Learning Journal

Learning Journal: Don’t assume, be specific

I’m usually quite careful to make sure I have a correct understanding of requirements and deliverables. Its tiring and sometimes irritates people, but I’d rather make sure I am not misunderstanding something – which could bite me back sometime down the road. This is especially important in project management!

Still though, things slip past due to a lack of experience, and also just plain tiredness in pushing through to ask all the specifics.

Case in point: The task was to block a group of customers from arranging appointments on certain dates, as a system migration meant their products would not be activated. I worked with Product Development to block those dates for customers. In the end the block was successful, but we later realized some customers had slipped through. Upon investigation, we realised that there a subset of these customers had not been blocked as the developers treated each subset differently, and assumed we did not include them.

Learning point: I attribute this more to experience than asking through, but asking through the specifics could definitely have prevented this. Other than driving deep into the specifics (“exactly what customers were blocked?”), maybe one way is making sure the executors (not just the product managers) are on the same page, as sometimes executors follow requirements to the T without considering the broader picture. Or perhaps sharing the broader picture with the executors could have prevented this?

Either way, a good learning.

“Be a sponge. Curiosity is life. Assumption is death. Keep learning.” – Nike Maxim

This is my lil’ journals of things picked up in everyday life – from soft skills to office politics to project management. Nuggets of wisdom you can’t quite fit into an article, yet have been formative experiences.

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