Working at Warp Speed

The New Rules for Project Success in a Sped-up World

Barry Flicker (Author)

Publication date: 03/01/2002

Working at Warp Speed

Introduces four "Rules of Warp Speed" that can help readers break through common barriers to success

Offers a startling exercise-The Project Game-that demonstrates how to keep fires from burning out of control and reduce the number of fires you fight each day

Everyone is a project manager-projects are what all of us do day in and day out. Skillful project management is fundamental to survival in today's warp-speed world. Yet it is often misunderstood, leading to unrealistic deadlines, poorly defined goals, and wasted time. The secret to successful project management, argues Barry Flicker, is making and keeping clear commitments-far easier said than done in a time of complex, cross-departmental projects and sometimes unclear lines of authority. Through a story about people confronting daily frustrations on the job, Flicker demonstrates how shifting focus from blaming "the idiots out there" to examining one's own behaviors and assumptions helps people to overcome obstacles. Working at Warp Speed shows how following four simple laws can transform workers' most frustrating complaints from persistent barriers into potential breakthrough experiences.

  • Introduces four "Rules of Warp Speed" that can help readers break through the following common barriers to success:
    • Work overload
    • Lack of support
    • Poorly defined goals
    • Blame and finger pointing
    • Unrealistic deadlines
    • Endless meetings
    • Poor communication
    • Constant fire fighting
    • Incomplete planning
    • Constantly shifting targets or goals
  • Offers a startling exercise-The Project Game-that demonstrates how to keep fires from burning out of control and reduce the number of fires you fight each day

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Overview

Introduces four "Rules of Warp Speed" that can help readers break through common barriers to success

Offers a startling exercise-The Project Game-that demonstrates how to keep fires from burning out of control and reduce the number of fires you fight each day

Everyone is a project manager-projects are what all of us do day in and day out. Skillful project management is fundamental to survival in today's warp-speed world. Yet it is often misunderstood, leading to unrealistic deadlines, poorly defined goals, and wasted time. The secret to successful project management, argues Barry Flicker, is making and keeping clear commitments-far easier said than done in a time of complex, cross-departmental projects and sometimes unclear lines of authority. Through a story about people confronting daily frustrations on the job, Flicker demonstrates how shifting focus from blaming "the idiots out there" to examining one's own behaviors and assumptions helps people to overcome obstacles. Working at Warp Speed shows how following four simple laws can transform workers' most frustrating complaints from persistent barriers into potential breakthrough experiences.

  • Introduces four "Rules of Warp Speed" that can help readers break through the following common barriers to success:
    • Work overload
    • Lack of support
    • Poorly defined goals
    • Blame and finger pointing
    • Unrealistic deadlines
    • Endless meetings
    • Poor communication
    • Constant fire fighting
    • Incomplete planning
    • Constantly shifting targets or goals
  • Offers a startling exercise-The Project Game-that demonstrates how to keep fires from burning out of control and reduce the number of fires you fight each day

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Barry Flicker

Barry Flicker is founder of Basic Training, a San Francisco Bay Area-based company that offers a complete curriculum of courses in management and professional development to organizations intent on keeping pace with the rapid transformations of the global economy. Flicker's work is used as part of the professional development curriculum of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). His Project Game has become part of one of the country's leading business incubation courses taught at UC Berkeley. For more information, please visit http://www.effectivetraining.com/pubinstructors.php#1.

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Table of Contents



Chapter 1: Warp Speed in a Nutshell

Chapter 2: Warp Speed Poisoning

Chapter 3: Playing the Project Game

Chapter 4: Seeing the Blind Spot

Chapter 5: The Rules of Warp Speed

Chapter 6: Work from the Zone

Chapter 7: Shift from Racing to Pacing

Chapter 8: Avoid Confusion Through Inclusion

Chapter 9: Fulfill Both People and Project

Chapter 10: Words into Actions

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Excerpt

WORKING AT WARP SPEED

Introduction Warp Speed in a Nutshell

Are you working at warp speed—too busy to plan, too rushed to communicate in anything more than e-mail snippets, and too overloaded to read all the e-mail you get? Do overlooked details lead to broken commitments and project problems?

Imagine what your life would be like if you could eliminate the overload; alleviate the struggle to meet “unrealistic” deadlines; reduce the constant firefighting, poor planning, and ineffective communication; and slash the endless time wasted in meetings trying to sort it all out.

It could happen! If only you could get everyone on your team fired up about your project, committed to its success, and pointed in the same direction. But how?

You’re about to meet five people who are asking this same question. They need to find an answer—fast. They have overpromised and underdelivered on their projects. Their customers are unhappy, and their time is about to run out. They feel discouraged. At times it seems the harder they try, the worse things get. If they can’t turn things around in six months, their next project will be finding work!

Can anything really make a difference? They are skeptical. That is until they see for themselves, through a startling experiment, that they have been solving the wrong problem. Perhaps you have too?

Reading Working at Warp Speed could change the way you work forever. It’s distilled twelve years of project breakthroughs in leading high-tech companies, top universities, and government institutions into four hands-on rules that can deliver immediate results. These four rules are like the angel in Michelangelo’s block of marble—to find them we have only to chip away everything unnecessary. The chipping away takes some time and effort, but the results are well worth it. You will find that they dispel the myth that project management must be boring and highly technical. What’s more, they show how anyone can take advantage of this extraordinary system to lighten the workload and ignite the passion of any team.

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Endorsements




"A real breakthrough and outstanding introduction to concepts that would otherwise remain hidden in the course of everyday work."

—Colin Clover, Manager of Technical Operations, Apple Computer

"Everyone who must depend upon others to deliver results by a deadline should read this book. Project management is people management, and here are the rules that make it work."

—Donald M. Dible, Cofounder, ProjectWorld

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