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Project and NA: please check

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  • Project and NA: please check

    One of my subordinates gave an idea of opening a new division - tech support division. I created a project to 'Evaluate necessity of tech support division setup'. My next action is to 'Think whom to delegate the project'. Did I put it right in terms of GTD?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Fritz58 View Post
    One of my subordinates gave an idea of opening a new division - tech support division. I created a project to 'Evaluate necessity of tech support division setup'. My next action is to 'Think whom to delegate the project'. Did I put it right in terms of GTD?
    Seems reasonable. What do you think? Does your next action have a context?

    Comment


    • #3
      No support to Project delegation in GTD.

      Originally posted by Fritz58 View Post
      One of my subordinates gave an idea of opening a new division - tech support division. I created a project to 'Evaluate necessity of tech support division setup'. My next action is to 'Think whom to delegate the project'. Did I put it right in terms of GTD?
      I like it - in terms of business management. But in terms of GTD there is no support for Project delegation - there's only the Waiting For list.

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      • #4
        Assume that THINK deserves it's own context. You need to be alone or at least within people who won't stop your thoughts. As for delegation: any work around from guru-GTDers?

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        • #5
          "Think" is not a physical action, so I would say no. Also, I don't think you should delegate the thinking about something this important; I think probably you should do it yourself. (Or delegate it upwards in the hierarchy, to your supervisor; or ask others for opinions then make the decision yourself. For example, send an email to all people involved asking them to send you comments, if they want, about whether or not to create the new division.) For thinking tasks: I think it's GTD to put an action, like "draw a mind-map to help with thinking about this" or "write a list of pros and cons" or even "go for a walk in order to think about this": those are physical actions. "Think" is a good thing to do but is not a NA in GTD as I understand it because it is not a physical action. Usually you do the thinking during processing, before writing NAs.

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          • #6
            I would start by defining the wildly successful outcome of starting up a tech support division. A brainstorming session might be useful after that to define the scope of the project. Once you have done that, the next action will probably suggest itself to you. If not, you could fall back on "Draw up a shortlist of people to delegate the project to."

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            • #7
              Not sure I agree . . .

              Originally posted by cwoodgold View Post
              "Think" is not a physical action, so I would say no. Also, I don't think you should delegate the thinking about something this important; I think probably you should do it yourself. (Or delegate it upwards in the hierarchy, to your supervisor; or ask others for opinions then make the decision yourself. For example, send an email to all people involved asking them to send you comments, if they want, about whether or not to create the new division.) For thinking tasks: I think it's GTD to put an action, like "draw a mind-map to help with thinking about this" or "write a list of pros and cons" or even "go for a walk in order to think about this": those are physical actions. "Think" is a good thing to do but is not a NA in GTD as I understand it because it is not a physical action. Usually you do the thinking during processing, before writing NAs.
              I use a context called "thinking" and I think it's perfectly valid. While in its purest sense, it may not be a "physical action", for me it does presume that I'm in an environment where I can successfully concentrate. There are many, many physical environments in which that can take place (airline flights, driving, in my office, at home, etc) which allows this context to be much more permissive.

              I don't think the OP intended to delegate the thinking; it seems as though HIS next action was to think about who to delegate the entire project to.

              At that point, assuming that the OP expects to get periodic updates on the Project progress, those updates (not the project itself) become a "waiting for".

              My $0.02

              Comment


              • #8
                It depends on the size of the Project.

                Originally posted by Fritz58 View Post
                As for delegation: any work around from guru-GTDers?
                I think it depends on the size of the Project. One-person Project can be effectively delegated and managed using WaitingFor list only. But for bigger Projects you can use two approaches:
                1. Be a Project Manager and use some tool to control dependencies and schedules.
                2. Designate a Project Manager and use a WaitingFor and Agenda lists to manage information exchange with this person.

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                • #9
                  My next action would be to plan the project using the natural planning model. Once you've done that, you should have more definition about what the project is, what skills or personality attributes are required. This then will help with selecting the right person to manage the project.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by johnaohman View Post
                    I use a context called "thinking" and I think it's perfectly valid.
                    Yes, it is, it's perfectly valid. I didn't mean to imply it wasn't. I'm only saying
                    I don't think it's GTD (according to what I remember reading in the books).
                    Maybe almost everyone who uses GTD uses something or other that isn't
                    strictly part of the GTD system.

                    I think the reason David Allen said not to put things like "think" on the next-actions
                    list is that I think most people get bogged down by things like that ... they treat
                    it as "stuff" and tend to skip that item and not want to look at their list.
                    For you, though, "think ..." apparently works well as an item on a next-action list
                    (if thinking can be called an action; not a physical action but still an action?)
                    so there' s no reason at all for you not to do it. In other words: you know what
                    to do when you see "think ..." on your list; you're able to handle that.
                    I don't put things like "decide ..." on my lists, because when I'm reviewing the
                    lists I'm not in the right frame of mind to do something like that.
                    So, I guess I usually force myself to make a decision at the time I'm writing the
                    list in the first place -- which is pretty much what David Allen intends, I think.
                    Although apparently not necessary in your case.

                    I don't think the OP intended to delegate the thinking; it seems as though HIS next action was to think about who to delegate the entire project to.
                    Yes, my mistake. I meant "evaluate", not "think": that is, I recommend not
                    delegating the work of evaluating (which is essentially a form of thinking).
                    Of course, I know extremely little about the whole situation, so my recommendation
                    may not be worth more than was paid for it. And, I'm not sure whether
                    Fritz58 meant delegating the evaluation (as he seems to me to be saying)
                    or something else.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for you inputs, all are helpful. I would create Think context to check if it works for me. And when done I would delegate the project to one of my subordinates and track it on my Waiting list.

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                      • #12
                        It occurs to me that tracking the delegated project will also require the @Agenda context; the chosen subordinate will have to present an outline, which will generate questions, issues to be discussed...

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                        • #13
                          I probably would have phrased it as "spend ten minutes writing down thoughts about who to delegate the project to", but that's effectively "think about" - it's just offering a more specific task description of what thinking about means to me.

                          Edited to add: And it makes it a "check-offable" task. There's no guarantee that I'll come to a decision after a "think about" session; I can assure myself that I will spend the ten minutes, and if I haven't made a decision, I'll just write another task.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Gardener View Post
                            And it makes it a "check-offable" task.
                            Ah, yes, check-off-ability is good. That's why I might consider putting
                            "decide ..." as an action rather than "think ..." -- although I don't tend
                            to do either.

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