Episode-1537- Homestead Project Management — 14 Comments

  1. Scale? Break it down into manageable chunks/stages/phases/projects with the most useful features first. Often the cut down version is serviceable and you never get on with the full feature product. Sometimes the Gold plating makes it too grand and time consuming and you run out of steam. But that probably doesn’t mean building the porch before the house.

  2. Jack,

    Very pleased to hear you talk about needing to ensure good hired help profits from the work you send them. I spent ~11 years on the other side working in a consulting firm and saw it time and time again that clients who hammered us on pricing and/or refused to acknowledge any scope creep or accept that added scope = added cost NEVER got the quality of work they expected or that we were capable of delivering. It’s not due to laziness or spite, simply a matter of “which client am I going to go the extra mile for” vs. “which client do I need to get off my back A.S.A.P.”

    If you’re doing business with someone, and want to continue doing business with them, they need to be happy to have you call on them, not questioning if you’re even worth their trouble. (We absolutely did, fairly routinely, “fire” clients, in extreme cases we would do so in the middle of a project… pretty sure those folks would have been better off paying us 20% more)

  3. I want the tee shirt, Front,”Stand Outside Your Dumbness!” Back, “Make it Work!” The front for sure, I’ll have to work out the back lettering Of course it could say on the back “Listen to TSP Daily”

    I was a sign painter, in my previous life. I wish I’d had this information then. I am so anti-sign painter right now because people refused to take me seriously, and pay the money my skill was worth. Actually it’s more than that, but that made it easy to let the other issues get to me.

    I needed to hire for my weaknesses, the work was so easy to me that I undervalued it, I could have used an estimator and salesman. Both are my weak points. I am good at getting the picture of what the customer wants though.

    • I would buy that t-shirt.

      Ditto on the sales & estimator as opposed to the getting the picture the customer wants.

      I find in the wood business the 99.99% guaranteed way to make a sale is to effectively translate the customers mental image into words,plans and items. Unfortunately the 100% guaranteed way to piss off a customer is to screw up the estimate.

      Its almost like we’re meant to learn something from all these mistakes?

  4. Priority #1A- at my job is
    “Stuff the boss makes us do, that doesnt have anything to do with the daily and week planing and F$$# all deadlines”

    recently ii started to charging his own company for all the lost time and he stoped doing it. he the boss but hes loosing hes own money so now he gets it

  5. Sorry your guest bailed out on you, but this was a timely podcast for me, so I’m glad in that respect. I love the priority list and will be taking that list and prioritizing our spring project list. Very helpful.
    We just bought our homestead, and are in those early planning stages of where to put different elements, and the things we can’t change, how to best work around them, etc. etc. I thought it was especially useful about hiring help… hiring for weakness, hiring for time usage, etc.
    so, thanks, even though it was probably a pain in the butt for you to have to wing this last minute. The rest of us benefitted. 🙂

    • The guest was ejected, the guest didn’t bail, just to be clear.

      They asked if it was that I felt they were a favor or a chore. My response was they were absolutely a “favor” one that had been worn out and that I stopped doing “chores” the day I got my first job.

      Anyway glad you liked the show.

  6. Last weekend, DH and I sat down and synced up our list. I just finished entering it into a spreadsheet. I added a couple more columns that might be of use: hard deadlines, like the turkey poults ship date; a “next action” reminder (from the GTD paradigm); and supplies so that I can gang up some orders to the farm supply store or have extra concrete to start the next job. Now we have to go through and refine our priorities for items lower down on the list.

  7. The best part (definitely Covey influenced) was the discussion on how you evaluate and assign priority. So many times I was told to prioritize my tasks but never thought to apply a cold systematic approach. I listened to this one in my carpool and we all benefited.

  8. Homestead project management? You mean business project management? Because that’s what I’m pulling out of this.

  9. Here’s something that’s always helped me get shit done, it might just be me or my personality type, but keeping the next step in the mission or the next mission after the one I’m doing in mind, not enough to be distracted but enough to feel like I’m working for the next step, helps keep me from getting bogged down on one step. Like if I don’t keep Step 6 in mind, I can easily sit there on Step 5 jacking around without realizing it.

    Another thing is don’t procrastinate, but do a thorough job of your freaking prep work. Take masonry repair for example, the extra hour clearing away dirt, getting the soft crumbly damaged mortar out of joints, and making a clean organized work space for yourself will save you so much fucking time and hassle over the project. Try tuck-pointing around bad mortar that was left because somebody half-assed the prep job or working around brush and branches that should have been cleared out.

    That applies to everything, from prepping while painting to digging a root cellar.

  10. This show artfully described nearly every free afternoon and weekend I can remember recently. I try to use a note book and post-it notes. I have a coworker that uses the index cards successfully.
    Now, spending time learning to use Excel… #3 priority or #5 priority?

  11. In working with clients (be they outside or co workers) or even just yourself and your own list of things to do there’s a saying I’ve heard a long time ago that still holds true.

    “Fast, Good and Cheap. Pick two.”

    If you want to a good job and don’t have a lot to spend, then don’t expect it done quickly. Your contraints (lack of time or lack of money) could affect, indirectly, the order to put your projects in. This won’t tell you what the exact order of the list should be but it can definitely move a few items up or down on the priority list.