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Budget: 4,95 for the wallpaper, 7,35 for paste and brush.
Schedule: 3 hours incl. waiting for paste.

Lessons learned:
Some workpackages (pieces of wallpaper) may appear not too big, but once you are in work process (and the paper is soaked and squashy), you start to curse because you did underestimate the needed effort (and the number of needed arms…)
Never ever do such work alone.
If you do it alone, love and accept the result.
Enjoy the silence.

Three Michaels organized th PM Camp in Vienna, which took place last June. I am still arranging all impressions, ideas and questions in my head – so many thanks to all participants as much as to the organzational team! Looking forward to meet some of the people in Dornbirn on PM Camp 2012!

In the meantime I managed to put my Vienna speech into Prezi – let’s go!

If you are a wise man, you always add holidays to the project plan. your national as much as holidays of your customer and your best-cost-country supplier. at least two weeks between X-Mas and next year, so that nobody expects you to deliver in that period.

Every summer I’m facing the summer vacation problem: how to plan if one – two – three – many people are on the beach, but customer still expects to have proper stand in and deliverables per schedule? may I add two to three vacation weeks to my project plan?

I need to think about. if you have any suggestions or experiences, please share!

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Two weeks vacation. Mexico. Dad’s hacienda. Days full of sun and tequila limo. Doing nothing. After some days in the sun I decided to do something useful. To paint an old bench. My dad as a stakeholder gave me a budget for needed stuff and I got a very high motivated team – my kids.
The one thing I missed to do was I kind of plan – where to start, who is responsible for which area etc. So the kids started to paind the front area of the bench. Thereafter it was nearly impossible to paint the backrest. So it took one day longer to finish my project. Alone. My team was not longer motivated to do something after the disaster at day before.
Vacation lessons learned:
– even in avery simple project try to get an expert to prepare a plan or a WBS
– it is not enought to have a motivated team to get something done in time
Tomorrow I will go back to do nothing. Greetings from Mexico!

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A good project manager follows the invitation to join the evening session with colleagues. We met at seven and we were the last ten guests. We enjoyed fresh brewed beer and wonderful Bratkartoffeln. We didn’t loot to our watch and no one left earlier because of meeting next morning. We had time.

A good project manager don’t speak about work in the bar. Ten of us, responsible for mechanical, electrical, chemical or nontechnical parts of the project, would have enough topics to fill weeks with work related discussions. We spoke about good films (Pulp fiction e. g.) and good music, about bicycle or run competitions, kids stories and other good stuff. We did story telling.

Good project managers are just nice people. That’s end of the story. That’s a beginning of next one.

I’m not sure if you know the marshmallow challenge. this is one of that kind of simple games for everyone which brings a lot of fantastic perceptions to the visible level. e.g. about teamwork. about organizational structures. roles and responsibilities. personality types. you can play it with kids and with CEOs, all of them will have fun and – well facilitated – learn a lesson.

Usually, a marshmallow challenge lasts 18 minutes. My first challenge – played in the PM camp 2011 – was different. I thank to Sven who provided us excellent guidance and made me curious about agile way of doing things – we played the marshmallow challenge in 2 sessions each with 9 minutes. We did lessons learned between the two sessions. and – as expected, the result of the second round was much better!

In my current project, I facilitated the marshmallow challenge same way – 2 rounds, lessons learned in between. Three teams started immediately, no questions, no rules violations! We repeated the experience with the better result in the second round in all three groups. We also confirmed the known effect that mixed teams (e. g. engineers and purchasing) are more successful.we had a long discussion after the game, and there were a lot of questions – especially about “usual size” of the towers.

Now, 2 weeks later, we started to call our demanding items “marshmallow”. If you don’t know what I am speaking about, never played this game and would like to, please feel free to check out, download and use the short presentation I did.

Today I scheduled a “Silent Tuesday” for forty engineers. Every Tuesday forenoon, no meetings and no telecons are allowed in our cube farm. All Eisenhower B-tasks can now be scheduled into this magic hours to get things done. I have neither functional nor disciplinarily kind of power in this organization – I am subcontractor. But I am sure, we will use this time as planned and no one from higher management will come and disturb us.

