How to Thank a Managed Camel

How to Manage a CamelMy post today is an easy one.  I was informed I am the winner of the very first Freedom of Speech February (FOSF) giveaway from How to Manage a Camel.  My comments last week on a blog post by Gary Holmes earned me a free copy of the Method123 Project Management Methodology (MPMM™) Professional from their partners at Method123. All I did was pass praise in my comments on a Holmes post regarding common courtesy and the little things candidates should do beyond merely sending in a CV.

Reading his post inspired me to write a post of my own, THE most important thing is the customer.  I sometimes get a little worked up over the need (not the want) for common courtesy or being polite.  What else is free to you but can carry so much value to others?

So, thank you to the team over at Arras People and How to Manage a Camel.  You provide wonderful insights on your blog and I enjoy reading it while having my first cup of coffee every morning.

My advise to people out there is to get involved in the conversation.  Your thoughts and opinions are important and they should be heard (or read). I didn't post a comment because I thought I could win a contest.  I did it because I thought Gary wrote a great piece and he should be recognized for it.

If there is one thing you do today, recognize someone for the work they do.  You never know how you may be rewarded for that selfless act.

The Critical Path Week Ending February 13

January 28 through February 5This week we dealt with the great blizzard of 2010.  It provided me extra time to write.  Then again, it took that extra time I thought I was going to spend on vacation.  My wife thinks I live in a world where everything is related to project management.   I go on a little rant about treating your customers right and then also lend an ear to my colleagues.  Read how I handle being both the sponsor and the project manager on a project.


Snow Removal From an Agile PM Perspective

With our home getting hit with over 30 inches of snow in one weekend, I compared our HOA and the snow removal team to an Agile team.  Read how they went from failure to success, in one customer's eyes...


My Big Fat Greek Project

My wife compares me to the father on My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  I'm no Gus Portokalos, but give me a word, any word, and I will show you that the root of that word is Greek.  Actually, show me a scenario, any scenario, and I will show you how it can be related back to Project Management.  If that doesn't do it for you, just put some Windex on it...


The FedGov Fail Day 3

Jhaymee (@TheGreenPM) Wilson inspired this post.  I was frustrated the Federal Government would be closed for 3 days in a row.  I believed we could all be working, at least in a limited capacity, from home.  If the Federal Government could have a plan in place for H1N1, why the hell couldn't plan for snow?...


MS Project Task Types – Fixed Work – Units – Duration

Upon reviewing a vendor’s Integrated Master Schedule, created in MS Project, I noticed something very peculiar. Where some tasks could clearly be marked as Fixed Duration, everything was Fixed Units.  In the post, I include a YouTube video to help you understand the difference between Fixed Work, Fixed Units, and Fixed Duration...

THE most important thing is the customer

...You’re welcome?  Did I say thank you? No, I didn’t.  I offered a pleasantry. Just have a nice day.  Goodbye, our business relationship has completed.  Have a nice life...Listen to them.  Be polite.  Deliver value.


How Do You Know Your Metrics Are Worth It

So you want to create some metrics.  More importantly, someone has told you that you need to create some metrics.  How do you know if you’re just making work for yourself or if you’re just putting a spin on the same old data?...


Sometimes It Is Best To Just Listen

It was the first day our team had been together in a week.  The DC FedGov closures have really rattled people.  As contractors and consultants, we are not Government employees.  We play by different rules.  Depending on your contract, if the FedGov is closed, you may not get paid...


The Difficult Task of Managing My Logo Selection Project

Using 99Designs has allowed me to crowd source a design.  I listed the price I was willing to pay, the duration of the contest and provided as much background information as possible to enable designers to provide me with quality submissions.  We immediately entered a rapid prototyping stage...

THE most important thing is the customer

Remember the last time you were at the grocery store and the clerk responded by saying something unrelated to what you asked? This cashier is focused on ringing up your items.  They don't engage you at all.  No hello; no how are you; no did you find everything.  He or she finishes ringing up all of your items and you forward a have a nice day and they respond with something canned like you're welcome. You're welcome?  Did I say thank you? No, I didn't.  I offered a pleasantry. Just have a nice day.  Goodbye, our business relationship has completed.  Have a nice life. This is just simple and common courtesy.  It is being polite.  Your parents should have taught you these things as a child.  If you want something, say please. If someone holds the door for you, you damn well better say thank you...and if someone thanks you, say you're welcome.

So, why do so many people forget this in business?  I understand some customers can be difficult.  I understand user expectations can sometimes be unrealistic.  But let me say this.  Take a minute to listen to what your customer is saying.  You should be polite and courteous to them as often as you wash your hands after going to the bathroom.  If you don't do that 100% of the time, you have more problems then being polite.  But I digress.

Your customer is THE most important thing in your job.  It's not the process you follow.  It's not the product or service you offer.  It's the customer. Wait, did I say that?  Let me say it again. THE most important thing is the customer.  Listen to them.  Be polite.  Deliver value.

(image from sft.edu)