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Tracking Company Projects

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  • Tracking Company Projects

    I own my own business and we custom design and build electronic drums by hand (RETPercussion.us little plug). There is a lot to keep track of project-wise and I feel like I have a pretty good handle on MY projects right now. I am debating how much of the COMPANY projects I should track, tho. For example, I am tracking the assembly of each drum kit even though I do nothing on the project itself. Everything is a Waiting for to get a status report or parts, etc. Same for projects my partner is doing like designing parts of the web site or having company shirts made. I don't actually DO any of these projects, but I want to keep tabs on them and get a progress report at the next meeting. Should I track these along with MY projects or should I keep a separate list somewhere - if so - where? Anyone else in the same boat?

  • #2
    Very much in the same boat, though more on the employee end. Sometimes I'll want to keep track of the status of a colleague's project because they might ask me to help with a piece of it; or I'll suggest a project to my boss and he'll end up delegating it to someone else b/c I'm too busy with other stuff - but I still want to know how it turns out; or someone else will be testing a trial version of some new software and I want to know how it works out so I can decide whether it's worth it for me to try it out.

    I was going to say I don't know what to do with them either, but as I was typing this out it occurred to me - why not have a list of "not my projects" that I don't need a next action for but can scan during the weekly review to see if I want to drop someone a line to see what the status is. And if one of them does become my project, I'll usually know when it has, and I can move it to active and add a Next Action....

    I'd definitely be interested in other people's solutions too, though!

    Comment


    • #3
      I think it is best to keep things simple:
      -A project is anything that requires more than one action.
      -your projects list is a _list_

      If your friend asks you to keep an eye on his project, then (based on the rule above) you now have a new project:

      "keep eye on my friend's project"

      I would just put it on your list of regular projects (maybe rephrase it a bit first to emphasize what you consider to be the best outcome). Additionally, I might put a reminder in the "waiting" bucket to remind you you are waiting on your friend to complete some parts on it first.

      If you spend lots of effort categorizing every project that comes in your wasting time. You won't (or shouldn't) be reading the project list every day (just review every week) so it doesn't have to be that easy to scan. Creating a separate "friend's project" list is not productive for the same reasons.

      Do others agree with my assessment?

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      • #4
        > I am debating how much of the COMPANY projects I should track

        GTD is all about being comprehensive whenever possible (i.e. you should track all of it)

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        • #5
          Project granulity.

          GTD is all about being comprehensive whenever possible (i.e. you should track all of it)
          OK. But GTD is also about delegation. The hierarchical company structures are built to limit the NUMBER of projects managed by each employee. The company's President and the Sales Representative have similar NUMBER of projects but all Sales Representative's projects (contacts with customers) are within one President's project (company sales). So each level of management has its level of project granulity and task delegation granulity.
          The ability to define the required level of management and delegation granulity (or detailedness (if such word exists in English)) is essential in business development (small to medium to big company).
          TesTeq

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          • #6
            Tracking Company's Projects

            I would establish a common database that everyone is responsible for keeping updated with the various stages of projects. Then when needed, it's available for reference, and if desired you can query it to get reports of your choice (all projects with a certain status, for ex.)

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            • #7
              I would say that the employee is accountable for tracking the stages of the project. From your point of view, you want to have key deliverables dates which the employee needs to meet.

              I feel that the level of tracking you are talking about expresses a desire to be sure that everything is on target. Perhaps if you were sure that the employee is using a good project tracking method (GTD?!) Your desire to track would recede.

              The point made by ADD GTDer above is good in that it aspires to a level of transparency which is always a good thing.

              If the employee is doing a good job, don’t flood yourself with too much information/data.

              Dave

              P.S. Is Bill Bruford on your client list, (or target list! ), or has he gone back to non-electronic?

              Comment


              • #8
                Bruford has gone back to acoustics, but that's just because he hasn't seen our kits yet

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                • #9
                  That was me - I didn't get logged in again.

                  Gretchen

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                  • #10
                    He used to be a total crusader for electronic drums – he won me over with his segment on the YesYears video documentary – satisfied the techie in me while still being thoroughly aesthetically pleasing.

                    Wishing you tons of success!!

                    Dave

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                    • #11
                      I have a folder called "Delegated Projects"

                      It's not so much that i don't trust my employees to meet the deadline or forget to notify me if there is going to be a delay, it's just a way for me to be on top of things.

                      Basically each day I will go through my Delegated Projects and look for projects that have dealines coming up in a week. Then I contact the person in-charge of it and just "chit-chat" with them. This gives me a good idea on how far they are and if they will meet a deadline. By having this info, i can schedule other projects accordingly.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Usng agendas to track delegated tasks

                        The original poster mentioned wanting to get an update on these delegated projects at the next meeting. This sounds like a perfect use of agendas. I track this sort of thing with an Agenda category in my memos list on my PDA. I keep an agenda memo for each of the people I meet with regularly (staff, etc.) I list all projects we might need to discuss, whether they are the other person's responsibility or mine.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Usng agendas to track delegated tasks

                          Originally posted by Guest
                          This sounds like a perfect use of agendas. I track this sort of thing with an Agenda category in my memos list on my PDA. I keep an agenda memo for each of the people I meet with regularly (staff, etc.) I list all projects we might need to discuss, whether they are the other person's responsibility or mine.
                          Actually, this is kind of how I am doing this. I use Bonsai to track all projects and it feeds next actions into my todo list in Datebk5. Instead of having one task with the person's name and all the projects in the note, I have one agenda item for each project which goes something like this:

                          Bill/Snare Drum Sale
                          Joe/Chicago Trade Show Info
                          Bill/Foam Order
                          Bill/Drumbalaya Kit Status

                          So if I need to see what I need to discuss with Bill I can filter on 'Bill/' and there they are in datebk5's list view. I also use this same format with waiting for's so I can do the same filter and get a mixed list of agenda's and waiting for's. It works pretty well. I prefer it over one task/memo with notes because I can date items as needed and I can add items on the fly without looking up another entry first. Also, if a project of mine suddenly needs to be an agenda item, I can change the text to this format and it lands in their filter. I have these filters saved for easy (two tap) access.

                          I think I will continue to track as much as I think is necessary. We had our first Instant Messenger staff meeting on Tuesday and I was able to easily flip back and forth between Bonsai and the IM window and copy/paste items of discussion. For tonight's meeting I am going to print my projects outline and take it with me for reference. I'll stick with what I'm already doing and see how it goes...

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