Moving out of state and away from my colleagues has been one of the hardest things I have done, especially as our move (by choice) was from a huge metropolitan area to a small, rural mountain city. The Orange County chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) is one of the best, most friendly and active chapters in my experience. I miss my ASTD OC colleagues immensely. I try to stay in touch via email, and last week, I attended a free webinar through the University of California at Irvine’s Extension program. The invitation came from my colleague Janet DiVincenzo, the Assistant Director of Online Learning at UCI’s Distance Learning Center.
Janet’s class through UCI Extension is called “Project Management for Elearning Professionals”, and the webinar’s presenter Lou Russell, is the author of several books on project management for training professionals, plus she also teaches ASTD’s “Project Management for Learning Professionals” class. The webinar was helpful to me in that Lou reinforced what I already know and what I do to manage projects as an instructional designer. Lou affirmed that I’m not totally crazy, and that I approach our beloved Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) appropriately and effectively. (I do my best to maximize their time; SMEs are busy folks.) But, that’s not the topic of this blog post.
The week after the webinar, an email graced my Inbox, again from the awesome Janet DiVincenzo. The webinar, actually, was for students enrolled in her Project Management course, and Janet had let me tag along on the webinar just out of the goodness of her heart. So, her email’s audience is her UCI students. I liked what she wrote so much I asked Janet if I could share it with you on my blog. She loved the idea!
May I introduce to you one of the most awesome colleagues ever, and feel free to select the photo image to view her profile on LinkedIn.com. Take it away, Janet!
Select to view Janet’s profile.
August 8, 2013
Today was one of those days.
How many more projects can I possibly absorb? And, really, do they all have to be such high visibility ones? One-off projects with far-out stakeholders? And with such tight deadlines?
Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE my job. More than anybody has a right to. What’s more, I LOVE my boss. She gets me. More than I have a right to be gotten.
But some days, the sheer volume of work that looms before us seems monumental. Especially when you’re in the PRODUCTION business. As elearning people, we ultimately have to PRODUCE: classes, modules, storyboards, plans, documentation, scripts. STUFF!
Today was a day when all of my projects seemed to be at the 100,000 foot level. It wasn’t really true. But it FELT true. Days like this can make you feel overwhelmed.
Then I remembered.
Oh yeah, I have a mantra for this! I’ve had it for 20 years. It goes like this:
WHAT CAN I DO TODAY TO MOVE THE PROJECT FORWARD?
What one thing can I do? Because projects don’t get done in week-long or month-long chunks of time. They get done day-by-day, week-by-week. Which brings us to another popular saying in PM circles:
“How does a software project get to be one year late?”
“A day at a time.”
A day is precious. Move your project forward by one day.