Oct. 19, 2020

EP 8: Life Projects Require Communication and Resources

EP 8: Life Projects Require Communication and Resources

In this weeks episode we chat about resourcing and communication within your life projects. It is import to understand what you need for your life goals and projects and when you need to have in order to the succeed. We talk about outlining these resources and having real conversations with yourself and anyone else who is impacted by the project. Most resources require money and time, two things that most people hold pretty near and dear. So regardless of what your project or goal is ensure you are talking to the people around you about what you need and the impacts it will have on you and them.

This week we also talked about communication plans with yourself and with those around the project. There should be two different communications plan, one should cover who, how and when to communicate with other impacted by this life project. Next, is how you communicate with yourself. Self talk is important and can derail a life and a project if you can not be honest, real and loving of yourself.

Transcript
Intro:

You are now listening to the Project Life podcast where we take project management concepts and apply them to your everyday life. broadcasting from the Lone Star State in Austin, Texas. Help me welcome your host, Mr. George Lopez.

George lopez:

Hey, what is going on everybody? My name is George Lopez. And Welcome back, everybody. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome to week number eight. I'm so glad to have you guys back with us. So excited things are continuing to just work out. So well. I hope you guys have enjoyed the past seven weeks. And as we jump into week number eight, I just want to thank you guys all for continuing to support the program to support the show too like to share all that other fun stuff. And just one quick little disclaimer, we did just launch a brand new website for the podcast. So if you guys haven't checked it out, it is the www dot Project Life podcast.com you can stream all the episodes there, it will take you directly to all of our social media. So you can find us on Twitter, Instagram, you know, Facebook, it'll let you see the directory of all the different podcast platforms that we're we are live currently on. So whether it's Spotify, or iHeartRadio, whatever the case may be all access there, you could reach out to me directly, you can email me directly, you can shout out the page, there's a ton of stuff you can do. So we're super excited that we just got that launched this week. So when jumping right into the show, guys, you know how we normally do things. If this is your first time welcome. I do like to recap what we talked about last week here at the beginning of the show to kind of bring you back up to speed just a little bit on where we're going. And then we'll jump into into this week's topic. So last week, we talked about quality in itself in quality in regards to planning, quality management or planning, quality items, you know, in kind of coming up with a quality plan on what you need to do in order to make sure that your project is headed down the right path and understanding what the key identifiers are, if it's not heading down the right path. But last week was about creating the plan and having the conversation with yourself of this is what my project is this is what my schedule needs to be. And this is how I need to check myself and balance myself and take a look at how the overall project is going. And then, you know, as I get into the execution phase, then I can talk about tweaking or scaling back or scaling more, and so on and so forth. So, you know, we really dove into what the critical thing that needs to happen in that is really taking out a pen and paper, as I've been saying since week one, writing out the plan, understanding what when we talk quality, what does that mean? And it's really the idea of understanding and testing where you are or checking on your progress. Okay, I continuously use a weight loss as a project in life, because it's probably one of the most common projects that people tried to start in some complete and things of that sort. And, you know, if we take quality, in last week's episode, we look at it and it's really At what point are we checking to make sure that I'm on the right track? How often Am I checking? Is it you know, my plan is to lose 30 pounds in 12 months. So, you know, there's so many different ways that you and your head can come with a in understand, you know, and actually hold yourself to, hey, I'm gonna do a weigh in once a month, I'm gonna do when, once a quarter, so on and so forth. Here are my parameters. That's what the quality management plan was really all about was to kind of sit down, be truthful to yourself, which is was another key aspect of last week's show of being able to have the tough conversations with yourself into cut through all the BS that you may tell yourself to make sure that you know, you're okay and that you're not beating yourself up or anything else like that if things are not going to plan. But last week's show really just kind of hovered around the idea that at some point, you're going to have to be able to kind of have a straight up conversation with yourself and either, you know, cut the shit, or, you know, really just sit back and say, Hey, is this working or not? and come up with a plan and don't come up with a bias plan that you know Every time you check, you know, it's going to point you in the right direction in order to make sure that the goal is going as planned. Because, you know, for anybody, even from project managers, on the public and private sectors, it's, you know, you do want to know if things are Elise, if there's indicators that your project is starting to hit awry, so that you can fix them beforehand, right in, I would say that, you would want that in your life as well, if things are not, if you put, you know, a checks and balance system, and you put an inspection system in to kind of check the quality of your project or the work or the effort that you're putting into the execution of that project. There's nothing wrong with that, guys, there's nothing wrong to sit there and say, Hey, this is not working. And in a few episodes, as we start getting into how to execute the project, and kind of the tips and tricks that you can use to ensure that the execution of it is good, and the management of the execution is good. But again, last week was all about the plan. What do I do? How do I do it? How often do I do it? What's going to be my criteria to check? And how, you know, what is that? Where's my bs meter going to be? Or, you know, how do I keep myself accountable? Where do I start to see, you know, intervention, meaning to come in to the project, to check on the quality again, you know, looking at it, when if you put pen to paper, like I've been saying, since day one, you always have a reference guide to go through. So when you start the execution side of the house, you always have a reference point to go back to and say, Hey, this is what I wrote, this is my criteria. This is the test that needs to needs to take place. This is the check and balance that I need to do upon myself. Good, bad or indifferent, I have to get it done at this point. And, you know, and then you start to write out and we'll talk later in the coming weeks of risk, and you know how to plan for some of those things. But overall, just quality, you have to create a plan. And like I've said since day one, guys, you know, the biggest part of project management on the public and private side of things is planning. And that can relate to your project in your own life. Jumping into a weight loss program, on January 1, is a tough pill to swallow. If you don't plan leading up to that there's a high likelihood that you're probably not going to accomplish your goal. Because you have not set forth any kind of plan. Right? This is planning in itself is the biggest portion of any project in order to be successful. A great plan needs to at least be thought of a good baseline needs to be established, right? Because along the way, as we start to get into execution, you could always make tweaks, you can always save a project and so on and so forth. But we're not going to get into that today. So just to wrap up last week show, manage quality, taking out pen and paper, taking a look at your schedule, taking a look at your goals. Write in writing down a plan on how you're going to check the progress of your project, how often you're going to check it, what's going to be the criteria that you're going to use to check against. Okay, and then what are going to be the indicators that the project is headed in the right direction, or the wrong direction, Teddy, so that was week seven. Okay, so if you go back to last week, again, jump on whatever your favorite podcast platform is Spotify, whatever, check it out, listen to it, I think it's about 35 minutes or so, and go from there. This week, guys. So as we kind of smoothly transition over to this week. So this week, we're looking at resource management. And I think probably the most underestimated and probably one of the most underutilized areas. His plan, communication management, right. And so we're gonna jump into those two those two items, right, like George commodity that just sounds way too, you know, construction project. He sounds way too. You know, I got to build, you know, this new IT project, you know, and how is this really going to help me on my day to day life, right. How's it going? To help with my project to lose weight in, what I'm going to tell you is, you know, the first one's pretty simple, right? Plan resource map, you know, your plan, resource management plan. Okay? Pretty easy, right? But the thing about it is, if you jump back up to when we were defining requirements, and everything else, some of those items should have come out, right? What resources are you going to need? Have you asked yourself that question, when you start a weight loss program? What resources? Are you going to need to be successful? When you go back to school, to get that Master's, to get that g d to get that bachelor's? What resources are you going to need? First thing everyone would probably say would be money. He that's, that may be true. But in this exercise, in this aspect of it, as you again, pull out pen to paper in you write down the resources that you're going to need. Okay, then that can again, it's all going to start to tie together, right? So when you were defining the project, in the beginning of it, part of this should have come up looking at what the