Among the things that I am working on, is this:
Improve your Process
This is any process. Getting out of bed, Multi-million dollar system migrations, Service Deliveries, whatever. So that's it. Do you need help - yes.
I can't say that it is the answer but a start would be to read The Goal. If you are reading this, then you are probably subject to Project Management and as such will want to read Critical Chain. To get a primer on Critical Chain, I would recommend that you listen to this episode of this podcast. It will help give a little more sense to the book.
Certification, FISMA, 800-series guidance. It is all process. Gassing up your car - process. We live our lives in processes. So just think of how much better it would be if our processes improved.
I spent 2 years in a process engineering group, for the most part I can't say that we did a whole lot. But I will say that we tried. New tools, the same bad process. Thus - the same failures. When I mentioned this to the director, I got the ole' "this company doesn't want to change" line. More to the point "these people don't want to change". So perhaps if you are in a position of authority, you should use it. If not, then it is time to become the squeaky wheel.
Obviously, the authority figures should recognize that they should not fear change because it will generally lead to better things. If properly communicated, I am sure anything can sound awesome. Anyone not willing to adapt to small changes in the way they conduct themselves, is not necessarily an asset to your group.
The squeaky wheels will have a more difficult time. The approach that I currently employing, is a grassroots effort of our group to implement some process improvements. Writing code, lunch and learns, random bitching, sample process improvements, etc. 18 wheels of squeak? That would be loud.
I am not much on preaching inspiration, but I think process improvement is important. Besides your the one who has read this far.
So, for 2008 Improve Your Process and Happy New Year!
PS - Seth Godin has some good ideas too, not directly related to Process Improvement. But inspiration for this post nonetheless.