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  • Question about managing projects

    I'm managing a small publishing house, and so quite a few of my Projects are book projects that I'm developing from concept through finished product. Each of these is a project on my Projects list, as in "Develop xyz book" but it seems very unwieldy and messy to have all the next actions in context - as opposed to having a checklist for each step along the way. Or should I have both? I've never solved this dilemma and would like to know how others approach this type of project management.

    Thanks!

    Claudia

  • #2
    If you use a paper based system you have to use one of the two solutions. Otherwise you have dups floating around and forgotten, I assume this will becoms a real mess if you don't use plenty of energy just to clean up.

    If you use an IT based system you can have a mix where you have both views without duplicating the items.

    Yours
    Alexander

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    • #3
      Hi Photodiva,

      Checklists are incredibly useful tools, and if your projects are all substantially the same, you'll get a lot of mileage out of them. If 'twere me in your position, I'd have something like the following (this is a paper implementation, but the electronic is similar, with a few extra abilities).

      Project list: contains names of projects.
      Project support material for each project: one page or so, checklist format, showing where each project is at.
      Next Actions lists: the usual @Phone, @Computer, @Errands, or whatever works for you. If you need to call someone for a particular project, put an entry on your @Phone list.

      It might look as though there's repetition there, but everything is there for a reason. The Project list means that you don't have to shuffle through several dozen folders to see how many projects you've got, and to make sure that you've got something to do for each of them. The support material keeps you aware of exactly where you're up to with each project. The NA lists let you take advantage of context to make a bunch of calls at once, or do all your errands while you're out and about.

      If you're keeping your lists on computer in some form, you can simplify this a tad, particularly by using links, for example from the NA lists to your project support checklist.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by photodiva View Post
        I'm managing a small publishing house, and so quite a few of my Projects are book projects that I'm developing from concept through finished product. Each of these is a project on my Projects list, as in "Develop xyz book" but it seems very unwieldy and messy to have all the next actions in context - as opposed to having a checklist for each step along the way. Or should I have both? I've never solved this dilemma and would like to know how others approach this type of project management.
        The checklist and other project materials go in the support folder for the project. The VERY NEXT Action to move the project forward goes in the appropriate context NA list.

        The idea is that you may not have enough bandwidth to pull out the file and see where you are, but you might be able to call the author (or four or five different authors) for an update, thereby moving the project forward. When you *do* have enough bandwidth, you can pull out the project file and work through the checklist. When you're done, the VERY NEXT Action again goes on the appropriate context list.

        Katherine

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        • #5
          NAs and Checklists

          Thank you - these posts have been really helpful. I see hoiw I was placing too much weight on the NAs without the proper backup of corresponding checklists. I feel a lot clearer now - there was a bit of an aha moment as I read Katherine's post.

          Claudia

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