requirements were right? And, but as you now start to jump into this, you then start to realize that Oh, crap. Okay, so I'm gonna start listing out all these resources, that may then play an impact into my budgeting. Right? Because, again, yeah, you said money is a resource that you're going to need, but what are you going to need that money for? And where's it gonna fall within your own budget? So again, I will sit back on all old faithful in to talk about weight, you know, weight loss, or just getting in shape? Was that going to mean? What, what does that mean? Well, gym membership would probably be the first right or building a home gym, right? There's a cost associated with that. There's a resource, okay? If I build my own home gym in my garage, because it's COVID. And I don't want to go to the gym, because there's, you know, tons of people there. You know, what's that mean? What are those? What are those things that I need? What weights? Do I need? 20 bands or any bars? Do I need dumbbells do? You know, you can list it all out? Right? And then when you're doing that, after you're done with that, then you can talk about adding a monetary value to those items. And then you may have to go back into looking at how you planned your budget and your cost for this goal. And again, I don't want it to be so overwhelming, where you're just like holy crap, not only want to do I don't want to do it. No, nope, no one do it. Again, when you start planning all this, again, this, this gives you the ammo needed, put in the gun, to fire off the rounds at the target at the goal that you want. Without it, you're shooting blanks and you're not shooting at anything. Okay? So I'm not trying to use this as a way to discourage you away from your plans. But you are now helping yourself, set expectations in your own mind. Prep yourself and understand that yes, I'm going to have to swipe that credit card, or Yes, I need to look at the gyms in my area. In sticking with weight loss. Look at the gyms in my area, do a tour, see what the monthly cost is going to be? start comparing, you know, because that's a resource that I'm going to need. Okay, and then you look at your, your schedule. When do you need that resource? Well, I need to put on the schedule. I'm gonna be at the gym at five, well, hey, this gym doesn't open till eight. Okay, well, I can't go to that one. You know, these are the things that we don't think about. Because we just dive right in. Right? And this can go with anything that any project any life project that you're thinking about, okay, I know I use weight loss, but again, using school, what resources How much are books going to cost? What books do you need? When do you need those particular books because you mean you may go back to To get your masters I did, there's probably about 15 to 20 different books that I needed over the course. But I didn't need them until, you know, needed to here to there. So I lined that up when my schedule lined up, but my budget, I need to spend this during this time in this at this moment, and so on and so forth, right? getting out of debt, another one, what resources are available? Okay, can I go check my credit, you know, got my annual this. And now I get to go and break down and see what resources I need, I need someone to help me write these dispute letters I need, so on and so forth, right and putting pillars in place or saving money, there's whatever plan that you're trying to do. Okay, these, what I'm giving you guys just does not just revolve around weight loss in school, he can help with anything. And you can scale it as larger, as small as you want. But again, this helps set the expectations within your own mind. So as you're going along through it, you're not going to be able to see everything, because there's no way that you can predict or see everything. But you know, along the way, at least what is blatantly obvious that you can see and manage and move forward. So resource management, right is just looking at what you need. lining it up with your schedule to see when you actually need it. And lining it up with the budget. To see at where at the costs, do I need to either increase or modify my budget? Okay, and understanding, you know, there's so many different ways you can slice that pie, because then you talk about Okay, when do I need it needed? Now? What's the quickest way to get it here? Is it on Amazon? Will it be here, prime three days, you can get as into the weeds as you need to, for your project. But you just have to be just put it on pen and paper, right? I'm telling you, as you start to list things, these things out. You yourself can drill down as far as you want. Okay. But if I'm telling you, if you're going to pull up that pen and paper, the things that you need to write down for your resource management aspect of your plan is what do I need? When do I need it? And what is the monetary value, if any, associated with that resource. Once you do all that, again, because you're going to write this stuff out, I would then kind of flip either the page or use a second page, whatever you're using to write down priority, prioritize those resources. from one to whatever, prioritize those resources. And when you're prioritizing those, I would do it really based on how critical one how critical are they to helping you accomplish your