Rework Book: Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson – Part 3. Damage control

See the previous Parts 1. Progress and 2. Evolution

Here we continue to share the alternative summary of “Rework” with the extra time management tips. This review was written by Andrei Backlinau (who kindly allowed us to share it 🙂

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson is not a typical book with boring and trivial advice.The large audience of readers who have read the book, admits that Rework shows what you really need to get success in business. The main idea of the book is “to stop talking and start working”.

So let’s dive into details…

GanttPRO review of Rework for project managers

Clean damages

Own your bad news

When something goes wrong, someone is going to tell the story. You will be better off if it’s you. Otherwise, you create an opportunity for rumors, hearsay, and false information to spread.

Tell your customers about what has happened, even if they do not know anything about it. You will deserve more respect if present yourselves as honest and open in the crisis.

Rework book: tips for project managers GanttPRO review

Just a few tips on how to tell about what happened:

  • A message must come from the leadership.
  • Spread the message as widely as possible.
  • “No comment” is not a solution.
  • Say sorry as an ordinary person and explain in details what happened.

Speed changes everything

“Your call is very important to us. We appreciate your patience. The average hold time right now is sixteen minutes.”

These are the basic time management skills tips for young specialists.

Stop lie!

Perhaps the most important element in customer service is the ability to contact the company quickly. It shows exactly how you manage your time and what strategies for managing time do you have.

Customers get used to slow and formulaic answers so you can attract them by quickly and carefully answering their questions and showing that you are listening to them.

How to say you’re sorry

One of the worst ways is the non-apology apology, which sounds like an apology but doesn’t really accept any blame.

The principle №1 we must remember when apologizing: How would you react to such an apology if you were the injured side?

Would you believe these words?

Rework bookk by J.Fried GanntPRO review

Put everyone on the front lines

In the restaurant business, there’s a world of difference between working in the kitchen and dealing with customers. Cooking schools and smart restaurateurs know it’s important for both sides to understand and empathize with each other. That’s why they often have chefs work out front as waiters for a stretch. That way, the kitchen staff can interact with customers and see what it’s actually like on the front lines.

Many companies have a similar front-of-house/back-of-house split. The people who make the product work in the “kitchen” while support handles the customers.

“The longer the chain of intermediaries between customers and employees, the more likely that the path of customer message will be distorted or lost. It’s like a children’s game “a broken telephone.”

Each member of your team should be able to communicate with customers. Not every day, but at least a few times a year. This is the only way for employees to feel pain and frustration that your customers may feel.

“Nobody should avoid criticism. This is the only thing that motivates people to seek a solution.”

In Zapier every employee spends several hours in a support service. Maybe that’s why the hundreds of thousands of customers use their products?


You don’t create a culture

You do not create culture. It comes with time. Culture is a byproduct of a certain behavior.

If you inspire people to share ideas, experiences and give them the right to share, then it will become a part of your culture. If you reward the trust, then trust will be an integral part of it. If you have a good attitude to your customers, this care will become your culture.

“Culture is action, not words”.

Decisions are temporary

It is not necessary to solve the problems, which you do not have yet. The most of the things you are worried about will never happen.

Moreover, the decisions you’ve made today will not work forever. If circumstances are changed, the decisions will also be changed. All solutions are temporary.

It is a stupid idea to worry about how your company will be scaled to the audience from 5 to 5 000 (or from 100 thousand to 100 million people).

It’s needless to invent extra challenges and obstacles. Improve conditions for the current job, and think about the future later.

“Take care of a current moment and think how to improve your time management skills. And take care of the future, when it comes. Otherwise, you will spend energy, time and money by staying focused on tasks that will never stand in front of you.”

They are not 13

A leadership style, when every action requires approval, generates a culture without thinking.

Send people home at 5

It is not a good idea o  project and time management to fill the office with guys who like to work until the night. This is just an attempt to justify a heinous execution of the quality.

“The matter is not in the hours, spent at work but in the productivity of these hours.”

There is a proverb: “If you want something done, ask the busiest person you know.”

Suggest your colleagues some helpful tips on how to manage time.

You need busy people.

Be yourself

What is it with business people trying to sound big? The stiff language, the formal announcements, the artificial friendliness, the legalese, etc. You read this stuff and it sounds like a robot wrote it. These companies talk at you, not to you.

This mask of professionalism is a joke. We all know this. Yet small companies still try to emulate it. They think sounding big makes them appear bigger and more “professional.” But it really just makes them sound ridiculous. Moreover, you sacrifice one of a small company’s greatest assets: the ability to communicate simply and directly, without running every word through a legal department sieve.

“Honest positioning is a smart way of doing business.”

Who said that your writing style should be official? Who said you have to give up your individuality when writing on paper?

Forget about these rules. Communicate! Be yourself!


Inspiration is not forever

If you have a desire to do something, you need to start it immediately.

If inspiration comes to you on Friday, lose your days off and fully immerse yourself in the project. Being inspired, you will do more in 24 hours than in a couple of weeks. After all, there is a lot of time and task management software that can help you.

Inspiration is a multiplier of productivity. But it will not wait for you. It is momentary. If inspiration came to you, grab it and work.

P.S. It was the best book about the business I have ever read!

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