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Systems Support Analyst, Greenville, SC
Our associate profile this month is of Savannah Holm, a Systems Support Analyst working out of our Accounting Office in downtown Greenville. Savannah was born in DeSoto, Missouri. She graduated from Potosi High School and she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science at Central Methodist University. Savannah and her husband enjoy traveling, hiking, watching baseball, photography, and painting. Savannah worked at a few other companies before joining us in September 2018. Anyone needing tech support will attest to her calm and patient demeanor. She has been a great addition to our team.
Our management article this month is entitled, Avoid Failure by Preparing for Problems. I really got a lot out of this article, especially the concept of “premortems”. Instead of doing a postmortem after things go wrong, ask yourself before the project starts, “What can go wrong?” and then take the actions necessary to keep them from happening. A simple concept but one I’d never heard of before reading this article. I think this idea is especially applicable to the construction industry.
August’s Management Article
Avoid failure by preparing for problems
By Dan Rockwell
Do premortems. A postmortem is too late.
Gary Klein introduced the idea of premortems. A premortem is reverse positive thinking. Instead of imagining success, imagine failure.
What might go wrong:
A year from now, imagine your project is a colossal failure. What contributed to imagined failure? What did you fail to do?
Your business is becoming more profitable. A year from now, your business is failing. What did you fail to do that caused the failure? How might you prevent future failure?
You’re ready to launch a new initiative. A year from now, this initiative crashes. What went wrong? What process or system will make success more likely?
You’ve made progress at overcoming ineffective leadership behaviors. A year from now, you’ve slipped back into ineffective behaviors. What are some possible reasons you slipped back?
Prepare for negative outcomes that are likely.
You might say, this project will fail because the earth is hit by a meteor. You don’t need to prepare for that contingency.
Example: check-in initiative
You schedule check-in meetings with team members. Imagine your check-in initiative is a complete failure. What went wrong?
- You stopped listening and started thinking you had all the answers.
- The conversations turned into gripe sessions.
- Actions were planned, but there was no follow through.
- You canceled check-ins because of busyness.
Which of the above negative outcomes is most likely?
How will you prevent a negative outcome?
How might a premortem be useful?
What might go wrong during a premortem meeting? (This is a premortem on premortems.)
In closing, I hope the forecasters are correct about 2020. I, for one, will be very happy with just a 1% decline. Fingers crossed.
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