goal and to where in the timeline. It is. Because if it's something that you need eight months from now, for your year long project, that may not be the number one thing that you need to focus on first. Okay, and when we continue, you know, again, jumping back to the weight loss stuff, you know, in my mind, if I was going to go to the gym, that would probably be the first resource that I needed. Okay, in understanding that, so I can begin that process of when I get into execution, where am I going, where am I looking, looking at pricing and so on and so forth. Okay. But the fact that, you know, I may put on my resources that, you know, losing so much weight, I mean, the bigger or smaller clothes? Well, yeah, that should probably be something a resource that I would need, closer to the end of the project that's compared to the beginning of the project. If that makes sense, again, guys, any of this whatever you know, may sound any kind of complicated, you know, you can always drop a comment, you can always drop some feedback on any platform. Just Throw, actually, you can actually throw it on our new website, there's, there's a comment section, there's actually a voicemail section that you can record a note, or type in a note that comes directly to me in regards to questions and things of that sort, so just keep that in mind, guys. And then next, so as we transition to from resource management, now we talk about communication management. Okay. And I'm going to kind of go off in into kind of two different directions on this. And I want you guys to understand that communication for a project manager is about 95 to 97%, of the amount of work that they do on a day to day basis. And my civilian career in the private sector, as a project manager for a construction company 90% of the work I do is communicating with owners, vendors, subcontractors, and my own personal workers to ensure that the plan is on track. And whether it's on the phone, whether it's via email, whether it's in a team's meeting, or zoom meeting, or even in person, when it actually calls for allows, because of the circumstances right now, you know, 95% of what I do is some sort of communication. So you have to look at it that way. And, and when I when I touch on communication, I want you guys to kind of think back towards the beginning of the show, when the first couple episodes, I used to talk about stakeholder management, and outlining who the stakeholders were within your projects, to include yourself. But if you had family members, workers, co workers, neighbors, things of that sort. This is the time to kind of put these two things almost side by side. Because the one aspect I'm going to talk about is everyone else. And then I'm going to talk about communication with yourself. Okay, so we're going to go with the everybody else, all the other stakeholders within the project, okay, so you have to understand that, within the world of project management, like I said, 95 to 97% of the work that we do is via communication, one of the first steps that we take, or at least that I take, as I look at my stakeholder, you know, my list of stakeholders, and I prioritize those people, and then kind of start to break it down to say, let me start reaching out to these people, one, and seeing and outlining kind of the best point of communication, that each of these people, because everybody's a little different, some like text, some like emails, some are required to get the email, right, just for for work purposes to cover to cover and, and things of that sort. And some people, they don't want any communication unless it's specifically related to Xyz, right? An engineer, you know, is kind of someone that that comes to mind. So in your own life, or in your own life project, you take that list of stakeholders, right? And you have to break it down on, hey, one, the stakeholder is near and dear to the project. Right? You kind of give them a a number of, you know how often in you can do a scale of one to 10 125, so on and so forth. But you want to give them a scale and a number associated with them on these kind of different categories. Right? So one, how close are they to the project? to how often should you be communication, communicating with that person regarding the project? In three, what form of communication, it's going to be best for them. Again, this is not a skill number. This is email, text, phone call face to face both multiple, right? You want to kind of list out the modes of communication that you can have with this person. And then you can rank it from there, hey, they prefer text but I got a cell phone number. I have a work number. So I can communicate with this number one person because I know Jimmy john is Number one, because he's my personal trainer on my weight loss journey. And he prefers that I text him. But if I can't text him and need to call him, I can. And then if I don't get ahold of them via text, or via phone call, then I'm going to shoot him an email, because I have that as well. You have to be able to break that down, you have to guys, you have to, I'm telling you, no matter what life project that you want to do, you have to be able to list out one of the stakeholders into the communication methods, and how often you should communicate with that person. Because one thing that people tend to realize or