Monday, October 25, 2010

In Praise of Clipboards

I have a very long, very unpleasant spreadsheet I'm just starting to manage in anticipation of some key milestones in the coming months. Even building the darned thing has proven to me that I haven't got the stomach to be a clipboard. I really wanted to just talk out loud at someone with a clipboard, and have them manage it.

For every item on the list, I know there are 3-4 contingencies. Every item is a multi-step, multi-approver process. Every one has a different lead time. Every one has to be meticulously tracked. I've already done a poor job by not explicitly listing each and every step involved. A clipboard would have had it all on a Gantt chart before bedtime, and all the to-do list emails sent out by lunch the next day. I finished a high level list and called it done, for now.

I wish I had a clipboard. Not to do my thinking - I still would have to write reams every week and determine messaging, positioning, and content. I want someone to keep track of everything. Someone to tell me what to do. A handler, if you will, for me and my project.

We're in meetings today in which everyone seems to disparage the role of the clipboard. They want them to be more knowledgeable on the subject matter, and more independent in crafting messages. I actually think a darned fine clipboard could be kept mighty busy just handling the clipboardery alone. I wish I had one on my team. I don't understand why no one realizes how very time consuming, meticulous, and hard their job is - and how diametrically opposed it tends to be to subject matter expertise. These are fundamentally different personality types, let alone skill sets. If we do away with clipboards, we all become clipboards. And most of us, like myself, become bad ones.

Long live the clipboards.


Capt. BS said...

"[something] [something] [something] DARK SIDE [something] [something] [something] COMPLETE."

No, but seriously, folks... I think we may be nearing the day when BaseCamp announces a line of business-clipboard outsourcing services, starting at $19.99/clipboard/month... How craptastically awesome would that be?

Lilac - Like The Flower said...

That would make my life.