Just-In-Time Project Management

Just-In-Time PM #2: The Fundamentals of Flow

In Part I, I introduced Return-on-Attention (ROA) as a way to evaluate how we invest our most precious resource – our attention. ROA is derived from the traditional metric of ROI (Return-on-Investment), but there is a key difference. The “units” of ROI are currency, which is always uniform and interchangeable. Units of attention, on the

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Just-In-Time PM #3: Flow Cycles

In Part II, I described the sublime and powerful experience of flow, which could be considered the “holy grail” of productivity. I argued that there is theoretically no minimum amount of time necessary to get into flow, contrary to popular belief. But in reality, as always, it’s a bit more complicated. Let’s look at what

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Just-In-Time PM #4: Intermediate Packets

In Part III, I argued that having a personal knowledge base is the linchpin of success in a creative economy. A knowledge base allows you to reuse past work, draw from past experiences, share your knowledge in concrete form, and eventually, build products and services out of that knowledge. This requires strategically structuring your work

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Just-In-Time PM #5: The Iron Triangle

In Part IV, I introduced the idea of “intermediate packets.” Instead of delivering value in a big project that spans huge amounts of time, we want to deliver it in smaller chunks at more frequent intervals. This follows a basic principle that has revolutionized many industries: small batch sizes. The Toyota Production System (from which

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Just-In-Time PM #6: Evolving Deliverables

In Part V, I introduced The Iron Triangle of Project Management and the idea that any given deliverable can be reduced or expanded in scope at any time. How should you use this newfound ability? You should use it to: Get started Maintain momentum Test assumptions To view this post, become a Praxis member. You

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Just-In-Time PM #7: Interaction Over Consumption

In Part VI, I recommended treating any deliverable (whether it’s a simple email all the way to a full-fledged product) as a series of evolutionary artifacts, each one intended to test an assumption or make forward progress. But there is a deeper reason for downscoping deliverables and then evolving them through a series of stages.

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Just-In-Time PM #8: Divergence and Convergence

In Part VII, I argued for the importance of interacting with information, instead of just passively consuming it. Interaction results in better learning at the same time as it creates valuable deliverables. But incorporating all these new ideas about how work is completed – flow cycles and intermediate packets, downscoping and evolving deliverables, interaction over

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Just-In-Time PM #9: Placeholders

In Part VIII, we looked at divergence and convergence as the two fundamental modes of all creative work. Now let’s see what this looks like in our day to day schedules. The main feature of the modern workday, you may have noticed, is fragmentation. Because we can now so easily switch between activities – whether

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