December 2013 Goals


A few weeks ago I turned in a draft proposal for my 2014 leadership skills training program, this is the facilitated book club I’ve led the last two years, in that proposal I requested that we add a third group and facilitator and that we also move to two to books a year to help maintain momentum with our learners.  Unfortunately I turned this in shortly before the sponsor of the program announced he was leaving the company for new position, leaving me without a champion.  I am expecting that the program will not continue next year and I’m going to spend some time this month sorting out if I am comfortable taking the program rogue, meaning will do it on our own, or let the program die in favor of another project.


This may sound a bit ridiculous but my most important management task in December is to assist with the decoration of a creative space in our department.  Don’t get me wrong, I SO enjoy decorating, shopping and believe strongly in providing this type space to our teams. However, this project in this department full of opinionated (and at times obstinate) people comes with more than a few challenges.  With any luck, an occasional biting of the tongue and more than a few deep breaths by the end of the month we will have a space that everyone is happy with.

On December 2 my team will have completed their 18th Agile iteration.  I’m planning to have a robust retrospective where we can decide what changes need to be implemented in 2014.  I believe we’ve hit a sustainable cadence in our process; the team is comfortable in what we’ve implemented, our projects are successful, we’re amazingly productive and yet still challenging of the status quo.  Next year I’d like to focus more on engaging the organization as a whole, doing more outreach on agile principles and on what we’re capable of accomplishing but I’m going to let the team decide what our priorities should be.


December is a busy month for BI teams, typically we spend the entire month on data cleansing or hygiene and implementing our archive and purge strategies.  This year is no exception; we will be cleaning up one warehouse, archiving two other warehouses and purging 10 more. (I’ll write more later on determining which strategy to take, that’ll be a January topic.) This is a very important part of our process and one where there is zero margin for error so we typically do not take on any project responsibilities for the duration, this year will be an exception with a handful of late requests, and delayed projects wrapping up.


December 19 will mark my completion, I hope, of the PMI-AC P exam.  I’ve not been a terribly good studier this year, a bit shocking considering how organized I was in school.  I have found many interruptions and far more reasons to procrastinate than I thought possible.  Now that I’m in the cram zone,  I’ll be finishing off the last couple of books that the exam is based on and will spending a couple of hours each day taking practice exams and reviewing flash cards –  feels like old times.

December is also the month that I normally review all of my own practices that maintain my pace with my career responsibilities, my volunteer gigs, and my own goals.  2013 was a challenging year between personal and passion projects and too many of them did not get completed. I was more often overwhelmed and caught at the last minute having to pick priorities than I’ve ever been before. I’ll spend some time this month looking back on my scheduling habits and try to sort out some strategies to build a better balance around accomplishments and the things that make me happiest and most fulfilled.


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