Explain Your Work Capacity To Your Boss

future-proofing-your-design-team-Calculate-your-capacity-by-David-Lesue_791x437We are all expected to do more. Do you struggle to explain to your boss what you are doing and how much capacity you have for those last minute, must do tasks?

Here is a simple model to explain your capacity to your those assigning you work. It is from a video presentation called “Future-Proofing Your Design Team: Three Lessons from an Overnight Rebrand (S5285)” by David Lesue at the Adobe Max conference in October 2015.

How Much Work Can You Do?

Do the math to calculate your capacity.  The formula is,

  1. number of team members
    x
  2. the number of hours planned worked per work per team member
    x
  3. focus percentage

The first part is easy and is the size of your team.  In our example, we assume 3 people.

The second part represents the number of hour per week you can realistically work on planned stuff.  Over time you get better at estimating how much extra work you have to do each week that is unplanned.  You want this as low as possible but be realistic for your situation. In our example, we assume 30 hours of planned work and 10 hours of work that is dropped on us that we must get done this week.

The third part represent the focus or quality percentage.  This means what else is going on that week – is there a holiday or event, or something else (Blue Jays’ playoff run) that could impact the team?  In our example, we assume a 90% focus.

The capacity of the team is 3 people x 30 hours planned x 90% focus = 81 hours planned work.

Overtime we get better a estimating the time it takes to do our work. Now you can use your estimates to layout what you are working on, across all assignments.  As your estimates of planned work improves, you can have more confidence showing how the next big, must do, unexpected task requires something else to slip.  Something has to give.

You will likely experience push back on your estimates and approach but persevere – it will be well worth it.

The entire video can be see on the Adobe Max site in the Sessions on Demand section.

10 Things Really Amazing Bosses Do

Flickr Adam Jones PhD - going to lunch, happy people

Being a good boss is hard. Being an amazing boss is even harder.  Kevin Daum’s lists of 10 things amazing bosses do in his article in Inc magazine.   He invites you to see how you measure up.

1. Good Bosses maintain control and get things done.

Amazing Bosses know efficiency can be the enemy of efficacy in the long run and so they work to create an atmosphere of expansive thinking. They empower their team with time, resources and techniques, to solve big issues with big ideas instead of Band-Aids and checklists.

2. Good Bosses foster a sense of community, making room for everyone.

Amazing Bosses form an internal culture by design rather than default, making sure they attract the right people to get on the bus and then get them in the right seats. They also make sure that the wrong people never get on the bus, or if they do, they get off quickly.

3. Good Bosses invite creative thinking.

Amazing Bosses know how to integrate creativity into daily conversation and procedures so that every employee feels natural about being creative and facilitating productive creativity when interacting with others in the company.

4. Good Bosses create an open environment for voicing concern and frustration.

Amazing Bosses create an environment where people are empowered to make change on their own to improve product, process, and procedures. They integrate open communication to the point where the expression of honest concerns is expected, required, and desired by everyone involved to achieve the highest levels of team performance.

5. Good Bosses encourage career development for their employees.

Amazing Bosses integrate individual learning and development into every job description so that personal growth is required and rewarded. They know companies that do this thrive thanks to new leaders rising from the inside. They make sure the company apportions time and dollars toward personal growth so that everyone shares reasonable expectations of commitment and success.

6. Good Bosses run effective and efficient meetings.

Amazing Bosses make sure that everyone on the team understands the difference between a valuable meeting and a waste of time and resources. They educate the team on facilitation techniques and give each person consistent practice at structuring and leading effective meetings with postmortem feedback.

7. Good Bosses build trust so people feel safe.

Amazing Bosses encourage constant interaction and high performance within the team so they succeed or fail together, creating tight bonds of loyalty to the company and each other. Successes are met with equal high praise and rewards, while failures are met with encouraging acceptance and postmortem learning discussions yielding next-step improvements. (Of course amazing bosses know how to make sure people and teams fail safely in the first place.)

8. Good Bosses generate happiness in the workplace.

Amazing Bosses constantly seek and execute ways to help employees gain deep personal satisfaction from their responsibilities so they are inspired and excited to come to work and perform well every day.

