The project I decided to take on for this month is about how I created a custom order spreadsheet that cut labor in half in my previous job at Starbucks and how I can apply the same principles to save time in any company.
After much thought which project would I take on to show my value, this week I started officially working on it. I can divide this week’s work in two parts.
On Sunday night, an hour before the deadline, I decided to take on this project. Because this project has to do with my previous job, the first step was to contact my former manager, Kiyomi, who is the only person who I know has access to the spreadsheets I need to start my project. Or so I thought.
First thing next morning I called Kiyomi to her store but she was currently busy in a meeting. First mini-hiccup in the project. I knew that without that information I had nothing to work with so I made up a ‘Plan B’ and contacted one of my other ex-coworkers, Leslie, that may have access to the spreadsheets. The odds were in my favor, Leslie lets me know she has access to what I am looking for and will be working at night-time so I can pick up it later. Side note: I typically take my time to rake up information but in this case I knew I needed to be aggressive because acquiring this piece of paper was half of my work this week.
After picking up the order spreadsheet that night I come back to find out that my laptop charger stopped working. Without a laptop, at this point, I can only analyze the spreadsheet I had obtained but cannot work on it.
First real hiccup, no laptop for two days. I knew something was bound to happen that would be out of my control. What was in my control was to get a working laptop charger as soon as possible. Again, I had to take an aggressive approach to finding a laptop charger. After many texts to friends and family, on Wednesday night, my brothers fiancee handed me her extra Mac laptop charger. Back to work!
Thursday was the day I slowed down on the project because I had a job interview in the morning. Let the record show, I got the job (hooray!). The rest of the day, I took the time to look up my custom spreadsheet, also known as, the meat and potatoes of this project, so I could compare and contrast it to the spreadsheet I obtained on Monday. Twenty minutes into the search in my two different inboxes where I believed I had saved it there was nothing. I kept looking for it for two more hours and again, nothing.
I did not expect this type of setback because I was very sure I had emailed this file spreadsheet to myself at some point during the last two years. The next day, Friday, I decided to simply replicate the spreadsheet I had created. After all, this custom spreadsheet was born in my brain; it was only a matter of time before I remembered how I actually came up with it.
This week, I learned that there are problems in a project that one can address and fix immediately. There are other setbacks that one may have to depend on others like when I needed that laptop charger that my brother’s fiancee supplied me with. It had nothing to do with the project but it had everything to do. I discovered how important is to have a Plan B when you know an issue may arise and that improvising is a great tool like when I asked my other co-worker if she had access to the spreadsheet I needed.
This coming week I will have finished my custom spreadsheet. Also, I will be addressing the internal questions of this project such as:
Why is my project relevant to any company?
Can I make this project more interesting? How?
Tune in next week to find out how this all keeps unraveling.