Biggest challenge in life of IT workers is to really understand how you are contributing to the business.

It is really difficult for developer or consultant to understand how their work matters to the company. On the surface, it would even look like mundane and not-so-important.

Organizations typically follow grand vision/mission/value statements and expect employees to adopt it in their daily work. Putting onus on employees makes it subjective and often open to diverse interpretations.

So, how does typical IT worker define his day of work ?

As outlined in recent blog – ‘ We are all outcome workers, whether we like it or not…‘, Phil Fersht (Leading IT Outsourcing Analyst) provides easy to follow guidelines to knowledge workers.

He talks about six key questions one should ask every day.

  1. Which customers have you delighted recently?
  2. What new relationships have you made that add value to our business?
  3. What work have you done that excited people inside and outside of the business?
  4. How are you helping energize your colleagues and exciting them with new ideas?
  5. How have you helped add value to new business wins?
  6. How have you contributed to new initiatives that improve productivity and effectiveness?

He further mentions that –

if you think all you have to do is turn on your PC on at 9.00am and shut down at 5.00pm, mindlessly immersing yourself in forwarding and adding to chains of emails between your hourly Facebook visits, bi-hourly LinkedIn visits and your twice-daily moronic retweeting of some crap you never really bothered to read (but the title sounded impressive), then you’re pretty much done. 

Further he elaborates simple six steps if you are really looking to excel in current working environment.

  • Limit email activity to one email a time. Scan your messages and quickly decide which ones require a response.  The pick them off one at a time. Do not click out and re-check them all again.  Just answer then quickly one at a time until all the important ones are done.  The minute you start trying to multi-task your email your lose focus and you’ll spend all day faffing around your inbox like packing up your hotel room with a hangover…
  • Call people who matter. Remember when you actually spoke to people?  You got things done, you created friendships and new ideas.  Something nearly always happens when you speak to someone.  List the 5 people you need to talk to and focus on them for a couple of days.
  • Read something that makes you smarter. We all get loads of interesting stuff shoved at us and let’s face it, we probably ready 5% of it at best. Stop.  Pick out the one article you know will make you super damn smart at your key work task at hand and read the damn thing.  Make a decent cup of tea, go sit somewhere quiet and read it.
  • Turn off Facebook. Seriously – there is nothing in there to help you do your job better.  Do it with a glass of wine in the evening if you have nothing better to do.  If HfS( Horses for Sources – firm Phil leads) did a productivity analysis impact on the global economy due to Facebook-faffers, it’s probably in the billions…
  • Write something. We’re all analysts now, so focus on writing something that your think you are expert in.  It’s a great way to build credibility and if forces you to be a better communicator.  We all went to school, we can all type, we can all read, we can all talk, so why can’t we put out thoughts to print?  Just write like you talk, like you’re explaining your views on something to someone down the pub… or explaining to your Mom what you actually do.  Everyone is an expert in something… hell, if you’re not, you might as well give up now.
  • Exercise. Not much is worse for you that staring into a 12 inch laptop screen 18 hours a day while guzzling caffeine and noshing last night’s pizza… so pick out the best time of the day to get your heart pounding. It’s the best thing ever, but organize when you do it, otherwise you’ll hit 5.00pm and you know full well it’s just not going to happen.

I think, one should ask these six questions every day if he wants to stay RELEVANT in Performance-focused Digital economy. . 

Thank you Phil , for bringing them up.

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