J Scott | So You Have a Big Business Idea?…You Can’t Realize Your Dream if You Can’t Effectively Manage Your Team

Show Notes

The expert project manager and best-selling author J. Scott joins us to share how to effectively manage a team. 

An in-depth interview with J. Scott, the best-selling author of The Irreverent Guide to Project Management

It’s Just People 

Buy this book now – https://www.amazon.com/Irreverent-Guide-Project-Management-Enterprise-ebook/dp/B07XZF1BZY/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?keywords=The+Irreverent+Guide+to+Project+Management&qid=1578952389&sr=8-2-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFQMTZCSjIzSzVFWkUmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA4Njg0NjIyMzlGNEJMSFIwSElGJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA1MDUxNzgxQ0JZNFY4RFNXQjlRJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ== 

NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Acronyms Seriously Suck: There is a creeping tendency to use made up acronyms at SpaceX. Excessive use of made up acronyms is a significant impediment to communication and keeping communication good as we grow is incredibly important. Individually, a few acronyms here and there may not seem so bad, but if a thousand people are making these up, over time the result will be a huge glossary that we have to issue to new employees. No one can actually remember all these acronyms and people don’t want to seem dumb in a meeting, so they just sit there in ignorance. This is particularly tough on new employees. That needs to stop immediately or I will take drastic action—I have given enough warnings over the years. Unless an acronym is approved by me, it should not enter the SpaceX glossary. If there is an existing acronym that cannot reasonably be justified, it should be eliminated, as I have requested in the past. For example, there should be no “HTS” [horizontal test stand] or “VTS” [vertical test stand] designations for test stands. Those are particularly dumb, as they contain unnecessary words. A “stand” at our test site is obviously a *test* stand. VTS-3 is four syllables compared with “Tripod,” which is two, so the bloody acronym version actually takes longer to say than the name! The key test for an acronym is to ask whether it helps or hurts communication. An acronym that most engineers outside of SpaceX already know, such as GUI, is fine to use. It is also ok to make up a few acronyms/contractions every now and again, assuming I have approved them, eg MVac and M9 instead of Merlin 1C-Vacuum or Merlin 1C-Sea Level, but those need to be kept to a minimum. This was classic Musk. The e-mail is rough in its tone and yet not really unwarranted for a guy who just wants things done as efficiently as possible. It obsesses over something that other people might find trivial and yet he has a definite point. It’s comical in that Musk wants all acronym approvals to run directly through him, but that’s entirely in keeping with the hands-on management style that has, mainly, worked well at both SpaceX and Tesla. Employees have since dubbed the acronym policy the ASS Rule.” 

  1. Yes, yes, yes and yes! Thrivetime Nation on today’s show we are interviewing J. Scott who is an expert in project management and the best-selling author of The Irreverent Guide to Project Management. Mr. J. Scott, welcome onto The Thrivetime Show, how are you?!!!
  2. I know that you’ve had a ton of success at this point in your career, but I would love to start off at the bottom and the very beginning of your career. What was your life like growing up and where did you grow up?
  3. When did you first figure out what you wanted to do professionally?
  4. For the listeners out there that don’t know your whole story, what makes you qualified to write an in-depth book about project management?
  5. By default, how do most people get project management wrong?
    1. Most people believe that they can take anyone who has demonstrated reliable behavior and give them an email and calendar and they will be able to schedule and deliver complicated project management.
    2. Most people look for go-getter to take on high-priority projects and those people just start to make stuff up.
    3. Assuming that good leadership is, “Cowboy up.”
  6. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “It’s easier to feel busy than to get [stuff] done.”
  7. Let’s start at the beginning…what is the best way to lead a kickoff meeting for a new product, service or project?
    1. Establish where you are going in the next 12 months
    2. Determine what the quarterly steps are to get closer to that goal
    3. What needs to change in the next 3 months to achieve that goal
    4. As a leader, it is my job to facilitate a road map to get to the goal.
  8. What is the best way to go about creating a viable work plan?
  9. What is a control log and why is it super important? 
    1. Set up your employees to be accountable
    2. Actively negotiate a commitment to complete the task
    3. Establish when it needs to be completed
    4. Document the meeting notes
  10. Why is it important to document the status of the job?
  11. Why is it important to establish a baseline budget and how should our listeners go about creating one?
  12. Talk about the importance of prioritizing and managing impediments?
  13. Today, I’d love for you to share with the listeners about the kinds of projects that you are up to?
  14. How, you come across as a very proactive person…so how do you typically organize the first four hours of your and what time do you typically wake up?
  15. What are a few of your daily habits that you believe have allowed you to achieve success?
  16. What mentor has made the biggest impact on your career thus far?
  17. What is a principle or concept that you teach people most that VERY FEW people actually ever apply?

SUPER MOVE: Seek knowledge. Seek other people’s experiences. Do the work and change something.

NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “It’s hard to do a really good job on anything you don’t think about in the shower.” – Paul Graham (The man behind Stripe, AirnBnB.com, DropBox.com, Reddit.com, etc.)

NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee and I will pay more for that ability than for any other under the sun.” – John D. Rockefeller

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