founded her business - Potentials Realized - in April 2004.