Everyone in the kitchen, but focus!

« Anthony, could you do an article for this month? » asks me Mylène….

Well let’s see… I’m going to check on social medias to see the trends (I was in a moribund mood this day):

We told you! We don’t know where we are going! It’s the others fault! We are not prepared! We are not resilient! Well, as usual but with much more amplitude and the opportunity to accuse the world for everything bad in our life.

Well… I will watch TV… when you remove information channels, “best of” ones, pre-recorded programs weeks in advance (it says a lot about buffer concept…), there is no much left to watch.

Then this live kitchen show comes up, with 5 families, a presenter and a cook in charge of making all of them cook, even maybe the viewers of the show. Beyond the audio-visual performance and the spontaneity that compensate with the other shows,

my project management habits’ observation came back to analyse the different participants’ customs :

1/The menu is described, what will be done and in what order. If you have never seen a project plan before (or Network Diagram), you have now the daily example. Imagine for one second Cyril Lignac starting his cooking show without describing the menu….

2/We do not start two recipes at the same time, but we find one step (the cooking or pause) that triggers the start of the new recipe. We agree that starting two recipes at the same time could be problematic especially in the live context. So it could be interesting to ask yourself which project you would like to start first and then add the other one as we go along???

3/For the two daily recipes, we systematically start by describing the ingredients and they are even well displayed and organized. It is the same concept as a full kit where we start a task by making sure that we have every element we need. (Now I’m in a “passionate about my job” mood).

Once we structured the organization, we can start to execute the recipes. 

4/I recommend observing the absolute single tasking of Cyril Lignac. At no point, he is doing two things at the same time. At worst he is checking the cooking of the first recipe. He is constantly FOCUS on what he’s doing.

5/Even when the host is entertaining with songs, sketches or humour, he is not participating. He is watching, laughing but stays focus on his tasks’ sequencing. As we already said, single task and focus are key for many project management quick successes.

It is not as if we wanted to ask at the same time to the government and the hospitals to cure, find masks, respirator, beds, support the industry, tourism, education (I stay a bit cynical). And finally, what have been the most efficient was to freeze work in progress by staying at home (confer point 2).

6/No use to tell you that entertainment tends to scatter participants. As a result, they are not on schedule with the timing recipe. On this subject, the host often uses the sentence « I got lost while getting ahead” to ask the cook for some help in the kitchen. Indeed, he is trying to anticipate some elements of the recipe (multitasking and uncomplete kit), distracts himself and loses track of the recipe.

7/Last point. If you listen carefully to Cyril Lignac, he measures the progress of his recipe through what is “left” to do. You can see that he says it a lot during his shows (now it is my maniac mood who comes back). This is also a good project management practice. We do not measure the progress on what is done but on what is left to do.

To sum up, you have here the post quarantine restart of your team project:

  • Identify the projects that you want to keep;
  • Edit the list of tasks that are left to do on the project you’ve selected;
  • Clarify the inputs/outputs that you need to do the tasks;
  • Make sure that your team stays focused on one task at a time;
  • Measure the progress not on what is done (you cannot change what is done) but on what is left to do.

With those 5 ingredients you have the beginning of a successful restart recipe. If you doubt it, do both recipes at the same time and see how long it will take you. 

If you need help to put those 5 ingredients in action, contact me, without compensation, we can discuss it in a pragmatic and efficient way. I promise not to be moribund but passionate and determined with a pinch of irony. See you soon….