The Project Notebook

GTD for PMs Part V – How to Work with GTD

I thought that in this installment, I would take a look at how to best interact with folks (like me) that like to get things done.

Have a Specific Due Date in Mind

People who like to GTD probably work best with a specific due date. If they are told ASAP, it goes into their queue for prioritization. Preference is generally given to date driven tasks, after which they will do their best at prioritizing. My “plate” is typically so full (family and friends, work, volunteer projects for PMI, etc.) that ASAP tasks will frequently be bumped along.

Have Realistic Multi-tasking Expectations

People who can GTD multi task with the best, but there are just some things that shoulddn’t be expected. Some tasks require more focus — when doing them they won’t be checking email or be on their cell phone. Related to this is driving — I’ve really limited the use of the phone while in the car. Our California freeways are getting too congested for this to be safe. There is an interesting debate on this topic on LinkedIn Answers.

Understand that Innovation and Creativity Take More Time

While working on the Quick Estimating Tool which earned me and my fellow inventors a patent, I was very fortunate to work with folks that understood this. The initial idea came very quick — it was one of those “flashes” — after reviewing the problem and what direction the solution was headed in. This sort of breakthrough doesn’t happen every day. Most of the time, we work very hard get a little creativity. Be sure to provide more slack for creative tasks.

Have Other Realistic Expectations

Its not always possible to squeeze in one more thing, meet unrealistic deadlines, or other unrealistic deliverables. People who get things done generally do not require a lot of external motiviation, so they are usually working hard to meet your needs.

Allow for Planning Time

Perhaps the single most important way to work with folks that are project managers and get things done is to be sure to allow time for planning. My schedule typucally fills up quickly, usually a week or two in advance. If we can schedule work for three or even four weeks out, that is going to assure you will get your deliverable in the timeframe you need.

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© 2010-2012 Ray W. Frohnhoefer, MBA, PMP, CCP