3 lessons on Productivity from Winston Churchill | Project Management, History Lessons, Winston Churchill, Agile, Productivity

Winston Churchill History Lessons

Winston Churchill History Lessons for Project Managers

 

There are many lessons to be gathered from this leader who was responsible for Britain’s re-org and agile governance during World War II .

For Productivity:

  1. Work Environment Matters:
    Make sure you are comfortable in your work environment.  Winston Churchill used to spend most of his morning in bed.. working. Just make sure you as a manager need to think about n different aspects. in case of distractions do not let it linger and wait for right time for your to get idea or think and write that email. Just make sure you initiate in right place. A laptop on bed, or with morning coffee on dining table or going to near by Coffee Shop to work is always going to help.
  2. Priority – need to be simplified:
    We need to cut the crap, there is a lot on emails from clients, team members with different aspects. Make sure the way people communicate they understand your time and escalation mode in simplified way.

    1. Priority on Email:
      • Ask them to write an email with ** Urgent Question for Ankit** when they email you.
      • Emails create a lot of noise, we are in CC of n-number of emails which we really need not to read and follow up. Make sure team is aware of it.
    2. Priority in Defects / Tasks:
      • Priority and Severity to coins which decide a task to be accomplished most of times create confusions in case your organization is not ready for it. Simply it.. ask for keeping either priority or severity. Define the clear direction to be taken among them.
      • Emails create a lot of noise, we are in CC of n-number of emails which we really need not to read and follow up. Make sure team is aware of it.

      Churchill used throughout his career in government. He used this system to delegate tasks to others, but I look at from the other side. How I handle tasks coming in.

      As Churchill would dictate memos, which he often did while in bed, he would add one of two tags to the memo before it went out. Urgent memos were tagged “Action this day.” For these, he expected a response or action to happen the same day the memo was issued. For less urgent memos, he would tag it (in a different color) “Respond in 3 days.” This meant he expected a response within 3 days of the memo being received.

  3. Message to be brief:
    Churchil used to ask his team to send him not more than 1 page of typed letter. This always used to keep his team on toes to understand and simply the message for him. This helps improve my thinking on the subject, but it also is sensitive to the time of my correspondents.

 

 

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