What’s Your Time Management Profile?

Have you ever sat down and thought about your time management profile? How you tend to prioritize work or projects? Your decision-making process for putting things off until tomorrow that really should be completed today? Do you buy into the idea that your attorneys or case teams are keeping you from managing your time effectively? Let’s take a moment today and really think about how you do you… how you manage your projects and how you might become more effective at controlling the way you spend your time as a project manager.

I actually thought about this the other day after reading an article on CNN.com entitled, “Are you a procrastinator or an incubator?” According to the article, some people procrastinate and then proceed to beat themselves up over their seeming inability to complete tasks or projects until the last minute. I’m not advocating putting everything off until the last minute… what I’d like for you to consider is if you complete top quality work … even if it is at the last minute… you might be an “incubator.”

What is an incubator?

[Someone who has] the ability to subconsciously process important ideas while doing other — often recreational — activities.

The article goes on to discuss a study that was conducted to learn more and identify incubators vs. procrastinators.

In a pilot study with 184 undergraduate university students, we were able to isolate specific items that distinguished incubators from the rest of the pack. Incubators were the only students who had superior-quality work but who also worked at the last moment, under pressure, motivated by a looming deadline.

Time management is more than finding a methodology that will work for you as a project manager. It’s about understanding who you are and your working style so that you can manage expectations of yourself and focus on your strengths. If you are a procrastinator, here’s an article with some suggestions on avoiding procrastination. If you’re an incubator, evaluate and re-prioritize your projects to find a better balance with your time management profile.

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Managing & Tracking Metrics

When you are planning your e-discovery project, your case team will ask you “how did you come up with that number?” That “number” could be associated with a cost or with a schedule/ time line you’re suggesting.  Metrics (or statistics) are information we collect about a current project so that we can use it as a reference for our next project. Typically, we collect information on how long everything takes to be completed and how much it costs. Don’t forget to take good notes on why the ESI conversion took 3 days and why it cost more or less than we thought it would.

Steven Levy talks about metrics from the broader business perspective of a law firm in his Fireside Chats found here.

There are only a few applications dedicated to e-discovery / litigation support project management. One of them is iFramework. The presentation below was uploaded over the weekend… you might find it useful in discussing the value of documentation and metrics with your case team. How are you currently managing and tracking metrics for your e-discovery and litigation support projects?