I’ll keep my finger crossed.

Halt die Deadline ein, so ist’s fein!
Hol’ die Ellenbogen raus, burn dich aus!
24/7, 8 bis 8, was geht ab, machste schlapp, what the fuck?!
Bück dich, bück dich, bück dich hoch,
bück dich, bück dich, bück dich hoch,
bück dich, bück dich, bück dich hoch,
bück dich hoch, ja!
Das muss heute noch zum Chef, besser jetzt!
Bück dich hoch.
Ach du Schreck, Bonus-Scheck, ist schon weg!
Bück dich hoch.
Fleißig Überstunden, ganz normal!
Bück dich hoch.
Unbezahlt, scheiß egal, keine Wahl!
Bück dich hoch.

Klick dich, fax dich, mail dich hoch,
grapsch dich, quetsch dich, schleim dich hoch,
kick dich, box dich, schlaf dich hoch,
bück dich hoch, ja!

Bück dich hoch! Komm steiger den Profit!
Bück dich hoch! Sonst wirst du ausgesiebt!
Bück dich hoch! Mach dich beim Chef beliebt!
Bück dich hoch! Auch wenn es dich verbiegt!
Bück dich hoch! Komm steiger den Profit!
Bück dich hoch! Sonst wirst du ausgesiebt!
Bück dich hoch! Mach dich beim Chef beliebt!
Bück dich hoch! Bück dich hoch, ja!

Dieses Wochenende Bitch (?), machste mit!
Bück dich hoch.
Denke groß, sei aktiv, hat dich fit!
Bück dich hoch.
Pass dich an, du bist nichts, glaub ans Team!
Bück dich hoch.

deal dich, klatsch dich, drück dich, reib dich,
swing dich, stech dich, grip dich, zech dich,
roll dich, fahr dich, stampf dich, jag dich,
kämpf dich, schieß dich, gräm dich, flash dich,
schlag dich, kick dich, press dich, füg dich,
treib dich, knöpf dich, schraub dich, quäl dich,
bück dich hoch.

Du brauchst Konkurrenz, keine Fans!
Do your fucking Job, till the End!
Nimm dir ein Beispiel an Donald Trump!
Was ist los, reiß dich zusammen, pack mit an!
Deinen Einsatz gibst du denen da oben gern!
Bück dich hoch.
Schenke deinen Urlaub dem Konzern!
Bück dich hoch.
Trink ein großen Schluck Leistungsdruck!
Bück dich hoch.
Wir steigern das Bruttosozialprodukt!

Bück dich hoch! Komm steiger den Profit!
Bück dich hoch! Sonst wirst du ausgesiebt!
Bück dich hoch! Mach dich beim Chef beliebt!
Bück dich hoch! Auch wenn es dich verbiegt!
Bück dich hoch! Komm steiger den Profit!
Bück dich hoch! Sonst wirst du ausgesiebt!
Bück dich hoch! Mach dich beim Chef beliebt!
Bück dich hoch! Bück dich hoch, ja!

Bück dich hoch, ja!

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Some weeks ago I went home from my customer’s office. It takes me about an hour from door to door and I usually use that time to silence all kinds of hubbub. On this special way home I had a dream: a dream about my workplace. It wasn’t bound to a device and didn’t have E-Mail. Yes. It was so simple and it looked so very realistic – in my head.

Until that evening I had tried a lot of collaborative tools. Asana, Basecamp, LeanKit, Flow and some of the agile tools. All of them were perfect for some purposes, none was perfect for me.

Two days ago I signed up for Wunderkit and I think I finally found what I was looking for. The main difference to most of the other collaboration tools is: the focus is on me, not some company or organisation. As a freelancer with many projects and many groups to work with, I love the simplicity (less functions is more!), the UI and the absence of E-Mail. Yes, no E-Mail. I can connect my workplaces with Facebook or Twitter or invite other people by E-Mail, but once they are in my workplace, I get reminded or notified in my Browser. I love it already even though I haven’t really started working with it.

I’ll write down some more details once I get more experience with my new workplace.

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