After the game, the reporters descend on the locker rooms. Most fascinating to me are the quotes from players in the Loser's Locker Room. They're feeling bad, yet most of the time they manage to say something that doesn't have to be bleeped. "They wanted it more than we did," or "The ball just didn't bounce our way." Some of these clichés have hidden meanings, and if you know the team well enough, you can understand what the players are really saying.
So it is with project status reports. Sometimes we struggle to put the best spin on the facts, or to convey indirectly a message that we cannot — or dare not — convey directly.
Have you learned to read, write, and speak Status-Report? Status-Report is a language that uses the same grammar and syntax as your own language, but the words mean something different. If you want to learn Status-Report, here are some examples.
Find an old status report from a troubled project — maybe a report you wrote yourself. Translate it from Status-Report into plain language. How much more useful would it have been in that form? Top Next Issue
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More articles on Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness:
- Don't Worry, Anticipate!
- Dramatic changes in policy or procedure are often challenging, especially when they have some boneheaded
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you can usually find a safe path that suits you.
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- Solutions as Found Art
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Accepting this as a starting point can change our approach to problem solving.
- Ending Sidebars
- We say that a sidebar is underway in a meeting when two or more meeting participants converse without
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we end sidebars quickly and politely?
See also Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness for more related articles.
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming January 22: Disjoint Awareness: Bias
- Some cognitive biases can cause people in collaborations to have inaccurate understandings of what each other is doing. Confirmation bias and self-serving bias are two examples of cognitive biases that can contribute to disjoint awareness in some situations. Available here and by RSS on January 22.
- And on January 29: Higher-Velocity Problem Definition
- Typical approaches to shortening time-to-market for new products usually involve accelerating problem solving. Accelerating problem definition can also help. Available here and by RSS on January 29.
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- The Power Affect: How We Express Our Personal Power
Many people who possess real organizational power have a characteristic demeanor. It's the way they project their presence. I call this the power affect. Some people — call them power pretenders — adopt the power affect well before they attain significant organizational power. Unfortunately for their colleagues, and for their organizations, power pretenders can attain organizational power out of proportion to their merit or abilities. Understanding the power affect is therefore important for anyone who aims to attain power, or anyone who works with power pretenders. Read more about this program.
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