Cool PCEO Feedback

Cool PCEO Feedback

I’ve come across some neat uses of the Printable CEO from around the Web.

Bar Charts and Means

On But She’s a Girl, the author graphed her past few weeks of data to see if she could spot any trends. She noticed with some surprise that the days she thought were productive were actually not compared to other days, as measured by her custom list of goals.

One of the commenters on BSAG noted that he’d hate to have the PCEO applied to him; indeed, that’s a scary thought. On the other hand, it might be the basis of an interesting work contract: management would be forced to come up with a clear, succinct list of what work is considered productive, and it would be written down. A MadLibs approach might be useful for establishing such a list:

  • Choose a NOUN that represents something valuable to your department!
  • Choose an ADJECTIVE that emphasizes that valuable NOUN!
  • Choose an ACTION that can be productively applied with the NOUN! If you can’t think of one, start over!
  • Does is GROW, or merely SUSTAIN your department? If neither, then start again!
  • Does it require a lot of EFFORT, or does it happen NATURALLY? If it takes more than 3 days to do, start over!
  • Is it worth CELEBRATING with at most one bottle of good beer? If it is worth more, start over with something smaller!

The Desktop CEO

Reader Nick got back to me with some field-reports on his use of the PCEO. He actually stopped using the form after about two weeks, but created desktop wallpaper with the point values on them. He says that it’s led directly toward landing three new jobs…very cool, and awesome use of desktop wallpaper for productivity.

This is cool also because the PCEO originally was a poster; I just wanted to fill up the page with something else, and thought bubbles might be neat. The combination of the succinct list AND the tracking appears to be the real draw, which may be why the new Task Tracker sheet isn’t really lighting my fire yet, even with the additional explosions.

Maybe I should re-think that whole mug idea!

The Drawable CEO

On Sodaware, Phil Newton writes about his incorporation of the PCEO into his progress log. What’s especially cool is that he draws out the form every week! Now, that’s hardcore! Awesome!

I like the format he uses, as it combines not only goals but also provides a place for assessment, like “What Went Wrong” and “What Went Right”. That kind of reflection is important. He also mentions something about a “b-tracker”, from a book called The Power of Focus. I’m looking forward to reading more about that on his blog. Update: Part II just posted today!


  1. Phil 19 years ago

    Glad you like what I’ve done with it! It’s making a real difference so far, and it’s always satisfying to tally up my points at the end of the day.

    I like the recent task tracker, which may find its way into my system once I learn how to draw decent explosions.



  2. Dave 19 years ago

    It looks like a great system. Do you draw it the same every time? It must be pretty cool to review the sheets over a period of time!

  3. Phil 19 years ago

    I tend to draw several weeks worth in one go, but you can still see how I’ve changed my strategies over time. The current layout is quite different from the initial design.

    For example, I used to have a box on my lower tracker where I’d give myself a rating out of 10 for the day. I didn’t really like that so it’s gradually been removed. The same with my goals list. It used to be 3 goals per day, but it didn’t really work so now it’s 3 goals per week, which seems to work much better.

  4. bsag 19 years ago

    I’m very attracted to the idea of the ‘good bottle of beer’ as a kind of unit of productive work – it could even become a kind of SI unit of productive work, like the Joule or Calorie. Enforcing this as a reward would be even better!

  5. Dave 19 years ago


    That’s a great idea! Really makes productivity tangible.  One of us should volunteer to “host” the reference unit, or at least arrange to have a ready supply of them available :-)

    The beer question was designed to uncover 10 point tasks on my scale—I guess you could drink your points every day, and then use the end-of-week tally to determine some kind of SUPER reward.