Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.

Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

"Projects," "Outcomes," "Deliverabl

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • "Projects," "Outcomes," "Deliverabl

    Hi,

    I'm a "project manager," so "project" has a particular meaning for me. I'm trying to clarify the distinctions I need to make at different levels of organization; trying to keep the distinctions meaningful to the "workflow process."

    A lot of tasks come to me, beyond the "projects" I am also responsible for; so clearly I need a category that is smaller than what is a "project" for me. As a place-filler I've been using "Projects" (e.g. "remodel community building") and "projects" (GTD-type).

    The GTD template from M Lines uses the category "Outcomes" in a way that seems to me to be comparable to "projects" in the book. At one point in the book the term "deliverables" is used -- though there is nothing in the index, so it must not be a part, per se, of the system. Likewise "components" (as parts of a project.)

    The long-and-short of it --

    I'd appreciate a discussion of the concept of "project" especially in relation to "outcomes," "components (of projects), goals, objectives, deliverables, etc.

    P.S. I'm surprised not to see "Define Outcome" in the workflow diagram, though other places in the book that is mentioned as an essential step. Isn't it always "define outcome --> what is the next.

    Christian

  • #2
    A starting point...

    Check the "Defining projects" tip in the tips & tools section. PS: I'm also a project team veteran, and I "feel your pain"...

    Comment


    • #3
      Also check the diagram in tooltips: the arrow leading to the projects list is labeled, "if multistep, what's the successful outcome".

      Not that I can claim to have this under any sort of control myself !

      Rgds.

      Comment


      • #4
        They're all projects ...

        Projects according to GTD is anything that requires more than one 'Next Action' to be completed.
        Different types of projects requires their own way of handling:

        PROJECTS:
        Large projects that include several people and/or elaborate planning. You typically have a GANTT chart, and high intensity (maybe 40-90% of your work load).

        You have the GANTT, pull next actions from it, review the chart as often as necessary, maybe even schedule daily 'meetings with self' to stay on top of things. The 'Project List' will list this project among others, not so intense, and serve as an overall view of your active commitments.

        projects:
        Small, low-intensity projects, typically you're the only one involved.

        During 'Weekly Review' update the 'Next Action' lists using the 'Project List'. If needed, schedule a mid-week review for those projects that need it.

        Conclusion
        The bottom line is, use the GTD lists (Projects and Next Actions) as reminders when doing the thinking/planning/deciding. In addition you will need GANTT or other planning support, extra planning sessions that are scheduled in to your 'Hard Landscape', i e calendar. Use GTD to get a total grip on your situation: plans, obligations etc. Do not use it for telling you how to handle a project, or what action to choose - this is where your brain and intuition comes in.

        As I see it, project handling isn't really an integral part of GTD, which is all about collecting "stuff" and process it into reminders that are either actions och scheduled events.

        HTH /Kjell

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: They're all projects ...

          Originally posted by K_Hensman
          PROJECTS:
          Large projects that include several people and/or elaborate planning. You typically have a GANTT chart, and high intensity (maybe 40-90% of your work load).

          You have the GANTT, pull next actions from it, review the chart as often as necessary, maybe even schedule daily 'meetings with self' to stay on top of things. The 'Project List' will list this project among others, not so intense, and serve as an overall view of your active commitments.

          projects:
          Small, low-intensity projects, typically you're the only one involved.
          Thank you for this this thread.this is something that has really bugged me. I have the same definitions and it is nice to see that I'm not the only one that breaks things down in this way.

          --- JRJ

          Comment


          • #6
            My thanks as well; certainly we have the experience in common, and agree on the differentiation.

            I still wish I could find language that would reflect that! I'll have to admit that I would never, of myself, use the "project" term for the smaller "multi-step activities." Still, it is recognizing them as such that is important, and so the word probably has enough to offer in abetting the differentiation, that I'll just have to let go of my "botheration."

            Do you actually use the CAPS to differentiate?

            Christian

            Comment


            • #7
              From what I've been able to gather, the actual projects list only serves as an index - as a "stake in the ground" to remind you that something else needs to be done before this project can be considered "done".

              All of the backup and supporting material (plans, charts, etc.) for each project is contained in the physical project folder.

              Comment


              • #8
                Projects and Next Actions as "reminders"

                The Projects List is an inventory of where you're going.
                The Next Actions Lists, inventories of where to start.



                I've had this come up in different degrees during every coaching. Sometimes just as a vague look of anxiety (you can see it) and other times they just come right out and express how concerned they are with not being able to connect projects/next actions. I usually echo David's response that when you become intimately involved with the lists on a weekly basis, you just know what actions go with what projects.

                My take is, and especially for people who don't experience this in training/coaching, many of us struggle with drilling down to the very next action (s), so they feel they still have to capture all the steps of the project as opposed to the very next step or action. So here is what I would offer:

                When I run into this question I first really define the specific project outcome. Then, identify the very next action that can/must be taken on this project. Often there is one and only one next action - i.e. a waiting for a report which then drives a logical next acton read & review report, then draft response for department. These examples logically follow one another and need only to be captured as one is completed the next action is then recorded on a list or calendar.

                It seems, based upon my experience, there are two issues here for the client: first he/she wants to see all the individual tasks to project completion so I encourage them to make these lists as "notes" under the individual project and pull out the very next actions that must go on the next action/steps list. The client is always reminded that these "notes" (works in both Palm and Outlook) are not yet actionable and need to be reviewed weekly to determine if they are now actionable and need to move to an appropriate action list. Second, if they still want to cross reference their individual actions to a project, they usually come up with a creative abbreviation which they place in ( ) at the end of the next action, call or waiting for (example: hire VP-Sales, off relocation, etc.).

                I just say, "your brain has to connect those dots, and that's the function of the weekly review. If you stay engaged with your lists appropriately to have them really function well for you, these things will be rather self-evident. If you don't, the whole system won't really work anyway. Just don't write 'Fred', rather 'Call Fred re: mtg'."

                Comment

                Working...
                X