Saturday, 15 October 2005

Way out of the jungle? (Long pause)

My project partner and I ran into this problem during our final year. We got ourselves signed up to do a project that sounded fairly simple but later turned out to be a rather complex problem that has algorithm experts racking their brains in search for answers for years. Lucky us.

Assuming that the whole project is simplified into a 5-step process:
  • Milestone A - where we started, obviously
  • Milestone B
  • Milestone C
  • Milestone D
  • Milestone E - the project's goals
In finer details, this was how things actually looked like:
  • Milestone A
  • Milestone B - we have some ideas on what to do here
  • Milestone C - we sort of have some ideas on what to do here
  • Milestone D - we have no idea on what to do here
  • Milestone E - (how on earth are we going to get to here?)

Compass and bridges

We've both actually stumbled upon a common obstacle in the planning phase: the inability to identify and define what is the next step needed to accomplish a goal. Much like being in unfamiliar jungle with no idea of where to head next.

This is most common when we are faced with a task that we are not familiar with. Although the goals are specified beforehand, reaching them is another story altogether.

The important thing to note here is to know where we are suppose to go in terms of accomplishing the goals. An idea of what the goals are serves as a guiding compass.

We may not be sure which path to take, but we can feel confident that we're moving on the right track. We need to stay focus on the goal, visualise it and feel passionate about achieving it. If we can do these things, we're already well on our way to getting ourselves out of the confusion jungle.

Having a sense of direction isn't enough. We still need to get to know and see where we are and what we need to do. This is where figuring out the next suitable course of action is vital. Obstacles in our way to the goals are ravines that need to be crossed, and we know that the there are bridges that can get us across. But can we cross the ravines when we can't see or find the bridges?

Finding and crossing the bridges is a matter of understanding what we should do and actually doing it. If we have no idea on how to proceed with an unfamiliar task, we need to consult people who are experienced or perform our own research. But before that, the compass must be readable and working properly. In order to ask people or start researching, we need to know what to ask first. This could save us from being distracted with other things or feeling frustrated with unsatisfactory findings or feedbacks.

With compass in hand and bridges in sight, we should now be able to find our way out of the jungle. And with that too, I wish all the best in your life, work and other endeavours.


IeNa said...

Hehe, i found this very funny :D

Anonymous said...

I too had trouble when i was doing a project for my unit.
First and the most vital thing is keeping your focus straight. You should identify where and how to achieve your goals.. how to get? by constructing the ideas/ways and the points to get to your destination.
You must know what you really want, basically. A well-written subject.

rol said...

I had an 'Indiana Jones' feeling while I was writing this. Heh.

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