to even consider, as they go down their different journeys are the family members. A bit that they may not think is directly impacted by their life project, but are 100% impacted by the choices that they make the decisions that they make, right? We were just talking resource management. So if you're married or have a significant other, to think that the open line of communication of I need to join the gym, I'm going to spend X amount of money on this, this, this doesn't need to happen. Again, I'm not telling you how to live your personal life. But science would say or, you know, most people would say that's probably not the best approach to ensure that the project is going to end up being successful. Right? Because the last thing you want in I don't know everyone's financial situation. But hey, if your wife or husband doesn't know, a 1200 dollar peloton is come into the house and just shows up and ends up on the credit card bill. Right? That may be a conversation that may derail a project pretty quick. Right? And that's just one small example. But as you look what Whatever you're looking to do, right, like, one of my own life projects, you know, with with my daughter, is her passion for soccer into force her the opportunities to play soccer to the levels that she wants to do, and me supporting her as a dad. You know, our goal right now is to try to get her a soccer scholarship. When she gets into college, you know, this is a long plan, my daughter is seven years old, right? So we're talking at least another 11 years of a timeline that we've outlined and talked about, but having that conversation with my wife of, hey, we're going to spend 1500 dollars to put her in a soccer club that she really wants to be in. Is that going to work? Or is it not? Or do we have to as this resource for her life project to put our kids through school or try to afford them the opportunity to go to a D, one D two school to get a higher education? Is that going to derail this project? Yes, no, maybe. And so on and so forth. Right. So that is, that is a personal example of a project. That is not anything to do with weight loss or school or anything else like that. But it is something that my family has discussed, we've created a timeline, we've talked about the resources, we've, you know, we've had to do the communication route and things of that sort, because then it breaks down. And then we have to break that down even further. Right. So now my daughter's in this academy. Now more stakeholders get added. Now coaches and developers, you know, within the program, could add it to a stakeholder list, because now now they become a crucial part of her overall development to get her where she wants to go. And to get us there to help afford her the opportunity to do this. And I tell you things like budgets and schedules and things like that change on a year to year basis, because we went from not traveling at a local park to now traveling, you know, once a week, it could be locally here in Austin, but going down to San Antonio. So now things have to change. And we and we and we've known these expectations and we again, have the our communication plan on Hey, let's sit down and talk about this because, you know, we need to have a sit down face to face to now talk about budget and progress and things that sort of work. Trying to go with with our daughter's future. So, you know, for everyone else, you have to be able to outline that, again, listing the stakeholders, you want to prioritize them, right? give them that scale. See, give them use that same scale to see how often you should be communicating with them five all the time, or when something changes to one, hey, just when something big, you know, budget changes, or something changes that they may want to be aware of. And then listening now, those modes of communication, the different modes, and then prioritizing those, hey, this person prefers email, they check their emails all the time. Awesome. Don't text them though, cuz they never text back, you know, you can make those notes on anything that you write down. Okay, and, and you list that out. Okay, and that's for everybody else. Now, as I said earlier, I was going to go to different routes with this, everybody else. And then self communication. We don't really talk this as project managers on the private and public sectors. But self communication within a project is so vital that it can either hurt, really, really hurt or help push you along. A project, okay, a life project. And this is kind of more of just me speaking on my own trials and tribulations across my 33 years of life, right? self talk is so important, good and bad. at being able to be real with yourself. And set expectations for yourself is critical, I cannot emphasize that enough, you have to be able to be open with yourself, you have to be able to look yourself in the mirror and say, George, Jane, Jo, whatever your name is, you have to be able to look yourself in the mirror and say, cut this shit. Things are not going in the right direction. Or you're fooling yourself and these aspects, you need to pull it together. Or in even on the flip side, George, you're doing a great job. Keep it up. Again, a lot of this is mental, you could do it in the mirror, whatever the case may be, but you have to be able to talk to yourself, and be open