For 16.4.18

This week’s exercises are designed to help you develop the study skills you need to even begin to comprehend the complexity of business application systems from top to bottom, business purposes down through the technologies, which an introductory course is designed to cover and which you will likely encounter in the workplace

  • You will want to spend at least three hours on this, likely more if you design this to support your lifelong long learning skill development
  • You might in your planning and documentation identify how much time you spend on each element, and where I suggest about one hour with GTD and two hours with Head First Data Analysis, and one hour on whatever relevant topics of your choice appear to you worth pursuing

Your Workflow: Getting Things Done (GTD)

CRM is about using ERP systems to manage projects an enterprise scale what we all do in small on a daily basis, including, managing our contact information and scheduling, keeping track of time and materials, etc., etc., so that if we do this right the study of how we solve these fundamental problems in small prepares us to understand what happens in big — as we saw in the video of US Food Service using Oracle. To do this right you want to learn how to view your addressing these fundamental problems in the larger terms of productivity and creativity, as the professionals do:

  • Productivity, if you even briefly survey this list of articles in the Harvard Business Review on the topic of productivity you will quickly see that management professionals throughout their careers spend a lot of time and money reading about productivity, attending expensive workshops, and examining closely how they organize information, tasks, responsibilities, and technologies
  • The Creative Habit, if you even briefly survey this text by Twyla Tharp, or at least this summary, you will understand why the advice of this fabulous modern dancer, choreographer, and producer of some 130 productions catapulted this book for months onto to the New York Times Bestseller List as so many found her advice on productivity, rather, creativity so compelling and useful

This is to say that while I will offer you a very basic assignment framework, to do this right — “productivity, rightly understood” — you want to look in these larger directions, scan a few pages or more until you find some compelling insight, advice, or practice, and run with it: find things which will really, really help you change your life. What follows, then, is the basic assignment, but the key question is how you do this: slow down, look at what you do, and instead of “showing the teacher,” learn a few methods that you will actually use, explore and exploit them, build them into your routine, and then, and really, only then, write up what you’ve done, briefly, as a report on your achievement for you.

Your learning goals

You might start as I demonstrated in class by building an outline where you list all the things I suggest you do and then brainstorm what might be interesting questions, things to learn and do and use that outline (in the Outline View of MS Word) as your point of reference, box, template, etc., from day one, meaning, today

Your time

It’s all very nice to make a screen shot to show the teacher that you made great plans for the week, but what you really want to learn is how to develop a realistic timetable so that, like me, you can get your work down and head on out to boogie!!!

  • That means, figure out a calendar or some other time management scheme that works for you, put all your tasks in it, try living up to it, and review it every single day — for the simple reason that we are all subject to interruptions, over- and under- estimate our time needs inaccurately, change our priorities, etc.
  • Revise, revise, revise your detailed calendar and in the review develop a more realistic review
  • Don’t just make a screenshot and claim that life is wonderful, do describe how you never get started on time but managed one little victory, that you never finish on time but managed a victory, etc., and explain how you re-adjusted.

You want, in short, to have your cake and eat it, too, and that means transforming work into play and getting in enough work/play so can really go out and play

Your materials

The basic problem here starts off sounding like your mother when she tells you to clean up your room, which does not sound like fun, but what is fun is when you turn on your PC knowing you can find what you need in a jiffy, do not find what you do not need, and so can get lots done in complex ways that will make you be impressed with you.

  • Sorting Clean up your files by moving them into a few folders (never more than 7 as a rule), and sometimes have a sub-folder called “Older” or “Archive” is a great place to dump the less important stuff leaving you with the few you will need in the next days easy to get to
  • File Naming in easy to identify and search (like I type “pyramid” and other words to get what I am looking for, fast) will make your PC very user-friendly and fun!
  • Mendeley is great for the files you can tag and add bibliography information to, but not so great for lots of news and other things that you don’t want to toss but don’t want to go to the trouble of adding to a database
  • Images are great to illustrate, as you see me do, so that every image tells a story, plus images often explain complex things very simply and can stand for your topics nicely. Give images great names, too! If you get into the habit of collecting images, when you need to illustrate a paper you’ll have a bunch and so be better able to choose a good one

Review, review, review Make your PC your friend, put the good stuff on top and bury the less important stuff so you are not constantly having to look at all these dead corpses on your way to the living. Reviewing costs a little time up front, but it reminds you of what you are about, where things are at, and helps you later remember what you needs (and not what you don’t need)

Tell a story of being more organized than you think you really are Here’s one way you can actually talk your way into something: do something that makes you feel good an write about that

Learning from others

  • Identify 3 things classmates have done with GTD demonstrating learning
  • Try to implement them
  • Reflect on your learning and documentation

Head First Data Analysis

The point here is to learn how to think like a data analyst, and for this week aim to read BOTH chapters 1 and 2, and I mean really read them so that you know what the hell is going on. As before,

  • Skim: outline sections/topics
  • Scan: dig deeper in two topics
  • Answer their questions (this is a great test)

And when you write things up, don’t just write up what the text says, that only shows you know about cut and paste: do write up what you learned, especially after you do the exercises and have concrete evidence that you have solved problems

Learning from others

  • Identify 3 things classmates have done with HFDA demonstrating learning
  • Try to implement them
  • Reflect on your learning and documentation

Ways of knowing

Use Engage Through Story, by Nancy Duarte, to put your head into the framework of seeing how differently we can know, explain, and so understand something: each is good:

  • Report structures are logical and powerful and good
  • Stories are engaging and powerful and really do win audiences
  • Mixing reports and stories is even better

When you report, report on what you’ve actually done, but then select from what you’ve done, test by explaining briefly what you’ve done to a partner and so write with this wonderful team voice and spirit, and keep in mind the high-level HBR advice on productivity and Tharp’s advice on creativity: you are aiming for something higher than simply juggling data, logistics, and homework: you are after lifelong skills in creative productivity