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Making It All Work Question-Projects

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  • Making It All Work Question-Projects

    Page 144 mentions that the vast majority of project actions do not have to be done on a specific day. It also mentions that it does not mean that they don't involve some sort of time sensitivity and to work from the next-action lists whenever calendar has discretionary time. There is a part of me that is not trusting the system. I'm concerned that the lead time necessary to complete projects could fall through the cracks.

    Let's say that you have 85 projects. For the sake of this discussion, let's say 25 of those projects need to be completed by a specific date. There may be multiple steps/actions for each of these projects. In some cases you might have a project plan with dates and in other cases you may not have a full blown plan with dates yet.

    How do you ensure that you will achieve the end project date? How do you know that there will be sufficient time for all the action steps to result in reaching the end target date on time? How do you know if you need to re-negotiate the deadline with yourself or your boss or if you can move it to someday/maybe? How do you know you don't have too many project action steps ready to collide?

  • #2
    Two Words...

    Weekly Review

    Do it. Love it. Trust it. It will be your best friend and best safety net with Projects. Trust David Allen on this one--it's the critical success factor of GTD and will give you the best insurance policy you could ask for to trust you'll achieve the end date and next actions won't collide.

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    • #3
      At a higher level you can manage your project timelines with Microsoft Project or even Excel. These software are used to track project phases not next actions. Review this each week as part of your weekly review. Also you can put guideline dates on your task - I write a date in the description field of my task of when I would ideally like it done by, and I know it's not a deadline, and doesn't go on my calendar, but if I see I'm well past it I know to review the project plan again to make sure its on track or needs adjusting.

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      • #4
        "Specific date" = "yesterday".

        Originally posted by debbieg View Post
        Let's say that you have 85 projects. For the sake of this discussion, let's say 25 of those projects need to be completed by a specific date.
        We can also assume that the "specific date" for these projects is "yesterday" which is common in many non-GTD environments.

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        • #5
          For longer projects I like to set milestones and give those a due date, so that I know things are running to schedule.

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          • #6
            Sequencing projects

            I have touched upon this topic in previous posts. I too, as I am sure many others, have to be careful with managing many major projects and tracking where they are and what needs more focus, etc. The weekly review is so important -- enough said about that.

            One thing I do is to sequence my projects with start dates and completion dates for almost all of them. So I will have a number of projects that are inactive because the start date is not here yet. One has to be careful with focus and not try to move too many projects forward at the same time.

            What do others think?

            -Longstreet

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            • #7
              Originally posted by debbieg View Post
              How do you ensure that you will achieve the end project date? How do you know that there will be sufficient time for all the action steps to result in reaching the end target date on time? How do you know if you need to re-negotiate the deadline with yourself or your boss or if you can move it to someday/maybe? How do you know you don't have too many project action steps ready to collide?
              Review, Review, Review. If a weekly review is not giving you enough data start doing one twice a week or even daily for a while until you are comfortable with your actions and process.

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