So you’re a Program Manager or Project Manager. You’ve been trying to get your reports working. I’ve let you through the first four stages of reporting – Reporting, Researching, Relating, and Revealing. You run the reports, study it, connect it, and then reveal the whole giant shebang.
This leads to stage five, my favorite stage.
(Now the fact that this is my favorite stage sounds a bit sadistic, but I’ll cover that next.)
So you now the whole reporting structure is laid bare. T he sources of data apparent. The ways information is interpreted is known. And in most cases, people can now, in an informed and intelligent manner, panic.
Because know what? This is probably not what people expected.
That’s great. But my guess is that there’s going to be some Regret.
First of all, the Regret is honest. It comes from an informed, if now panic-laden, opinion based on all the hard research you’ve done. In short, it’s a good, honest worry.
Secondly, the Regret is shared. All the reporting is out in the open and people know that any concern is honest and why it exists.
Third, the Regret is a motivator. Which is not the yes motivator, but it’s one you’re very likely to encounter, so you might as well get it out of the way.
Fourth, it gets things out publicly and thus sets a good example for honestly. You, the owner (formally or informally) of the reporting are showing the truth of things – and in a way offering to fix it (which you were going to do anyway). People will follow that example.
As one of my managers once put it, to paraphrase, “I’m glad I know what’s going on and feel bad that I know what’s going on.” Then noted I should fix it. Now admittedly he was a great manager, but I think you’ll notice similar results from others you work with.
(And if things are good? Awesome. Enjoy. Because I find even the usual “report decay” sets in pretty quickly.)
So now you’ve got a nice, good proper regret at what’s bad going on.
Now it’s time to fix it.
And why is this my favorite stage? Because of the sheer honestly. These moments we find flaws, these moments we truly admit the mistakes and errors, are moments where we grow and where we can admit mistakes. There’s an honesty to seeing problems and then addressing them. There’s also the humbling experiences when you see mistakes made, even by others, and you can admit your own flaws.
And then we’re on to our next stage . . .
Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach. He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, nerd and geek culture at http://www.nerdcaliber.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at https://www.stevensavage.com/.