Monday, December 10, 2007

Just Pick One!

One of the things that characterizes effective workers is the ability to simply make a decision. In many cases it's unclear who should decide what to do about something. A really effective worker (manager, engineer, etc) will make a decision and go with it*. An ineffective worker will be unwilling or unable to decide.

A quick story:

On Friday I went to pick up a friend from his office. He wasn't done yet, so I waited for about an hour. Now, this is an open plan office, so while I was there I was listening to various project managers talking about a new document they were writing and the template for it. The entire topic of conversation for that hour was about the template for that document and who they needed to get to sign off on it (and they weren't done when I left!).

So I started calculating. The average salary for a project manager in a small company in Boston is $85K.  This is approximately $42.50 an hour. So that hour, for 5 project managers, cost the company $212.50, and nothing got accomplished. The moral of the story?

Just make a decision.

* Disclaimer: If the decision is not yours to make and you know who should make it, then get the right person to make it. This is really just decisions that don't have a clear owner.

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