Managing web development projects at digital agencies involves a lot of moving parts. Projects change hands many times as they move from RFP to proposal, to development, to initial launch and ongoing maintenance. I look at this as part of a DevOps culture mindset; focusing on the smooth flow of information across silos in an organization. In this post, I share my template for Project Reference Guides, which makes it easy for teams to collect and share key project information across all stakeholders.
In the busiest stretch of my career thus far, I was involved in a dozen or more meetings a day leading a team of 60 individuals across 200 active client projects and internal initiatives. It was a lot, and keeping up with everything was challenging. However, it also forced me to think through how to make these meetings matter. Ultimately, I found the following format to be a solid starting point that could be further adapted for each situation.
ANDNA is a palindrome representing the following components:
“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.” ― Banksy
“I wonder where the oldest gravestone is?” Have you ever played this game when you were a child visiting the cemetery? Walking around trying to find the 1st person that was buried and remarking in awe at how many decades (or centuries) they lived before you?
First, the “Zeigarnik” in the Zeigarnik Effect is pronounced zeeg-err-neck. I intentionally repeated this 3 times and I recommend saying it out loud and committing the spelling to long term memory because you are going to want to bust this out the next time you identify this experience.
“The most important thing is to keep the most important thing the most important thing.” I imagine few would argue with these wise words by the late Stephen Covey (author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). However, habits and intentions don’t always align. I once had a screen time recorder on my phone that reported I had spent 5 hours in a single day on email and social media. Little, if any, of this time was spent on the most important things in my life: my family, my health, my career, etc.
2018 was a transformative year across every dimension of my life. It is also the first time since I started the yearly, 3 Words tradition in 2011 where I know for a fact that I owe much of this success to this process. Each day I made it a point to remind myself of the words along with the purpose and intention behind them. And when things turned bleak, it was this bundle of intentions that help give me the direction to look and courage to act and make significant life-altering changes. Changes that I feel very, very blessed to have experienced after some tough years.
“I know Kung Fu.” This line from The Matrix absolutely blew my mind in 1999 because it was the very first moment I was ever exposed to the idea that computers and technology could literally connect to and augment intelligence. To think that I was in the last semester of my senior year of high school and future generations might have the capability of downloading in seconds what it took me over 12 years to learn through effort and repetition.
One thing in life that never ceases to amaze me is how (seemingly) small, chance encounters can open up doors to significant, life-altering events. I love telling the story of how I met my wife to illustrate this point. A Google search about meditation led me to a book, which led to a workshop in Virginia, which led to Katherine Thomas, who then set me up on a blind date with Emily. At the time we lived 2,000 miles apart, and yet a single email sent to her inbox set in motion our beautiful relationship, marriage, and child.
How crazy is that?
How many atoms are there in a human body? What does a Kangaroo sound like? How far is it from here to Sante Fe? These are three recent Google searches I made to satiate the never-ending questions of curiosity that wink in and out of existence in my mind. What never ceases to amaze me is the ever diminishing gap of time it takes from the time I think of the question until I can obtain the answer. Usually, this is on the order of seconds and rarely over a few minutes.