How to Rescue Failing Software Projects: Practical Proven Methods That Work

IMG_1712 My book is finally available as an eBook, on Amazon Kindle and on Amazon. I wrote this book to share my experience in how to rescue failing software projects. When I was going through such a situation, I had no one to turn to. My hope is that the information in this book will be useful to those in similar situations. Although the information in the book pertains to software projects, I have come to realize that the techniques can be used in many other situations. I have personally used these techniques in business and technical projects.

You can read more about it here.
My book can be purchased here at
Amazon Kindle version is available here at

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Goal Setting Tips

Goal Setting is not a new topic. There are lots of books and information about how to set goals. I would like to offer my experience in goal setting and more importantly, how to begin achieving goals.

Let's start from the basics. How do you set goals? Many books advocate the SMART way, which stands for:

1. Specific
2. Measurable
3. Actionable
4. Realistic
5. Time

I agree with this concept. This is the way I use it to set goals.

1. Grab a piece of paper and pen. No, typing into your laptop is not going to work. I have found that writing it down forces you to think hard before writing because you don't want to cancel and make a mess on the paper. With a laptop, hitting the 'delete' button is too easy.

2. At the top of the paper, write you goal. What do you want to achieve and by when. The description of your goal must be specific. For example, writing "I want to be rich" isn't a concrete goal. It has to be specific like "I want to have $1 million in cash in the bank by 31 December 2008". Being specific forces you to think hard about what you want in concrete terms. It also allows you to take action. Vague goals do not have actionable activities that bring you closer to it. Be bold about your goal. Don't do incremental goals. Think big and bold. I can hear you now. What if I can't achieve it? If you think big and set tough goals, if your goal is important and critical to you, you will find a way. If it is incremental, it doesn't have the excitement and challenge to sustain you.

3. The next line, write down WHY you want this goal. Write down as many reasons as you can. The more this goal is strongly linked to you emotionally, the stronger the passion, the more it will drive you to achieve. The 'WHY' factor is the most critical part of goal setting, but normally given the least amount of thinking because it is more difficult than the other steps. If you cannot find a strong WHY, keep the goal aside until you do. Keep find out reasons why. This also helps to filter out goals that are not in line with you values and beliefs.

4. Next, write down 3 activities that you will do in the next 48 hours. You don't have to have a detailed plan on how to achieve your goals. If you do, that's great. Many of us sometimes do not have all the steps in mind. So, start with the first 3 activities. It may be to register a business, research on internet web providers and their facilities, and create your first web page. It may be to register a company, do detailed research on a product you want to sell, search for a shop space. Whatever it may be, list out 3 activities and COMMIT to completing it in 48 hours. The first step is always the most difficult. Forcing yourself to complete the 3 activities in 48 hours creates the momentum. This is called taking massive action.

5. At the end of executing your 3 activities, review and set the next 3 activities. Repeat step 4 again.

While executing the activities, if you find you are on the wrong path or encountering difficulties, take stock and ask yourself if the action taken is correct. Are there alternatives? Learn from it, set another 3 action items and take action. You will not always succeed in all the activities, but each activity tells you what is going right and what is not. Use this feedback to adjust your path of action to achieving your goals.

What kinds of goals should you set? You should have the following goals:
1. Personal (health, self improvement)
2. Family
3. Wealth
4. Career
5. Spiritual

Start with just one goal and take action. Until you get into the momentum of things, then set another goal. Do not get overwhelmed. Take it one step at a time.

And remember, enjoy your journey. As stated in my previous posts, it is the journey to achieving your goals that provides the greatest insights and learnings. It is through these learnings (whether success or failure in an action) that you become a more confident and effective person at setting goals and achieving them.

Enjoy your journey.

Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006.
All Rights Reserved

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