Around here, it’s PSSA (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment) season. I hear lots of stories from friends and family about the extremes of testing. Most recently, my brother-in-law demonstrated for us how he is required to respond to student questions during the test. Monotone. Neutral. Dispassionate. Not an easy task for a music teacher.
“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet; / So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d” (Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet, 2.2).
In the world of project management, naming conventions are often the source of miscommunication. You have to call your work something, but if you assume everyone interprets a name the way you intended, you’re likely to stub your toe during the course of the project. As managers, minimizing risk and setting expectations is an everyday task, yet something as simple as a name or label can fly under our radar. We live and breathe our work, and we are passionate about it. It’s a good practice to never assume labels are understood out of the gate. Here’s a few tactics to help you make naming conventions work for you.
Assuming you’re at work, it’s very likely you spend more time at the very desk you’re sitting at right now than you do anywhere else. However, if your employer has followed some of the latest trends in office design, you may have more opportunities to break free from that chair. As we in our Philadelphia office prepare to move to a new work space, I can’t help but wonder what the effects will be on the projects I manage.
Even before I joined Happy Cog, I heard rumors of the “MegaDesk.” Visitors all seem to share that “whoa” expression when they first encounter our setup. It’s one 1500 sq. ft. room full of a long, single dual-sided desk (and a little brother version on the opposite wall we call “Lonely Island.”) We fit 20 people in this space. Our CEO Greg Hoy describes its origin:
While the rest of our coworkers are creating design and code, we PMs focus on the intangibles. Deadlines, documentation, resourcing—it’s not exactly sexy. When a website launches, the first reactions you hear aren’t “Amazing site—must have had a great PM.” PMs are often the last to get the glory and the first ones to get knocked down when something goes wrong. It can be easy to feel like Mr. Cellophane if you don’t have the right perspective.