Do not hold up another person’s work

Professors have to work with a number of people – administrators, clerical staff, technicians, undergraduate students, postgraduate students, the public, special group communities, government agencies. Regardless of who you work with , there is only one rule: Do not hold up another person’s work. Do your part and ship.

Shipping in a draft/rough prototype form is good enough to get feedback. You will adapt and tweak based on that feedback. Feedback could change the direction of a project. But  you would not know until you ship your part.

A project will most likely succeed when a project is going good,  everyone is on board, and resources are available. Most times, everyone gets credit. Sometimes, one person gets the credit for the success. That person may not point out who were the key players in making the project successful. However, when a project fails, fingers will be pointed and the work path will be analyzed the hell out of it to find the blocking points. You do not want to be one of the blocking points. You do not want to be the first blocking point. Your reputation will be at stake. So, when you are collaborating on projects and your work feeds into other parts of the project, your mantra should be “Do not hold up another person’s work.”

I prefer another way of working. I prefer to buy into the project and go full in to do the work. I prefer a more positive environment to work in. But sometimes, when everything is going right I might just slow down. This is where I could become a blocking point. Occasionally, I have to remember “Do not hold up another person’s work.”

The best way to prevent yourself from becoming a blocking point is to review the work path once a week. The review is a critical task you have to conduct when the manager is not calling weekly review meetings. If you are new to reviews, then start with a few key questions and build later on. Ask yourself, have you done what you promised to do? Did you ship on time? What prevented you? What measures can you put in place to prevent becoming a blocking point again? How are you going to remove the block?

Reflect on your project and make it a priority for at least one hour each week. Then either celebrate the what you got done that week or go put in place the measures to relieve the block and prevent it from happening again.

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