Order Your Projects by Impact and Effort

When you’re managing multiple projects, deciding where to focus your energy can be challenging. This is because not every project offers the same environment, impact potential, or opportunities.

In this episode, I explore this dilemma in depth. I share strategies for identifying the most impactful projects and techniques for amplifying your influence within them.

So, make sure you don’t miss out on this insightful episode, where I aim to enhance your project selection process and maximize your contributions.

I talk about the following key points:

  • Identifying High-Impact Projects
  • Weighing Effort Against Impact
  • Maximizing Your Impact
  • Strategies for Scaling Your Influence

This episode is a must-listen for anyone eager to enhance their impact in the workplace through strategic project selection and execution.

Dive into the heart of the statistics industry at The Effective Statistician Conference, where industry luminaries like Andy Grieve, Chrissie Fletcher, and Anja Schiel will share invaluable insights. This event promises to be a cornerstone for statisticians eager to enhance their impact and knowledge, with discussions ranging from technical talks to guidelines shaping our field. With free live attendance, it’s an exceptional opportunity to connect, learn, and be inspired. Register now to secure your spot in this transformative experience! Click Here!

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Transcript

Order Your Projects by Impact and Effort

[00:00:00] Alexander: Welcome to another episode of the Effective Statistician, a podcast that helps you to boost your career like nothing else as a statistician. Today, this is another short episode for a Friday and I want to speak about a coaching call that I had recently. In my leadership program. I’m always asking for what are your challenges?

[00:00:29] What are your experiences? What are your successes? And especially what are your success stories? And recently we were talking about there can be these teams that kind of drain all your energy. And said, you know, you can do a lot to improves the team dynamics to make it work. And that it can be really, really painful.

[00:00:59] And now we [00:01:00] talked about all the different things you can do to make a team work. Now the interesting thing is that you also need to think a little bit more about is it worth the investment. Think about all the projects that you have and think about the effort you need to put in them to get something out and what is the impact of these different projects.

[00:01:31] And then you will realize that there’s certain projects, certain teams where you can only get A little bit out of it, but you need to invest a lot of time, a lot of effort, and I’m not just speaking about time. I’m just also speaking about your personal energy. These are these teams where you drain energy.

[00:01:59] [00:02:00] You need to spend a lot of energy. And then there are these other teams where it’s just awesome to work together. Yeah, where you just get out of these meetings and you’re energized because it’s fun, it’s a great collaboration, you have a lot of laughter together and it just flows, yeah? You get, maybe within these teams, you get into this collective flow experience.

[00:02:32] I talked about these. Flow experience earlier on the podcast, and you can have that, of course, when you work alone for yourself, but you can also have certain teams. I worked on such teams where. It was just awesome to work together, to have good discussions, to challenge each other. Everybody was helping each other and supporting each other.

[00:02:56] You had a great common goal together. [00:03:00] And everybody was putting this overall goal behind their personal goals. It is so rewarding to work in these teams. And when these teams really achieve something, this is amazing. Yeah, and you can get so much out of it. And then there are these other teams where kind of it’s, it’s a lot of work.

[00:03:25] Now think about all the different stuff that you’re doing and create a scatterplot. Where you have effort versus impact and effort. It’s kind of your hours, your energy, all these kind of different things. Impact is how it will help you, your team, your organization to achieve the goals. Now think about all these kind of different projects.

[00:03:59] And then you [00:04:00] will see that there’s certain projects that have high impact. But not a lot of effort. These are the things that are the low hanging fruits. As the thing said, you can get a lot from it. Think about how you can maybe even further increase the impact. I. I often see that people create something new and then they’ve delivered it and then it’s done and then they get into the next one.

[00:04:37] Typically, for example, you submit a paper, maybe a methodological paper, and then you have submitted it. Celebration. Great. Job done. Get on to the next one.

[00:04:51] The publication of a paper is just the first step, only one of the [00:05:00] many steps of achieving something in terms of driving change. With this paper, you have just presented maybe a new approach, maybe you have presented some new insights, some learnings. Now it’s also about promoting this paper, speaking about the paper, giving presentations about this paper getting onto my podcast about this paper, all these kind of different things, so that you can maximize the impact.

[00:05:32] The impact that you have with all the work that you have done. Another example, you have given a training within your group about a new guideline. Why not give this training to other groups as well? Why not give this training to outside of your organization? Why not give it to outside of your company?

[00:05:56] You can increase the impact [00:06:00] by just speaking more about things. By repeating things. By training others to do the same. Yeah, train the trains, yeah. Train the trainer approach. There’s so many different things that you can do to improve the impact. Think about this. Instead of doing something new again and again and again, think about how you can maximize the impact of what you already have.

[00:06:31] I see it at associations all the time. There is a new webinar about something. And then there’s a new training course about something. And these things are being done once, twice. Maximum three times. Why? Now you have trained maybe 10 people, 50 people, 100 people. Do you really think that these are all the people that need to know about it?

[00:06:59] If [00:07:00] you have given a presentation, do you think you have reached everybody there? For sure not. I see that, you know, great presenters present their key deliverables, their keynotes, again and again and again and again.

[00:07:18] The bad thing that can happen is that they get better at it. More and more. And maybe sometimes people hear it a second time or a third time. Repetition is also something that is not necessarily bad. In this podcast I probably talked about a couple of key concepts. Several times. If you have over 300 episodes, I’ve talked about a couple of concepts surely more than once.

[00:07:50] Is that a problem? No, it’s not. First, not everybody will listen to all the episodes. Actually, [00:08:00] only very few people do. Second, every time you hear about something, you will very often get a new perspective of something. Or maybe you will be reminded of something. When I give presentation trainings, well, of course, certain concepts are not completely new.

[00:08:22] Things like. Think about your audience. Think about what is the key thing that you want to move your audience to. Think about how do you best start, how do you best end. Certain technical things like having the rule of three so that you have always Three case studies, three examples, three takeaways, whatsoever.

[00:08:48] These are not completely new concepts. For sure not. Still, they help. And it is helpful to repeat them. And [00:09:00] to think about them again and again and again. Just because you once did a great presentation training doesn’t make you a great presenter. You can do this. This kind of presentation trainings again and again and again, get more feedback, think about something new, try out something different improve on these kinds of different things.

[00:09:23] So let’s get back. You have a scatterplot where you put all the different projects and you rate them in terms of the effort. And in terms of the impact. Now, what do you do with these projects that have a lot of effort but very little impact? Or where there’s just kind of the ratio doesn’t look to be right?

[00:09:52] For these projects, think about three steps. The first is

[00:09:59] Adjust [00:10:00] your expectation. What do you want to really get out of these projects? Is it realistic? Can you really make a completely broken team work? Is it worth it? Do you really want to throw more time, energy, that you could spend for other much more helpful and impactful projects into these bad projects, into these dysfunctional teams?

[00:10:31] Or do you want to limit your spendings, your costs, in terms of your time and energy for these projects and say, well, I just want to, let’s say, manage them. I say, whenever there’s some kind of priority clash, they get pushed out all the timelines, you’re working on them, push them out. If you can find somewhere else to work on this.[00:11:00]

[00:11:00] delegated if they don’t ask for anything, don’t work on it, all these kind of different things. Yeah. Make sure that you prioritize those projects where you can really make a difference and where your effort pays off. Now, the second thing is talk to your supervisor. Your supervisor might not know about.

[00:11:28] Which projects work really well, which projects are very successful, which projects are very promising, and which are the projects that, well, it’s like riding a dead horse, like we say in Germany, yeah? It’s just a waste of time and energy. Have a discussion with that with your supervisor and reset the expectations there.

[00:11:56] And then the last thing is [00:12:00] Learn from these broken projects. What are the things that led to these dysfunctional teams? What happened that nothing is really working? And what can you take from it that You can improve for other things in the future and that you can, maybe mistakes you can avoid next time.

[00:12:26] What did you personally do that created these kind of dysfunctional projects? Or what did other people do? That creates these kind of dysfunctional projects. Think about it and learn from it. So, three steps. Adjust your expectations. Talk to your supervisor and communicate expectations. And third, learn from that.

[00:12:52] And so, getting back to the start. Yeah? It is really important that [00:13:00] you create impact. Nobody cares about all the things that you do. What people care about is

[00:13:11] And impact is measured in terms of Achieving goals that matter to you, to your organization, to your company. And of course, you need to be clear about this. Yeah, I talked about this in previous episodes. So, have fun with this small exercise of ranking all your projects in terms of effort, And in terms of impact,

[00:13:39] and by the way, there’s one thing that I want to mention. We have the effective statistician conference coming up. And in this conference, you will see a lot of amazing speakers. Why is he amazing? Because they have That [00:14:00] will have a lot of impact on our industry. They actually prioritize and focus on things that really make a change.

[00:14:10] For example, we have Andy Greaves there, who is an outstanding presenter. A very, very knowledgeable statistician and has impacted the industry for over 30 decades. Watch out for that. Or we have Chrissy Fletcher. She is a executive statistician from GSK and has helped shape, for example, the ICHE 9 guideline.

[00:14:39] We have people like Anders, who will talk about the Nordic registries, and if you don’t know about them, then, well, you really have a gap in terms of your world evidence knowledge. We will have Kaspar Rufibach. He will talk this time about a technical talk [00:15:00] topic, and he is not only a Very, very good technical statistician, kind of he’s a, he’s kind of an academic at a pharma company.

[00:15:09] That’s how he calls himself, but also really, really good presenter. We will have Anja Schiel. I’m super happy to have her. She is probably one of the most influential statisticians in terms of European HTA. And she will talk about this topic. So the conference and the live attendance is free. Register for that. That will really help you to learn from others, to really make a change.

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