Hello and welcome to this month’s blog, covering two things very close to my heart, and very popular in the world at the moment, IT and Fitness.
The two generally don’t go hand in hand so bear with me…
For those who don’t know me personally, I’m an avid fitness fanatic who (when out of the office) enjoys nothing more than a physical challenge and feeling of self-pride when completing a challenging workout. For those who know the “Office me”, know I spend my days on the phone, behind my desk learning the ins and outs of system implementations and how to provide the best consultants.
Below is an informal take on my comparison into both… System implementations and the process of getting yourself fit and healthy.
Choosing a system (Creating a fitness goal)
This is where it all begins, you, the decision maker decides to implement a new system or replace an old system. This, the same as creating a fitness goal, can be the most challenging part. You’ll be faced with so many options, see so many demonstrations and have a number of avenues for you to venture down, each individual one having its own appealing quality.
A huge part of choosing a system comes down to affordability, what works best for the company, what timescales you have, how achievable it will be and have small deliverables/milestones along the way. Exactly the same as somebody who is making their way towards an end goal in their fitness life. OK, there’s a lot more complication and pressure on delivering for a business rather than an individual appearance or weight goal but the principles stay the same.
Choosing a team in-house v Outsource (Willpower v Personal Trainer)
Again, a huge part in the process. Do you chose to work closely with your vendor, trusting them to deliver on their promises and use their wealth of system knowledge to work with you in the best way possible or do you outsource, working with a close knit team that you can pull together in-house or external contractors. The vendor on one side can be quite costly and can conflict with you or your team, whereas the outsourced team could be more cost effective but again give you a similar issue.
This applies to the next stage of your fitness journey… Do you go with the personal trainer, who could potentially help you reach your goal a little quicker with their wealth of knowledge, but on the flip side end up being quite costly… Or do you go with willpower, your in-house team, your own personal knowledge to reach your end goal, ability to stick to timescales and use the resources you have to get the job done.
Implementing and Planning (Buying a diary and sticking to it- Training Days)
This stage of an IT implementation is where you’ve chosen your system, you’ve got your dream team in place and the proverbial ball is well and truly rolling. Your requirements are gathered, you’re working with users, you’ve got the technical team working hard on configurations and you are now fully focussed on delivering the system in small stages. You’ll begin to set mini goals when liaising with stakeholders, having small(er) deliverables that need to be met to keep the project on-track and delivered within budget.
This is where your fitness/training really starts. You’ve bought yourself a diary, set yourself up with training days either by yourself or with a personal trainer and got your diet plan on track. Your deliverables, albeit, won’t be as big and might be tougher to measure but all part of the process to reaching your end goal and keeping you on track. These small goals can be a goal weight, eating a certain amount of fruit per week, running a certain distance or being able to lift a certain weight. The key for both is that they are all measurable and easy to keep track of on a regular basis.
The Complications (Temptations/Diversions)
Every project has them, IT or not… Small (or large) bumps in the road which can stall progress or delay go-live dates, or god forbid send the project over budget. This can be anything from absence of team members, configurations issues, budget holds or general under planning.
In comparison, every fitness goal has a stumbling block along the way, sugar cravings, lie-ins, social events and time (which is my favourite) to name a few. Giving in to these in both aspects can lead in your project (goal) being put back or completely scrapped down to not seeing the results you or your clients wanted.
How you deal with these can/will determine how smooth the project/goal you have runs and effectively how the end goal will turn out when you reach your final date.
Go-Live and stabilisation (Keeping the stability)
The final product, the day everyone has been working towards, and within touching distance of project completion. This is where you and your team have the system go-live to the business and all the hard work has paid off… There may still be a few minor configuration issues, but everything is pretty much good to go. Next is the stabilisation, keeping the system afloat and battling any small issues as and when they come along. Things can still be affected in this stage but most of the hard work has been done.
Put quite simply, I’ll use the same phrase when comparing to a fitness goal, “all the hard work has paid”. You’ve hit your final milestone, lost or gained the weight you wanted, ran the distance you wanted, achieved a certain look or allowed you to compete in a competition.
Now, the same as an IT project you need to keep on top of it, which is arguably the hardest part. Make sure you don’t lose the good work you have done and stay on top of it with potentially a less rigorous routine and make it part of your everyday lifestyle.
To summarise, this is a very light-hearted approach to both an IT implementation and a fitness journey and a comparison of Two things I am passionate about. These principles fall into all forms of goal setting in all different walks of life no matter how big or small.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading.