I often reflect on the errors I make as a parent. And believe me they are costly.
I’ve been a parent for a while and understand that parenting is much more complex and critical than any type of management; however, mothers (and fathers) are often in frantic search for more answers.
This is how I found that I can get great ROI on some project management and governance concepts.
1-Governance and Accountability
First and foremost, I believe that the concept of governance is oh..so important for all aspects of life. People grapple with the concept, but I think that having and abiding by a decision-making and accountability framework pretty much sums it up.
For instance, you and your spouse need to make it clear to each other and to the children who is to decide what. By doing so, you will be more likely stop the “but I asked dad, and he said yes” syndrome at home, as well as avoid domestic arguments over permissions that were granted or not.
Proper accountability in chores distribution is crucial in most homes. Sit as a family; work on a “chores breakdown structure”, and then highlight who will be hunted down for not performing a specific task. An “if this is not done when I come home…” yelled at the last minute will simply not do the job.
When anything is the matter at home, it is sometimes easy to overlook who else is involved and is likely to impact or be impacted by your family affairs. For instance, a friend or a teacher can be an important party in a crisis. For every family situation, ensure you have identified all stakeholders.
Scenario: You’re planning a family vacation. Are you sure your kids will enjoy the itinerary you have chosen? That’s not to say that you should concede all their demands, but you can probably plan better- for something affordable and enjoyable for everyone- when you have the required information. This will probably save you from dealing with cranky teenagers during your vacation.
So, for the sake of mental peace, never assume you already know what your children need and want. And do not act according to your assumptions. Get the real data and then do your job as a parent.
I’ve heard so many parents say “I never fathomed this could have happened”. If Risk Management is how adults do business, then it should be even more the case when one’s own family is at stake. Estimating the impact of a crisis or a financial setback at home, and planning responses effectively can save you years of financial and emotional distress.
5- Lessons Learned:
I’m very fond of the concept of Lessons Learned and believe that it is a highly usable concept. The ROI on it is just great.
Scenario: Your toddler throws a tantrum over a new toy. After 20 minutes of incessant crying, you give in and buy the toy. She has just learnt that some drama can get you to give in; next time, she cries for around 25 min. Your “documented” lesson learned should be: Never concede because of the tantrum ; you would just be empowering the fit master. ( and I don’t mean fit as in athletic).
Learning from experience, documenting , and acting consequently can save you a lot of embarrassment, and a lot of headaches.
What other concepts would you apply to parenthood?