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Combining GTD and Omni Plan or Project

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  • Combining GTD and Omni Plan or Project

    THis is an easy question.

    All I want to know is if

    When, during the natural planning model, you get to the step about organizing ... do you really plan out a project say "Set up new office" ( steps 1 thru 3 of N.P.M.) your GTD system and then, transfer the tasks into a project management software like omniplan or project??

    It takes too much time energy and frustration to go back and forth to me... or maybe I dont need to do all that.

    I only considered it because the project management software can predict when projects will get done and other cool things it can do.

    Should I forget about trying to use both tools side by side..

    I hope my question was clear!!!

    Dwayne

  • #2
    I think the comment in the book is something along the lines of if you need to jump out and plan the project in MS Project or something along those lines, ie. the project is big enough, then do so. However, if its not required, then don't worry about it.

    Cheers,

    Adam

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    • #3
      Combining GTD and Omni Plan or Project

      Hi all

      Whatever tool you use to do the scheduling on a project you still need to plan it and consider questions such as 'what is the purpose' 'what are our rules and principles' etc. Projects are not all about the schedule and a project plan is not just something which is produced by MS project. So there is nothing wrong with using the first four steps of the Natural Planning model (NPM) then creating a plan and a schedule in MS Project.

      You also don't generally plan project tasks down to next action (NA) level in a project schedule. Tasks in a schedule are at a level which makes it easy for management and reporting e.g. Respond to tender wheras a NA is broken down further (e.g. you might have to do some research on part of it using the web, you may need to call someone for clarification and pass the whole document to someone else for proofreading). The whole point about next actions is that they are not scheduled to the second so you can move along all of your projects around the hard landscape (meetings etc) of your day. So the last step of the NPM is also relevent.

      Personally I work as a project manager so if I have a traditional project i.e. large I would use the NPM to the brainstorming step which I would do in Mind Manager. I would then export that to MS Project as a work breakdown structure and then brainstorm and add the task detail in the same way (fractional networks). My own tasks including day to day management of the project I would then break down into sub projects and next actions GTD style.

      Of course it depends on the scale of the project. DA defines a project as anything which takes more than one next action to complete.

      For medium sized projects I have a OneNote template which is the same as Randall Fullhart's until the organising & next actions sections where I'm afraid my PM tendancies come out and they include lots of additional info. These I generally plan out to about 10 NAs and then start pulling those over to my NA lists as appropriate. It is really nice to have that sheet to come back to when you haven't worked on something for a little while. If anyone would like a copy in word send me a private message.

      If I have a two or three step 'project' and it is well understood I would not bother using the NPM although the same questions would be answered in my head I would type the first NA into my system and tag the rest (next next actions or NNA) onto the end like this which would remind me to either do them straight away or put them into the correct place in my system for later in the format Project - NA - [NNA] [NNA]

      e.g. 070326 Belfast Service Support - @Call Book Stormont [@Online Email Mark with hotel details] [@PC Add cancellation deadline to calendar]

      This would go onto the calls list initially and then if I didn't perform the following actions immediately it would move to the Online list and then the PC list.

      {NPM in my head for this project -
      "What is the purpose? - "I will have somewhere to sleep for the week"
      "What are the rules we want to operate within? I must have a nice warm duvet to sleep under in chilly Belfast while I am there and a choice of good food"
      "Outcome Visioning - mmmm huge white duvet Zzzzzzzzzzz"
      "Brainstorming - Call & book hotel - must let Mark know where we are staying - ooo need to make sure if the trip is cancelled I don't get charged for the first night otherwise I will have to pay it myself this time!"}

      If there are any questions about any of this ramble let me know

      Pixlz

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      • #4
        Thanks everyone.

        Adam the only functionality with the project management tool is that it can tell me how long the project will take..
        ... taking into considerations the tasks the durations of each..and my schedule...
        anyone have any workarounds
        which is clearly out of the scope of gtd, u know?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dwayneneckles View Post
          THis is an easy question.

          All I want to know is if

          When, during the natural planning model, you get to the step about organizing ... do you really plan out a project say "Set up new office" ( steps 1 thru 3 of N.P.M.) your GTD system and then, transfer the tasks into a project management software like omniplan or project??

          It takes too much time energy and frustration to go back and forth to me... or maybe I dont need to do all that.
          Dwayne,

          Someone can correct me if they do it differently but I think the usual procedure is to list out the tasks in a program like Project, then transfer only the current next action/task into something like Outlook. That way you are only transfering one task at a time as you work your way down the list. Doing this from Project is almost certainly a matter of just a couple mouse clicks.

          Having said that, I've yet to run into anything that required anything anywhere near as heavy duty as Project. Most people I've talked to use something much more light wieght like an outliner. I, personally, use MS OneNote but there are many, many others that integrate very well with other programs like Outlook (which allows the possibility of using the GTD plugin). I bet a simple search of the archives would give many options.

          Tom S.

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