Showing posts from June, 2020

What First, How Second

Buying or subscribing to a software application is never the solution to a problem. But it can certainly be part of the solution... or not.
It's all about the process. An app can help streamline a process. Likewise, it can overcomplicate a process. It's all in the way you use it.
Finding the right app or apps is important but mapping out the desired process flow should always come first. It's only after we've designed our process - and know our desired result - that we look for "an app for that".
When mapping out your processes, start with the way the process currently flows. Draw it on paper or list it as steps in a text file. Then, suspend reality temporarily and map out what the most efficient workflow looks like. Describe the steps that you want to happen - the "what". Yes, you'll need to consider the "how" but don't limit yourself at this point.
It's easy for me the recommend this approach; I've seen it work many times. I …

How Planning for Failure Can Help Ensure You Don't Fail

We all want things we're working on to be successful. Nobody ever plans to fail... but wait, planning for failure can be a useful exercise.
The term 'premortem' comes to us from the field of project management. According to the Harvard Business Review:
"A premortem is the hypothetical opposite of a postmortem. A postmortem in a medical setting allows health professionals and the family to learn what caused a patient’s death. [...] A premortem in a business setting comes at the beginning of a project rather than the end so that the project can be improved rather than autopsied."

Instead of considering what might go wrong, you 'pretend' your initiative has already failed. Then you brainstorm to come up with all the possible reasons for the failure. This gives you the perspective of hindsight, which works differently than foresight. And you can see that this also ties into risk.
A simple example might be when I decide to make a special offer. The obvious failure…

Too Many Items, Not Enough Action

pivot - purge - plan - prepare - postpone
The P words are overtaking our business lives in recent months!
To make all those P's happen, we also have long to-do lists... longer now than usual. I know this because I've had chats with many small business owners over the past couple of months.
Long to-do lists can be very stressful! What I know for sure is that there is no particular solution that works for everyone. (But, oh my, if someone could figure that out, they'd get super rich!)
Change can suck - while doing the changing - even if we know our current practices leave a lot to be desired. It probably means trying different things and adapting new work habits. And habits are not easily broken; new ones are even harder to start.
There are thousands (millions?) of apps and systems that can help us but actually doing the tracking of action items usually becomes an action item in itself.
I'm not about to recommend something you should try... but I am going to give you something…