New Year’s Resolutions – Just Get a Little Something Done!

Greg Wittenbrook

Many of us have made New Year’s resolutions and often the same one year after year. Alongside our resolution to get rid of the extra baggage in the caboose, there is likely one to finally implement that solution that can help move your organization forward.  Like the over-stuffed caboose, everyone seems to want to do something about it but nothing seems to get done. In that light I am going to throw out a simple resolution – Get Something Done.

If you are reading this, you probably are someone that is generally pretty good at getting things done. Despite this, most organizations have a laundry list of projects that people want and know can benefit the organization but still have trouble moving forward. Budget, time, complexity, or culture may be getting in the way.  If so, rather than try to accomplish lots of big things, focus on accomplishing something. Pick a couple of areas and find a little nugget of value that can be done; then Do It!

I’ve put together a few ideas to help out…

  • Project Management – Kill a project that doesn’t have sufficient commitment or a business case that has been limping along because no one wants to call the baby ugly.
  • Mobile – Do a simple pilot project, perhaps some benefit calculators or a business dashboard.  Have some web services sitting around? Build a simple front-end.   Show that you have the capability to play in this space.
  • Social Media – Work with a social analytics company to demo their capabilities.  The tools are easier to use and more useful than your business partners may realize.
  • Vendor Management – Call a key vendor and have a very frank and open conversation about each other’s challenges.  Jointly solve the problem that has been brushed under the rug for awhile.
  • Infrastructure – Find that thing that it was decided a couple of years ago that it didn’t make sense to virtualize—and virtualize it.
  • Agile – Do a pilot.  You don’t have to commit to more than that but find out if it is right for you.  Get a coach in to help and do a few agile iterations.
  • Websites – Use free tools to evaluate your websites from a SEO/usability/accessibility perspective.  Use the tools to find out what people are really using your sights for.  Bring in someone with some usability skills to help.
  • Metrics / Alignment – Revisit your metrics.  Kill metrics that no one actually cares about or don’t really mean anything.  Grade yourself harder.   Look at all projects and tie back to business goals.
  • Culture / Innovation – Do a hackfest or innovation contest.   Invite the business in to discuss how projects are helping actual customers.   Have leadership cook breakfast for the staff.  Demonstrate all of the work complete by the team in the last month/quarter and discuss how it helps the business and why.
  • Enterprise Architecture – Kill off one of those pesky technologies that won’t go away.  Create a basic business component model.  Update your inventory of systems and technologies.

While you may have moved beyond most or all of these suggestions, that area that you haven’t been able to make any progress in is lurking and waiting.  So, take a new look at all of the things that you want to accomplish but haven’t been able to and find a little something that you can do.  Who knows what it will lead to?  Whatever these things are for you, resolve to just get something done.