10. Adopt practices for exploring a variety of perspectives
We think we see what we see, but we don't. We really see what we
think. Remember the blind men and the elephant. Make it your habit to
inquire what others see. You'll see more together.
9. Stay close to your customer
Clients' concerns evolve over the life of a project. Take advantage
of that to over-deliver. Stay in a conversation with your client to
adjust what you are doing.
8. Take care of your project team
We've come to accept that the customer comes first ... the customer
is always right. We can't take care of the customer if we first aren't
taking care of our project team. It's a challenge. While there are some
things we can do for the whole team, it comes down to taking care of
each team member as the individual that he or she is. And to make it
more difficult, then we must bring their various interests into
7. Keep your eye on the overall project promises
Project work can be difficult. It is easy to loose sight of what we
are doing and why we are doing it. Remind your team and yourself of the
overall promises and how you are doing fulfilling those promises.
6. Build relationships intentionally
Project teams come together as strangers. To do great
work...innovation, learning, and collaboration...all take people who
like and care for each other. Don't leave that to chance. Start your
projects by building relationships among team members.
5. Tightly couple learning with action
Projects are wonderful opportunities to learn. Don't put that off
for the after project lessons learned. Make it your habit to
incorporate learning loops in all your project activities. Your team
will appreciate it. Your customer will benefit from it. And best of
all, it will make your job easier.
4. Coordinate meticulously
A project is an ever-evolving network of commitment. Keep that
network activated by tending to the critical conversations. See that
people are making clear requests, promises that have completion dates,
and share opinions that advance the purposes of the project. Without
attention to those critical conversations the project will drift.
3. Collaborate. Really collaborate.
Make it your rule to plan with those people who will be the
performers of the plan. Don't wait 'til the project has gone south to
get their help. Start out that way. Continue collaborating as the usual
way you work through the project.
2. Listen generously
People are able to say what they can in the moment. For the most
part, people are well-intended. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
Take the time to listen. Ask questions. Seek others' opinions. And
while you're at it, don't be so harsh on yourself.
Expect the unexpected. There is far more that we don't know and
can't know than what we can anticipate. Be resilient to what life
throws at you. Anticipate that your team will learn something along the
way that can and should change what you have promised and how you can
deliver on your promises. And when you take a set-back -- we all do
sometime or another -- review the other nine rules for how you can work
your way out of it.