9. Good Bosses make sure people are responsible for their roles and actions.

Amazing Bosses promote personal accountability by providing clear communication and buy-in as to the culture, vision, and goals for the company. They know how to effectively and efficiently align the team, communicate in rhythm, and measure progress so they can adjust quickly with minimal risk.

10. Good Bosses know how to praise and show gratitude.

Amazing Bosses know how to instill a deep sense of personal satisfaction and accomplishment in individual team members. They help employees develop a strong sense of self-confidence and self-praise that outweighs any pat-on-the-back or award provided.

Read the entire article at 10 Things Really Amazing Bosses Do | Inc.com.

[Image via Flickr: Adam Jones PhD]

The Beginners Mindset

Boston Celtics Time Out - ByRMTip21 Flickr 667x408How can the athlete get the most out of their coaches?  Kevin Eastman, assistant coach of the Boston Celtics, suggest players have a beginners mindset.

In his article called The Beginners, Kevin is talking about the veteran player’s mindset that coaches want. I believe this beginners mindset applies to all players, especially those under 30 who have had some success.

Here are some quotes from the article:

…beginners are open; experts are closed. Experts are closed to new ideas, closed to new ways, closed to a different concept, generally closed from everything except what they’re already comfortable with or want to keep doing.
… Beginners are always open to new ideas, new ways to do things, new ways to improve.

Why does it matter and how does the beginners mindset help both players and coaches?

Where this comes into play is when we are teaching and coaching our players. We want them to trust that we have spent countless hours and years perfecting our way of doing things and that they are the best ways for our team that year. The players and teams that never reach success are the ones that challenge, oppose, or distrust everything their coaches put out there for them.
…We want our players’ minds to be open and ready to absorb and execute what we have thoroughly thought through and believe to be the best for our team that year!

Attitude and approach matter.

 

 

ChangeThis.com – A Website For Ideas

This site has the download of Seth Godin’s book “The Bootstrapper’s Bible” which I saw a story about on “Your Business” on MSNBC. This site, ChangeThis.com has some thought provoking e-books and some are free.  It is

Another free book is called “The Secret to Self-Discipline” by Rory Vaden.  See what he says about the difference between cows and buffalos.  The book is short, direct, and actionable.  Take a look and tell me what you think.

Cure THe (Self-Inflicted) Chaos First by Karen MartinIn Karen Martin’s book,”Cure the (Self-Inflicted) Chaos First“, she does a great job explaining the “fundamental behaviours that are vital for outstanding performance in any endeavour – clarity, focus, discipline, and engagement.”  This is a warm-up for her book “The Outstanding Organization.”  Really easy to read, it makes sense, and is actionable.

Here are the recent popular, what they call “manifestos”, on the site:

5   Rework

ChangeThis.com – We’re on a mission to spread important ideas and change minds.

How To Build Better Relationships On Your Team And In Your Life – Choose Your Response

Have you ever had someone react differently than you expected to something you said? We all have and there is something you can do about it.  Anthony Robbins says “The meaning of your communication is the response you get.”  If you don’t like the response you are getting, change your approach.  Okay but how and how do you not come off as a phony, a wimp or a suck-up?HighFive_240x150

A portion of Master Resilience Training is the way.  MRT is the third component of Comprehensive Soldier Fitness training developed by Martin E.P. Seligman.  The program trains drill sergeants on how to embrace resilience and pass on the knowledge.  MRT has three parts – building mental toughness, building signature strengths, and building strong relationships.

The building strong relationships section, based on the work of Shelly Gable, describes the four styles of responding to people:

  1. Active constructive (authentic, enthusiastic support)
  2. Passive constructive (laconic support, i.e. the use of few words expressing support)
  3. Passive destructive (ignoring the event)
  4. Active distributive (pointing out the negative aspects of the event)

Here is an example of basketball teammates.  Joe tells Sam, “Hey, I was selected as one of the co-captains.”

Active constructive – “That’s great. What else do you have to do as one of the captains? Has it been announced? What did the Coach say about why you deserved it?”

Passive constructive – “That’s nice.”

Passive destructive – “I saw a funny video online.  Look at this…”

Active destructive – “You know you don’t get anything extra for it and it will take up a lot of your fun time…”

Being mindful of your response style and working on having more responses that are active constructive, can improve how you are perceived.  You can be seen as being real and being nice.

[Image: Flickr user SashaW]