It was my own manager who first suggested to me to write a blog. Company cutbacks had added project management duties to my position. By following this advice, I soon discovered why daily blogging is such a good idea.
Having a blog has helped me in project management immensely. Blogging helped me keep track of all aspects of the project, allowing me to take on more projects. It was not unheard of to have a dozen or more projects on my desk at the same time. I wrote a blog entry for every one of them every workday, and answered the associated comments.
1. Linear documentation
When problems arise, a quick scan of the blog can tell you where and when the trouble actually started. This can be treated as “chalk it up to experience” or the basis of a detailed report to upper management.
2. Detailed record
If blogging is done at the end of each day, details are still fresh in your mind. Those details may be important a week or so later, when your memory is not as clear. As any project manager is well aware, the details make all the difference.
3. Highlights patterns
Blogging allows for documentation of issues. If the same issues arise repeatedly with the same person or company, it can be brought to the attention of someone who has the authority to do something about it.
Logistics companies that repeatedly deliver late and suppliers who are constantly out of stock are only a couple of examples of waste of time and money. Cross-referencing with other job blogs highlights the pattern.
4. Point of reference
If you are working a similar job to one completed months ago, you can go back and refer to the blog for the older job.
You may find ways to hasten completion of the current project. Refer to what issues occurred and deter them on the current project, if possible.
5. Time saver
Most of what you need to include in project reports has already been written in your blog. Use a simple copy/paste to complete mandatory reports in a fraction of the time.
6. Review resource
If your project management title includes the responsibility of managing people, the blog is an excellent resource for writing annual performance reviews. Being able to cite specific examples in a review meeting gives you more credibility.
It will either give the employee insight on how to improve, or praise for a job well done.
7. Interruption reduction
By posting a blog, anyone who is associated with the project can be updated without having to call you. It is difficult to concentrate and stay on task when you are constantly being interrupted by phone calls.
Non-urgent questions can be posted on the blog comment section, to be answered by you later in the day. This feature also deters the same question being asked by multiple people.
8. Project acceleration
Those associated with the project can review your blog and anticipate at what point they will be required to do their part. This is especially true, in my experience, with engineers.
Engineers who make site visits can verify the job is at the point they need it to be before scheduling. Crew chiefs can do the same thing, especially in limited space environments.
By blogging, the job becomes more transparent. Everyone associated with it knows what is going on and why.
Due to this transparency, it is very important to blog honestly with as little emotion as possible. “Spoke to Todd about being an hour late” works better than “Yelled at Todd because I was angry at him being late again. Doesn’t he realize he is holding up the whole job?”
10. Stress relief
Blogging at the end of the day allows you to leave your work at work. Once you have written what happened that day, and possibly where things will start tomorrow, you provide yourself with a sense of closure of the workday.
Even though it sounds like a lot of time consuming writing, it really only takes a few minutes to blog the day for each project. You are not writing a book, but rather a log of events related to the job itself.
I have kept my project blogs for a year after completion for reference. This expedited similar jobs due primarily to the lessons learned from the experience.
How about you? Do you write a blog?
Photo by plinghoo.
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