Management By Walking About (MBWA) is a much underrated mechanism to keep an eye on what is going on in your project.
As things have evolved technically over the years is becomes all too easy to orchestrate, or attempt to orchestrate, your project form the comfort of your adjustable office-chair. Using eMail, Instant Messaging, Text Messaging, etc. to deliver your guidance and expert opinion.
However, while you may like to think you are some kind of techno-mastermind of all you survey, the chances are you’re missing out on a lot of the crucial information you really should have a firm grasp on.
If you’re only reading the written word, and worse, only spouting it too, you are missing a huge percentage of the other parts that make up that thing we call human communication.
Without getting the real ‘word on the street’, complete with intonation, attitude and accompanying body-language, you’ve only got part of the picture.
Have you ever said to yourself, “I didn’t realise it was that bad” or, “They should have said there was a problem”, then maybe you need a bit more ‘face time’ with your team, customers or co-workers.
So, If you want to keep on top of what’s going on, get off your arse and walk about!
If you have to staff up a project from scratch, there’s a good chance you will not have all the skills and resources you need on day one. If you cannot beg, borrow or steal the resources from within your organisation, a common way to plug some gaps in your team, or bring in specialist knowledge, is to use contract resource.
Some of these guys are expensive, some are extremely expensive. But you have to weigh this up against what you get for your money. As they say, if you pay peanuts, you can expect to attract monkeys.
However, you cannot assume that because someone is expensive, they are any good; you have to apply the usual sensible measures when you recruit and select the right candidate(s). Check them out, interview them well, make sure they know their stuff and that you think thay will add value to your team.
If the ones you think are the best turn out to be more expensive than you’d planned for, then it’s down to you to make the decision on how you balance up your likelihood of delivering with an ‘A’ team or the cost of failing to deliver with a lesser skillset/capability. That’s what YOU get paid for.
As regular readers will observe, there is much discussion on the central concept of arses and good guys. Some may find this a somewhat vague concept. So, to bring this to life a little, we will introduce the concept of the Mean Value Coefficient.
This is being done for a few reasons:
- the concept will be used in forthcoming posts, there’s a whole theory to come
- it is an extension of the nickname concept
- you just can’t beat a bit of pseudo-science
The concept is very simple:
- An individual with an Mean Value Coefficient of 1 has a neutral impact on your project, makes it neither better or worse.
- An individual with a coefficient less than 1 has an overall detrimental impact on your project (an arse). The smaller the coefficient, the worse they are.
- An individual with a coefficient greater than has improves your project (a good guy). The higher the coefficient, the better they are.
This has a very important use. You can simply refer to people as “MVC 0.5” and only those in the know will know what you are on about. This is sometimes safer than the more traditional “he’s an arse” when you don’t know who might be listening. Generally, people who don’t know what MVC is will be to embarassed to ask. Its also particularly sneaky as MVC means something else too.