Monday, November 28, 2011

Grinding my nose in Assignments

Early this year, the top management told us that this year, 2011, it’s going to be a much less hectic year compared to previous years when we were way above our heads with work trying to implement RMK9 projects. In fact, they told us, it’s going to be quite a relaxing year as there won’t be that many projects implemented under the 10th Malaysia Plan. It’s time to plan for some long term courses and back to basics courses to further increase our knowledge in the field of Project Management.

In the last 4 – 5 years since the 9th Malaysia Plan was launched, we have gone over drive trying to complete projects (did I tell you that I am working in the Goverment but work is like as if I am working in the private sector?) with very little time left to attend courses and seminars. So, this year 2011 would be a good time to start applying for all those courses while we still have time to do so.

And so, that was exactly what I did. I applied to take up a certification program to get myself certified as a Project Manager. It’s a 6 month program starting from July 2011. I wrote about this earlier here in my blog at the start of the program about going back to school.

Initially, we were to complete by January 2012, but due to some delayed start at the organizer’s side, we were given up to March to complete it. I thought that I was given a bonus time and could get it completed by February.

How much more wrong could I be. The minute I applied and got accepted into the program, life at the office front suddenly went into over drive with me having to travel almost weekly, sometimes even having to work on weekends in some months.

After all the travelling for work, and with back to back meetings almost daily at the office, I could hardly find time to sit down and write my paper. I was mentally and physically tired coming home from work every day.

I have 3 papers to write throughout the duration of the program. When others had already gotten past their first paper and already starting on their second paper, I was still struggling to write my first paper. It was clear that I would not be able to get my first paper done while at the office, as the phone calls keep coming in, with people coming in and out of my office to discuss project issues, not to mention the back to back meetings, and all the travelling.

I needed to stay away from the office for a few days, and leave it to my right hand officer to handle things at the office for a while as I try to get started on my paper which is getting to be 2 months overdue. And so, that was exactly what I did. I took 2 days off to kick start my paper. It was the same time that my son was having his year-end exams in school from 31st October to the 3rd November.

I thought I could kill 2 birds with one stone - stay home to work on my paper while he is in school, sitting for his exams, and then, after picking him up from school, supervise him study while I carry on working on my paper.

With the 2 day weekend, plus my 2 days leave, I had four days to get started on my paper. I used it to the fullest, taking breaks in between to do household chores like taking care of the laundry, sorting things out in the kitchen, picking Aiman up from school, getting dinner ready for the family, watch over Aiman doing his revision for his exams, and in between, when my eyes were starting to go bonkers and cross-eyed, I managed to catch some short programs on TV.

A woman can definitely multi-task. Give it to my hubby or any man for that matter; I am almost certain that they could hardly even complete half of what I could do! LOL! *wink*

I think that the 2 day break was worth it, even though calls from the office still came in, but it was very much under control, and I could solve those issues over the phone or via emails. Aaahh! The beauty of technology!

I managed to finish the first draft of my first paper during those 4days. I thought that I could complete the whole paper in about a week, but writing the paper wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Rather, it wasn’t so much writing the paper itself, but it was trying to get the evidence together to prove that what I wrote in the paper was really what I did was tough when not all the evidence I required could be found in the files, as some were required to be acquired from other parties. With the help of one of my staff, I finally managed to get most of them together.

I have spent the whole of this extended weekend, with Monday, 28th November being a public holiday, with yesterday being the first day of the new muslim calendar, or Maal Hijrah, or Awal Muharram, it really helped and gave me the opportunity to dive into my paper until completion, well, almost.

As of today, 28th November, I am now about 95% done on the paper. The other 5% is because I still need to get a few more evidence and information at the office, and I can only do that tomorrow.

I just hope that I can get all of the information ready by tomorrow as Tuesday, 30th November 2011, is the date of my first Assessment. I must say that I am a little, no, make that, very nervous.

I don’t know what to expect, this being the 1st of 3 Assessments which I will have to go through as part of the program requirement. I just hope that everything goes well for me. I hope that it will be a successful Assessment.

Wish me luck!

If all goes well, insyAllah, God willing, after Wednesday, it will be one paper down, 2 more to go!

1 comment:

All things beautiful said...

All the best, Nik. You can do it, & do it well too! :-)