Project Manager Wanted

I wish my language learning process had a project manager.  Haha.

OK, maybe Rob Julien, my teacher at Korean Digital Academy, has taken on that role. ㅋㅋ

I have seen amazing things happen in companies I have worked for when a smart computer programmer takes lead of a project.  A facilitated Joint Application Design session where the users and the programmers get together to gather user requirements and design the business process can immensely improve how business is done.

I watched a JAD session at a large insurance company.  The IT department was burdened supporting hundreds of legacy programs and printing thousands of pages of reports. Every person insisted they HAD to keep their report.  No department wanted to give up the computer programs they were using.  No one wanted change.

All the department heads were gathered in one room, and told to name all the programs they used in a year.  These were written on white boards around the room.  Then the department heads were told, if a program wasn’t on this list, it would no longer be supported.  “If you didn’t remember the program, it can’t be that important!”

The net result of this one day meeting was a drastic reduction in computer programs and reports printed, which saved the insurance company millions of dollars.  Moreover, it freed up time so the programmers could do new development.  It was a thing of beauty to behold.  It changed the direction of a room full of people who were use to things the way they were and built the political support to implement that change.

I am trying to learn how to learn.  I do not have a well defined process.  I have a huge collection of different language tools I have learned about in the past 9 months, all stored away in my blog pages and my bookshelves.  I have dabbled with many, and I am hesitant to give any of them up.  I am like the insurance company with too many computer programs to support.  I am not focusing my efforts and using only the minimal tools and processes necessary to learn.

If I were to hold a Joint Application Design session on my language learning, I would end up with walls covered with post it notes about all the different language learning resources.

Which ones are important?  Which ones should I keep?

I need to

  • Set clear defined, well understood and obtainable goals or objectives
  • Graph/define my process, refine, and replicate
  • Review the results
  • Commit to a plan
  • Measure and document what I do
  • Appreciate my accomplishments

Rob is a voice in my head, chastising me when I stray from his plan for my language learning.  Haha.  In reality, he is amazingly supportive and has gone above and beyond to help his struggling language student.  I really appreciate all he has done.

As a self-learner, I have to be my own project leader.  To think through the process is hard work.  To create routines and habits is not easy.


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