The past four months have been one of the most work-intense periods of my life. Starting a Master in a completely new field with higher technical challenges while at the same time start working in a new environment, is demanding and this can also be seen in the frequency I put out content… close to none.
However, this week we start with some project presentations of our applied master. Additionally, I want to share over the course of the next weeks, what I've learnt during the past time. I want to follow Stephen Covey’s method of passing on things I have learnt. Only through sharing, others will be able to take those golden eggs and start producing them as well.
I learnt new tools and techniques that where introduced to me by different people which really helped me accelerate my work and make me not only more effective but more efficient. At the same time I optimized my processes with already known tools. This article is a meta introduction to it and shares some observations I made during the course of different projects.
This question was asked at the end of a project in university and had to be included into the reports. Condensing a 10-weeks-team project into one single sentence really crystallizes the core element for success out of it. It should describe the essence of why the project was a success or failed. Mine is: "Consistency will do the trick”. It sounds so trivial but in times of constant priority changes and penetrating distractions, it is harder said than done.
Consistently working on a task brings progress. We consistently worked during the entire semester on the project. In previous project we often spent the nights and days before the deadline to finish all the work. The result: You loose the excitement and pleasure to work on interesting task. This time however, we finished early by setting artificial deadlines and consistently met to discuss results. I guess that a lot of students are actually inefficient and ineffective in what they do. If they treat the studies as their job. No one would be “stressed" anymore. This is what I was trying and partly had to do this year. I was constantly trying to build a routine of studying, even thus I could have had two hours more of sleep. It was hard. I remember that during my bachelors degree I never would have done something like that. However, people can change over time which leads to the next point.
One interesting observation I had during the course of different projects is that even thus the overall goal is to bring value to the client, most people act mostly with a hidden self-interest. For example, if the output is not part of your evaluation but it is how you are actually performing within a team. The output becomes secondary for your intention. You want to deliver a good group performance. Sure, it correlates but people start to work similarly on their own agendas. "Career goals do not necessary align with company goals” free quote after the same professor who introduced the previous wisdom question. A good way to become aware of this are supervision meetings or career planning meetings with in the company. However, this would be only an intuitive suggestion on my side. For us it seems to work most of the time. A colleague of mine noted correctly thus that in a student team the clear power hierarchy is missing.
#QOTD: What did you learn during your work or projects?