Nicholas Bate’s Wrong Question series continues with How do I get more time?
Read on and subscribe for answers to this and more of life’s mysteries.
Love the look of this new notebook on Kickstarter. Looks like it has a place for everything.
I’ve not used Evernote for a while now but Seth Clifford’s setup in Dropbox still was intriguing to read about.
When it comes to working with clients, there’s a shared responsibility to ensure that both parties are using the right tools to work together.
For the last few weeks I’ve become increasingly uncomfortable in how I work with a client. In the past we’ve used a particular collaboration tool to manage projects and communicate through, but in the last few weeks this tool has been abandoned in favour for development requests through a chat room. At first it was minor requests like tweaks to the UI and changes to the messages that were displayed to the user when a form was incorrect. Steadily though it’s increased to bigger changes and feature requests. Instant Messaging Driven Development if you wanted to put a label on it.
After explaining an issue in the code with the client I took the chance to talk to them about the increasing use of the chat room for requests rather than the collaboration tool that we originally used. I explained my worries about the trend towards this and the drawbacks that the client will inherit as a result of the continued use of the chat room for sending requests for software changes.
The issue was heard loud and clear from the client and for the next hour of the call we discussed plans to move back to the collaboration tool as well as guidelines for using the tool and what we can do to reinforce its place as the go to point for projects. It was a successful discussion.
When you and your client agree on a particular tool to use for collaborating on projects, then it is important that you stick to this. These tools are initially picked for a reason and that’s because both you and the client are happy to use the tool and it will serve both your needs. When either side of this arrangement doesn’t use the tool then that’s where things can go wrong.
Collaboration tools such as Trello, Basecamp and other tools are there to ease the burden of remote parties working together. Parties can share information, assign tasks, check overall progress and much more. Other tools for communicating like IM, phone, text and email are best at communicating but they’re a bad choice as collaboration tools.
Who’s to blame? Well, in this case both myself and the client. On one hand the client should be adhereing to the agreement of using the collaboration tool. On the other hand, I could have mentioned this to the client sooner rather than let it continue for the few weeks that it did. I admit I was hesistant about bringing this issue to the client, but they were understanding about my concerns and promised to start using the collaboration tool again.
The next time a client deviates from the collaboration tool we’ve chosen, I’ll politely remind them of our preferred place for such things. And yes, I would expect them to do the same to me.
That list of things is a wish list, a someday-maybe list, but it is not a task list until you commit a time for those things getting done. Those are things you hope to do — not things you are going to do. Know how I know you are not “going” to do them? Going is an action verb. It means you are in the act of committing a forward movement. Anything staying motionless on a list is not forward movement. Putting a time on something to be done in the future, then moving towards that time, means going to do something. And you are not going to do any of those things unless you do.