Quality Progress - January 2014 - (Page 48)

CAREER CORNER BY JOSEPH D. CONKLIN Putting Pen to Paper Task management tips for the digitally unhip I HAVE a running challenge with myself: technology supporter Al Gore and a few and the associated significant milestones I try to be part of the digital age without other talented people changed our world (see Table 1 for a sample). The milestones being enslaved by it. I'm comfortable forever. under each project reflect deadlines 30-to- with PCs and laptops, and I am part of When it comes to managing my tasks, 60 days ahead. Generally, my project lists the Facebook and LinkedIn scenes. My I still make do with pen and paper. In remain current over the following two to organization uses Microsoft Outlook for the course of my career, I have seen task four weeks. Milestones come from four email and scheduling meetings. But I don't management approaches that rely on sources: do Twitter or blogs, and I still keep my complicated logs or electronic aids. They 1. The department's calendar of recurring landline in case of cell phone tower out- usually strike me as a solution in search of ages. And I'm still not used to the idea of a problem. phones that double as cameras. I am part enough of the Internet age to If my job required extensive outside travel or communication with the general have only a dim memory of what it was public, I suspect digital time and task like to organize an office before early management would loom larger. Currently, I have five major responsibilities at work: Current project list / TABLE 1 1. Reliability office liaison. 1. Reliability office liaison: I am one services it provides at the same time each year. 2. Updates to the department's master list of project requests from other offices. 3. Announcements in my supervisor's weekly staff meetings. 4. All-hands-on-deck meetings called for special or urgent situations. of several statisticians who code and These four sources ensure my project update the programs used by the reli- list is always aligned with organizational ability office to evaluate new designs. goals. To ensure I set appropriate time- 2. Interoffice strategy meeting repre- lines and milestones, I also take regular * Update modeling software. sentative: For my department, I serve notes in meetings and seek frequent clari- * Design statistical protocols for new product testing. on the steering committee that oversees fication from my supervisor. our division's strategic plan. * Evaluate data storage features of new stress testing equipment. 2. Interoffice strategy meeting. * Arrange trips for outside consultants. * Complete award nominations for outstanding staff contributions. * Write department part of next slide presentation. 3. Database management team. * Archives and records meeting. * Contractor qualification audits. 4. Shared computing task force. * Security testing protocol. * Budget and schedule review meetings. 5. Conference postings and papers. * Internal search utility for papers. * ASQ conference paper submissions. * Outside source permissions. * Reviews for proceedings publication. 48 QP * www.qualityprogress.com 3. Database management team mem- After the project list is in place, I finish Friday afternoon by preparing the task list ber: I help a group charged with manag- for the upcoming week. It consists of two ing product performance data provided sections: one for meetings and another by field reports and outside labs. for the major to do's. I leave space on the 4. Advisor on shared computing com- sheet to track issues during the course of mittee: I assess the possible impact of the current week and to drive the contents changes on my organization's ability to of the following week's task list. provide statistical services during IT resources consolidation. 5. Conference postings and papers co- The task list is a combination of my independent activities and things I must do to prepare for meetings. The tasks are pri- ordinator: I arrange the submission of oritized by deadline; tasks without a due abstracts, dress rehearsals and internal date that week fall to the bottom of the department review of papers for presen- list. I sort tasks that do not have a dead- tation at professional conferences. line by order of importance. The lowest If your job resembles mine, I can offer priority items settle to the bottom. Table you a network outage-proof routine that 2 is an example of what a typical task list I carry out at the end of the workweek to looks like on Friday afternoon after it's assess my progress and plan ahead. drafted. Table 3 shows what it might look First, I create a list of current projects by the end of the following Friday. http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - January 2014

Up Front
LogOn
Expert Answers
Keeping Current
Mr. Pareto Head
Breaking Down Barriers
Follow the Fundamentals
Fresh Perspective
Back in Service
Quality in the First Person
Career Corner
Innovation Imperative
Statistics Roundtable
Standards Outook
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
One Good Idea

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