and honest with yourself. And when you plan, like I'm telling you, like I'm suggesting that you build these plans, they help you be honest with yourself. And if you're honest along the way, with the plan of what you know, the goal is what you know, the resource are, knowing what your budget is knowing how you're going to, you know, check and balance and manage the quality of it. Right? If you write those down and be honest with yourself, if you know you bullshit a lot, and Bs your way through stuff. You can outline that in your plan on ways to catch yourself to stop yourself. Because the plan is just a reference. Okay? The plan is the reference so that when you actually start and you start to execute, you can go back to the plan in reference that point and say, Hey, I'm supposed to be doing this. Or, hey, we're supposed to be spending this on this, not this, what changed so on and so forth, right? You use that pan that plan as the baseline to the project. Okay, you use that as the baseline, in any project manager will tell you, good analysis and everything else. You can update a baseline multiple times throughout the project. But you have to have a baseline to begin with. You have to know where you're starting. And you have to be able to give yourself that ability to succeed in a way that your self talk is not I'm going to hurt your project. If you're either going to beat yourself up, or you're going to lie to yourself, it's going to take you down the wrong path. And it's not going to help you get where you need to go. I promise you guys that I've been down that road, okay? This is not taking anything out of a book out of what project managers do, things of that sort. This is just George having some real talk with you that with any project that you want to do in life, you have to be real with yourself. Okay, you have to be real. You have to be okay with looking yourself in the mirror and saying you're bullshitting what you're doing. It's not gonna work out, you need to relook at what's going on. Or even to the effect of Stop lying to yourself, it's not going as well as you say it is. or stop giving yourself excuses. Because you did well, last month, and you're slacking off this month. And now you're in danger of not meeting your goal. But you guys, you got to also have the ability to talk to yourself to build yourself up. Hey, he know what went wrong. You got this. He know your path forward. You relooked at your plan, you made some tweaks. Now let's go get it. Don't let anything stop you. Words like and phrases like I can't do a one thing that I don't allow in my house. I can't do something. Yes, you can. Do you need help? Or Yes. Okay, you can do it? Do you need me to show you? Yes, I need help. Get to the point to where you can get some of this negativity out of yourself out of your mind. And drive forward. Because self talk and self doubt, without self praise and in being able to talk to yourself to build yourself back up. Regardless of how much planning and everything else you do, will derail your entire project. I promise you guys, it will derail everything that you are trying to do. I know it's long pauses, they're kind of lost my train of thought there guys. But really guys, that's you know, as, as I'm trying to wind things down and wrap it up here for you guys. You know, communication, as you know, the old cliche of communication is key it is, you know, it cannot be overstated enough of being able to communicate with others and set expectations for the for the folks that are you know, outside of yourself. Right, all those other stakeholders helping with proper communication will help set expectations, which will then lead to better relationships along the way of the project with honesty and expectation setting, right? Those were all critical in ensuring the project success. And if you can get those, again, being honest with those that are involved, that that impacts, okay, we'll help you set will will help in regards to setting expectations in for an owner and for stakeholders. They love that. They love to know what to expect along the way. And even if it changes a little bit, just through honesty, open communication and understanding what mode of communication to send that message through. They will appreciate it that much more impact you that much more. Alright guys, that's all I got for this week. Okay, we went over resource management. And we went over communication management within our own life and with their own planning aspects. I definitely appreciate time guys, and I hope to see you guys again next week. Again, please be sure to go check out our new website. Project Life. podcast comm has a ton of information there. You can also catch us on all the major streaming platforms. We're on Amazon, Spotify, I Heart Radio iTunes, wherever you get your podcasts wherever you get your love, I would greatly appreciate a like a share and a comment. Feel free again, to visit the website. You can leave voice notes, you can leave comments there, you can share it. Just help us spread the word guys, and I appreciate it and we will see you guys next week.

Intro:

That's a wrap for this week's episode of the Project Life podcast. Thank you again for tuning in. And if you like what you heard, please be sure to subscribe, like, share with your friends and family. Till next time