21
May
09

Dead horse? It is now!

Before I stop flogging the probably dead-horse of the ‘Just Start’ method, I thought I’d leave you with some actual evidence of where it came from, and why it works.

Sound boring? Yeah, it’s dry stuff. And I promise to cover the magic connection between Wayne Cotton and David Allen soon. But if you’ve read up on either, you may already guess the connection. (Oh, and I’ll get to that photography stuff too – new pics on the way!)
To understand that I just didn’t make up this methodology, you need to first curl up with a little gem called the ‘Deming Cycle‘. In a nutshell: Genius (that’s Deming) saves post-WWII Japan and starts a process revolution. Hooked? Not quite? Here is the key image from Wikipedia:
Then look really carefully at the diagramatic representation of the thing. It also goes by the name ‘Plan-Do-Check-Act’ or ‘PDCA’, with the underlying assumption that you actually start at ‘Plan’, do some ‘Do’, then ‘Check’ where you are, and finally take any needed corrective ‘Acts’. But it turns out what step you pick to start with makes no difference.
If you are only starting your project with a few unplanned (and perhaps ill-advised) tasks, you will naturally move through the check-act-plan steps in a pretty big hurry… like for instance when nothing that you are doing is working out… you’ll naturally realize this and perform a ‘Check’ step, and (hopefully) take corrective action (if your eyes are open, remember?).
Organizations often start new work based on status reports (really, a ‘Check’ step) that indicate that the current situation isn’t working.
If you are a solo photographer, then maybe your ‘Check’ step really should be called the ‘Cheque’ step – if you are writing too many, or not getting enough of them – it’s time for a change!
Ok, that’s it for today. The Deming Cycle is super-dry stuff, but it works because it’s really just the written form of every single natural feedback loop in the entire known universe. It HAS to work.
The key is it to expect it, let it work it’s magic on you, and even manage it a teensy bit. That’s for next time, because you can draw a straight line from the PDCA cycle, through the Success Calendars of Cotton Systems, and actually Get Things Done with David Allen.
Promise!
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