Productivity Booster

Compliance by Design

While doing some product marketing research about 3 years ago I came across the idea of compliance by design. Instead of creating tasks for your users as part of your product (fill out the activity report at the end of the week) you build the product or process so that there’s no way the user can avoid it. In the activity report example a solution would be sending out all assignments via and then you could monitor and report on activities without the user having to do anything beyond the job itself.

This can be even more useful in products, having parts that only fit together in the correct configuration, making it impossible to assemble incorrectly. Superior design means no errors during assembly, no expense from failure due to improperly assembled products, and no support costs during assembly or during use of an improperly assembled product.

Daily Life

Digging Out

Today I finally had a chance to look at the big picture. For regular readers, the last time I did a progress check was the end of Q3. Unfortunately, I’ve been in a “Just survive the day” mode since then. Q4 was a tough time for the family, Q1 was the start of a new job and packing the house and putting it on the market so we could sell and move in Q2. Of course this will be short lived with the lovely Carin about 1 month from her due date now, but at least there are a few minutes to catch my breath and look back at the past 3 quarters, and see if we can’t at least see where we are on the big map.

For new readers, I break down the year on four fronts – Family, Personal, Professional and Financial. On the family front we’re moving along and although we’re still dealing with some grief and illness, things are doing well. Professionally I have been incredibly fortunate, over the past 6 years I’ve worked with fantastic people and been able to move up to higher profile projects. My first book, B2B Marketing Confessions, is completed and being formatted for release and I’m very excited about that. Financially, the home sale went very well, so what used to be a boat anchor has now jumpstarted the woefully underfunded college fund.

Strangely, the only gap I have is on the personal front. Last year I had 3 goals: lose some weight, get some running coaching, and see some live music. I lost about half the weight I wanted to and have kept it off so that wasn’t all bad. In running my switch to mid-foot strike has truly been life changing and fantastic. For music I had an 80’s revival and saw Peter Gabriel and Def Leppard, shows I never had a chance to see. With this year having been so┬áberserk, I haven’t done anything on this front. I’m kind of avoiding running right now, about a month ago I got really sick after a run and it’s kind of like the food you eat before you get the flu, you just have no taste for it at all without starting to feel queasy. I got a new camera but spending money is definitely a lame-o goal (in past years I’ve had Photo Camp as a goal, but no chance of that this year).

So what the hell should I do? I’d like to golf a bit since I haven’t played in the past 3 years but that and skiing seem impossible with a newborn on the way. There are clay tennis courts here, I should get motivated and see what goes on up there. The Cape Cod Marathon relay was pretty cool last year in spite of the logistical hassle of team management and a hurricane. I’m not really into these “runs through a lot of mud while setting your ass on fire” races that are all the rage. What’s a fun personal goal to have?