Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Personal Project Management

Project management is a business discipline focused on achieving a specific goal. Project managers are responsible for planning, identifying resources, tracking work performed, and ensuring that all components of a project stay on schedule.

As key aspect of project planning is a determining the requirements of the customer and using those requirements to evaluate vendors or products to determine the best fit for the needs of the customer.

You can also apply the use of requirements determination and evaluation for personal decisions including trips, services, and products.

Step 1 - Write it down.
There is tremendous power in writing things down. People who write down goals are more likely to follow through with completing them. Additionally, written records permit you to track progress over time.

Step 2 - Identify 4 to 5 characteristics.
On your paper write down some characteristics that are important to you about the product or service. Examples might be cost, features, materials, ease of use, etc. A list of 4-5 requirements is usually sufficient.

Step 3 - List each option you are considering.
You will end up with a table on your paper with requirements going down the left side and options listed across the top. It may be helpful to limit what you are considering to 3 to 4 options.

Step 4 - Weight each requirement.
In advance, determine the importance of each requirement. This should be a weighting based on a total of 100%. For example, suppose you are considering the purchase of a new refrigerator. If price is the most important factor, it might be assigned a weight of 50%. The location of the freezer drawer may be important. You might assign freezer location a weighting of 30%. Cubic capacity might be the last factor with a weighting of 20%.

Step 5 - Score each requirement.
Assign a score to each requirement. Keep the range of scores small, such as 1 to 5 or 1, 3, 5. Using our refrigerator example, if Brand A is $500 and Brand B is $1,000, Brand A might receive a score of 5, while Brand B would receive a score of 1.

Step 6 - Calculate the total weighted score.
Take the requirement score for each option and multiply it by the weighting (percentage) previously determined. Total the weighted scores. The end result will hopefully be a clear winner with which option best meets your requirements.

Using the refrigerator example, Brand A seems like a better choice based on the importance of each requirement. In this example, we wanted an inexpensive unit with side freezer, but definitely not a bottom drawer. Finally, Brand A had a smaller capacity but met the price requirement.

In the next post, I will show two of my own uses of this type of evaluation.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

30 Psalms in 30 Days

Back in May, I wrote a two-part post entitled "One Book To Rule Them All" (part 1, part 2). The content focused on keeping a handwritten journal for ideas, notes, and planning.

Not too long ago I came across two different articles on individuals who wrote out all or parts of the Bible by hand.

David Kulakov, an English teacher in Moscow, Russia, was impressed to write out the entire Bible. He started in 1997. Over a period of 2.5 years David spent 800 hours writing out both the Old and New Testaments on white copy paper. When the book was complete, David had it bound as a book. The Link to David's story.

While searching for David's story, I found a blog post by Nathan Clark on the Northland Church blog. Nathan and his wife started with Genesis and wrote out several chapters. After a pause because of the life-changing birth of their child, they started again with Psalms.

When I first read the story about David Kulakov earlier this year, I decided to give handwriting of some Bible passages a try. Because I wanted to actually complete the project, I knew I needed a managable portion of the Bible. I decided to write out 30 Psalms, writing out one per day.

My first step was to identify a list of my favorite Psalms and write this list in my planner. I allocated one page per Psalm to ensure I had enough room while still being able to use my planner for other purposes. Using my planner allowed this project to remain visible on my task list. It was also convenient because I could add verses at any time.

You can view all of the images in the 30 Psalms Flickr set.

I am happy to report that I completed this project! As you can see from the infographic below, my 30 days were distributed over a period of 50 days. Being able to see my project status in real time inspired my to finished. I was consistent at first with daily journaling. The number of days between journal entries gradually expanded.

Writing out these Psalms was a great experience. I gained a new appreciation because of the extra time spent on each verse. Writing by hand is slower than reading or typing and facilitates a different level of understanding and comprehension.

I encourage you to select some passages or chapters that you find inspirational or comforting and write these out by hand. You will have a better appreciation of the Bible's writers and inspiration from this daily devotional. Let me know how your Bible project turns out!
(C) 2012 by

(C) 2012 by