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Area of Focus Vs Project?

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  • Area of Focus Vs Project?

    Hello,

    I'm looking for advice on how to handle the below situation. Any ideas welcomed!

    I am a busy GM for a small organisation and as such have resonsibility for staff and recruitment across a range of areas.

    As we are still a growth company one of my key areas of focus is staff structure and recruitment. I need to revaluate these fairly frequently and then work on any actions such as recruit Project Manager etc.

    My question is where should I track these. Currently I'm running sepearate 'on going' projects for each one with next actions defined in each. such as 'call agengy for suitable candidate info'

    I wonder if it would make more sense to have each one as an area of focus with a check list to review and trigger trigger projects, actions or reminders?

    Any ideas and thoughts most welcome!

    JD

  • #2
    you can make an area of focus under your Work AOF like:

    - HR
    - GM
    - etc

    look at those once a month to get any new ideas or reminders.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by jonnydarko View Post
      Hello,

      I'm looking for advice on how to handle the below situation. Any ideas welcomed!

      I am a busy GM for a small organisation and as such have resonsibility for staff and recruitment across a range of areas.

      As we are still a growth company one of my key areas of focus is staff structure and recruitment. I need to revaluate these fairly frequently and then work on any actions such as recruit Project Manager etc.

      My question is where should I track these. Currently I'm running sepearate 'on going' projects for each one with next actions defined in each. such as 'call agengy for suitable candidate info'

      I wonder if it would make more sense to have each one as an area of focus with a check list to review and trigger trigger projects, actions or reminders?

      Any ideas and thoughts most welcome!

      JD
      Your org chart can be a good trigger list. Particularly if you're in a growth/change mode, you may find that who's doing what does not split up neatly according to a preconceived model, so linking title, person and responsibilities can be key.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by jonnydarko View Post
        I need to revaluate these fairly frequently and then work on any actions such as recruit Project Manager etc.
        I create a recurring reminder for myself in my calendar or tickler file.

        Comment


        • #5
          Complete versus Maintain

          I really like the distinction between a project as something you can mark off as "done" versus an area of focus as something you never "finish" but want to maintain at some standard.

          They both have actionable aspects to them but blending the projects & areas of focus lists can detract from your system.

          I found my system really improved when I made these distinctions better. Listening to the Managing Projects CD audio set also helped me gain perspective on projects versus areas of focus.

          In hindsight my initial GTD system had projects that were really areas of focus that were not up to my own standards but I just didn't recognize it.

          Hope that helps,

          Mark

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mark Jantzen View Post
            I really like the distinction between a project as something you can mark off as "done" versus an area of focus as something you never "finish" but want to maintain at some standard.

            They both have actionable aspects to them but blending the projects & areas of focus lists can detract from your system.
            My problem with that in a strict sense is that in my world nearly everything is something to be maintained. If I followed the rule of only things that are done forever being projects and the rest are AOFs I'd have 200+ areas of focus and only 1 or 2 projects. That is unworkable for me.

            I much prefer things to be blended with large numbers of those maintenance type items grouped into a smaller number of areas of focus.

            On farms nothing is ever really done and finished. It's always going to happen again on some sort of schedule. It might be hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades or lifetimes before it becomes time to do it again but you can never really "finish" when you run a farm. All I can ever do is mark of this particular instance of the item as done. And for some items if I do it properly I won't have to do it again during my lifetime but that doesn't mean it won't need to be done again. Plus, I may need to leave details of how I did it for the person following me so they have a base from which to do the next iteration.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
              On farms nothing is ever really done and finished. It's always going to happen again on some sort of schedule. It might be hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades or lifetimes before it becomes time to do it again but you can never really "finish" when you run a farm. All I can ever do is mark of this particular instance of the item as done. And for some items if I do it properly I won't have to do it again during my lifetime but that doesn't mean it won't need to be done again. Plus, I may need to leave details of how I did it for the person following me so they have a base from which to do the next iteration.
              You already answered your question. If it is some sort of schedule or just "in two months" - put reminder for yourself in your Tickler File. Once you received the reminder, decide if you really need to do this and if yes - start a project. Once you marked it off as "done" - create a new reminder. If it is some kind of regular schedule - use recurring reminders. Examples of such reminders in my system are:
              - Car diagnostics (once a year)
              - Clean house (once per two weeks)
              - Visit dentist for prophylaxis (every 6 months)
              - Review my goals and areas of focus (every 1 day of a month)
              - Dedicate a day for non-important stuff (once per month)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by programmistus View Post
                If it is some sort of schedule or just "in two months" - put reminder for yourself in your Tickler File.
                That is basically what I do but I keep the data in my Omnifocus system not the paper tickler. I have repeating actions that fire off as needed.

                I just wanted to respond to Mark's comment that only things that are complete are really projects and all maintain items are really areas of focus. It may or may not work if you are strict about the definition of done. If you count as done finishing one iteration of an ongoing task like I do then it all works.

                One of the big benefits of the GTD system is you can fine tune it for your own life and work and still get the benefits of the next action mindset.

                Comment


                • #9
                  AoF vs Project

                  Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
                  My problem with that in a strict sense is that in my world nearly everything is something to be maintained. If I followed the rule of only things that are done forever being projects and the rest are AOFs I'd have 200+ areas of focus and only 1 or 2 projects. That is unworkable for me.
                  Similar for me.
                  So what do you do?
                  Do you create 200 actual projects and mark them off and recreate them?
                  I´m asking especially for those with not too sharp due-dates.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I use Recurring Projects

                    Originally posted by Tom.9 View Post
                    So what do you do?
                    Do you create 200 actual projects and mark them off and recreate them?
                    Yes exactly. I have recurring projects. Details over in the thread here:
                    http://www.davidco.com/forum/showthr...ication-Needed

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jonnydarko View Post
                      one of my key areas of focus is staff structure and recruitment. I need to revaluate these fairly frequently and then work on any actions such as recruit Project Manager etc.

                      My question is where should I track these. Currently I'm running sepearate 'on going' projects for each one with next actions defined in each. such as 'call agengy for suitable candidate info'
                      I think you've defined it perfectly:
                      AOF - staff structure and recruitment
                      Project - recruit project manager
                      NA - call agency

                      I would leave it as you have done. BTW as a general manager and therefore responsible for higher levels, you are going to want to review AOF much more frequently than the average GTDer. You might want to consider a fortnightly/monthly AOF review as well as the weekly review, and feel free to keep an AOF support folder, checklists, potential project ideas etc.

                      Comment

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