Monthly Archives: June 2011

Project Managing the Writing Process

Finally, let me share about my writing.  Since getting back to that was the motivation for starting this blog.

I have several books in progress, some more than 20 years.  No excuses that is sad.  It is because writing has been a “someday” after “I have the finances better” or when” I can take time off from work.”  Excuses, Excuses.

One of the skills I use with my work is managing projects and some of them are managed over several months.  So it occurred to me last April, that I need to manage my writing this way.  I am proud to say projects I manage do well even when they have hard deadlines, so why not bring this success to a part of my life that has had very little focus until now.

Successful project management has four distinct features to it:

  1. A solid attainable goal.
  2. Distinct measurable milestones that can be met
  3. Clear process that moves you to each milestone
  4. Accountability

If you start here you can complete anything on a schedule.

For now I am not focusing in the idea of priorities, which for events and software is key. Knowing what can be cut and when it needs to be cut will save a project.  When does a priority warrant a change of a milestone deadline vs. removing that item from the project to keep the schedule?  This is where many projects fail, people are not able to agree to a change and than act on it and they miss deadlines or deliver projects that have an unfinished feel because they rushed at the end, vs removing a task for a later date of just eliminating it.

Our book right now is more about sustainable progress towards a goal that can be moved, but progress must continue.  I have developed a project process that is doing that. Continue reading

Fast Food – Customer Service Done Right

If  you read my recent post “Beware O0ps Pricing” you will see how Papa John’s Pizza failed miserably to do customer service.  So it is with great pleasure I get to give kudos to Jack-in-the-Box.  This last week I took a break from my normal home-packed sandwich to get a guilt pleasure.  In this case it was a Jack-in-the-Box Sirloin Burger. 

Sadly it was terrible.  I don’t remember them being terrible, but this one was badly made with too much sauce, a meat patty that was falling apart, and sad bit-o-lettuce.

A few hours later, I got a call!!

It was so bad, when got back to my desk I filled out a feedback form on the Jack-in-the-Box website.  I gave them an email address and phone number and told them how bad the burger was.  I figured that was it, maybe someone would read it.  I might even get a “We’re Sorry” email.  However! a few hours later, I got a call!!  Someone has the job to read those feedback forms as soon as they come in and contact the customer.  The result was they wanted details on why the burger was bad, and then offered to send me a coupon so I could try one again in them.

It’s not that hard people!  Papa John’s had people staffing the phones, just no process to take care of the customer.  Jack-in-the-Box has the process in place and clearly showed they value their customers more than saving a buck or two.  Good Job Jack!!