Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Oops . . . User Error -- ResultsManager Cleared

Got a towel so I can wipe the egg off my face?

You know that thing they tell you about emotionally charged email and blog posts -- that you should let them sit a spell before sending or publishing? I've got another to add to that list -- before you diss someone's product in public for all the world to see -- make sure it wasn't your stupidity that caused the problem in the first place.

In this case, mea cupla.

I did something really stupid with my maps. Especially my pro maps. Actually, I've been doing this stupid thing for awhile and it nearly cost me a gig, so it instantly got my attention.

For the record, this was a legacy problem, and not ResultsManager’s fault. It was the consequence of managing personal and professional projects using a hodgepodge of symbols, conventions and protocols since I started mapping several years ago and now ResultsManager has to cope with them.

For the most part it has done so admirably. And it did so in this case as well, by working as it was designed to do.

Here's what happened. I have a auto-drip system (now set-up in ResultsManager) to contact clients and prospective clients every 30, 60, 90 days). And I have "talking points," things I want to make sure and bring up the next time I talk or email them.

But between the time I think of those points and the actual delivery of them, anywhere from 30-90 days can go by.

During that time, I may have discovered new information that would render moot the point, but I want to keep it because it reminds me of other key points.

With me so far?

To remind myself that, while it was an important point to keep, I didn't want to bring it up. So, being a visual guy, I inserted an icon that comes with MindManager to symbolize that.

And nothing says "No!" like that international symbol of "No." You know the one, with the red circle and red line diagonally slashing across the radius? That one?

ResultsManager masters are smacking their foreheads at this point. Because, as Grandpa would say, "This horse is not going in a good direction."

For everyone else, the ResultsManager application reads that symbol as 'don't sweep up the contents of this map, topic, branch, etc.'

In other words, Fuggitaboutit, in Soprano-ese. Which means everything there gets dropped! Which means nothing attached to that topic branch gets swept up and accounted for when I ran a dashboard.

And nothing has been -- since I started using ResultsManager. And a lot of action items and reminders got dropped as a consequence.

Now some of you might be saying (and justifiably so), “That's what you get, Terry. RTFM!”

And they would be correct. Though I did read the manual, that part I seemed to have missed. But it is in there. I screwed up and missed it.

Much apologies to all.

Here's capture of a map that shows where I screwed the metaphorical pooch by using my unconventional conventions. This is a duplication of the topic branch that caused the problems, only the client's name, company and specific action items were changed to protect confidentiality:

Note that since the topic "Hire earwax checker/Vulcan ear cleaner" has the "No" icon in it, then neither it nor it's other action items: "research ear wax checker credentials," "compile list," "interview strongest earwax checker candidate" will get accounted for when I run a dashboard.

Here's what a quickie Daily dashboard looks like. In this case, I just ran the dashboard on the above topic, not on the entire map:

Did you see what's missing? Everything on that branch with the exclusion icon. And the topic that didn't have the icon got sweep up and accounted for.


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