When Maria Matarelli and Peter Stevens started to collaborate on Personal Agility, they did market research to find out what people wanted from a better way of organizing work. Especially from companies, they heard “Perform with Precision,” that is, people need to get done what they are supposed to do when they are supposed to do it. Today’s case examines how The Personal Agility System fulfills that promise.
“The first customer call ruins your plan for the day!”
— Larry Pakieser
Larry Pakieser has been an Independent Contractor based in Denver, Colorado since 2016. Prior to that, he worked over 40 years in commercial service companies, focused on operations. Everything from commercial services and fire system installation to IT Services.
“My current problem is getting things done, and getting them done on time whether for personal, professional or client projects. All my previous attempts were based on managing time. The nature of the services business: you come into the office and the first customer call ruins your plan for the day. As a service provider, you are focused on what matters to other people, not on what matters to you.”
“I don’t like unfinished work. Most of my projects were not finishing or not finished on time. I wanted a system that is simple and robust in guiding me to delivering results ≥ 90% on-time. I wanted to select clients with projects that align to my “what really matters” and with clients who hold values that are compatible with mine.”
“I’m in the 75-100% range for timely completions over the last 4 weeks. That’s up from my 2020 First Quarter average of only 24% completion. I’ve already walked away from one potential client because there was no clarity and a huge values mismatch.”
“Equally important, I’ve turned the page and opened up a whole new way to manage myself towards what really matters for me. I have applied various time management techniques since 1993. I’ve tried them all and I have a slew of documents to show how intense and clever I’ve been about trying to get a system in place. Not one of those efforts turned out to be sustainable.”
“Since engaging PAS, I have an emerging management system that is better than anything I have encountered. The big difference is I used to manage time, whereas now I manage my work. I can decide which tasks to do now, which to do later, and which not to do at all. With PAS, I am producing completed results at an unprecedented rate and I’m having fun.”
“I started out using the PAS Stakeholder Interview Canvas to qualify projects by talking to the project sponsor and evaluating their clarity. I quickly realized that using the canvas allowed me to go very deep, very quickly—to the point where I could sense their clarity and conviction the more they talked. It allows me to just guide the conversation.”
“The PAS Stakeholder Interview Canvas is adaptable to individuals and their personal or professional initiatives. The magic comes from getting people to think deeply about their challenges. Looking at the transcripts, I can see interconnections that the customer is not aware of.”
“What Really Matters is simply brilliant. It is simple and robust. I get instant clarity when I ask myself the question: If this activity doesn’t add to what really matters for this day, week or month—why am I doing it?”
Excerpted from Personal Agility, by Peter Stevens and Maria Matarelli.