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Weekly Review is not the time to plan?

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  • Weekly Review is not the time to plan?

    I have about 100 projects on my lists (Active + SM). Mostly all of them are in some way complex: I'm in sales so the next action is not always evident and visible. As the projects are people and phisycology related it becomes very difficult to assign a Next Action for a sale project during Weekly Review. David says that active projects plans should be reviewed once a week (page 46 of the Book).

    What does he mean by reviewing: checking for evident Next Actions? Or if they are not evident and visible make a "Plan Next Action Steps" Next Action? Do you open projects plans while doing Weekly Review or just pick up any fresh Next Action while looking at your project list?

  • #2
    IMO, the Weekly Review is just that: review. Planning is a separate activity. (In part because attempting to develop full plans for 100 projects will take hours, and people get frustrated if the weekly review takes a long time.)

    Katherine

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    • #3
      Carefully Articulated Outcomes

      I second Katherine's advice about the weekly review being mainly about review. You probably just need to spend some time going through each of your projects and re-articulating them in a way that describes your desired outcomes:

      Wild success on this project would look like what? Describe it.
      What new things would success on the project make possible?

      Then write down the name of the project more in line with what you've written on each one.

      So "Project-re: Sales Appt with Bob" becomes "Project-I've persuaded Bob to move forward on the last budget proposal I sent him." When a projects list has a list of outcomes your are committed to rather than short-hand that has to be reinterpreted each time it is read, the quicker your mind can see what the next action is; and the easier it is to move toward that action. Hope that helps.

      It's working for me.

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      • #4
        Todd, do you mean:

        1. A person needs to describe outcomes even for the projects with defined outcomes at each Weekly Review?

        2. Outcomes should be more specific and short-term (because in your example Sales Appt with Bob is more broad then Persuade Bob to do smth.)? In my case "pursuade someone" is usually a Next Action and not a project because usually I have to persuade a lot of people to close the sale.

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        • #5
          I may be wrong, but it strikes me that "Persuade Amy" is not a Next Action. You'll have to complete several physical actions before Amy is persuaded. "Call Amy" is a Next Action.

          Here's what I do during my Weekly Review:
          1. Look at list of active Projects -- does each Project have at least one Next Action defined in a context list somewhere?
          2. Look at list of active Projects -- is it small enough that I can take on more work? If so, look at Someday/Maybe list and move items off it and onto my Projects list
          3. Look at context lists -- have I completed an Action and forgotten to remove/replace it?
          4. Look at Waiting For list -- do I need to remind anyone on that list?
          5. Think about the past week. How successful was I in completing my work? What stopped me? What could I change to increase my chances of success?

          Does that help?

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          • #6
            IMO it is a review to make sure none of your projects are still open loops. If you have planning steps set up for a project you are good. If you don't have any steps then you are just setting a next action for the project: plan next actions, unless planning a next action takes less then 2 minutes then you are just adding next actions.

            They key is, you end your review without any open loops, your mind is clear. Your not thinking , I wonder if I have to take action on any of projects.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Brent View Post
              I may be wrong, but it strikes me that "Persuade Amy" is not a Next Action. You'll have to complete several physical actions before Amy is persuaded. "Call Amy" is a Next Action.
              Don't forget, compile Amy data if you don't have it in a file already before calling Amy.

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              • #8
                re: Outcomes & Review

                Originally posted by Borisoff View Post
                Todd, do you mean:

                1. A person needs to describe outcomes even for the projects with defined outcomes at each Weekly Review?

                2. Outcomes should be more specific and short-term (because in your example Sales Appt with Bob is more broad then Persuade Bob to do smth.)? In my case "pursuade someone" is usually a Next Action and not a project because usually I have to persuade a lot of people to close the sale.
                It's all going to be a preference in terms of how granular a person likes their next actions. The main point I was trying to make—and there may be a better example than the one I gave earlier—is that whatever projects you have on your projects list, if they look more like outcomes and less like short-hand notes the easier it is for your mind to plan and figure out next actions. And this sometimes means re-writing and re-articulating the projects list during the weekly review so that the outcomes more accurately reflect the payoff for you.

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                • #9
                  I keep any project planning during my weekly review to a minimum. Rather, I create separate NAs. I worry too much that I won't reach the end of my weekly review.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Borisoff View Post
                    I have about 100 projects on my lists (Active + SM). Mostly all of them are in some way complex: I'm in sales so the next action is not always evident and visible. As the projects are people and phisycology related it becomes very difficult to assign a Next Action for a sale project during Weekly Review. David says that active projects plans should be reviewed once a week (page 46 of the Book).

                    What does he mean by reviewing: checking for evident Next Actions? Or if they are not evident and visible make a "Plan Next Action Steps" Next Action? Do you open projects plans while doing Weekly Review or just pick up any fresh Next Action while looking at your project list?
                    During the Weekly Review, you look at each poject in turn just to be sure that each one has an action on your Next Actions list.

                    If there is no identifiable Next Action, then you should schedule time to work on the project and develop a list of action steps that must be taken to complete the project.

                    Once your project plan is done, it will be clear what needs to go on your Next Actions list.

                    Note: Don't do the project planning during the weekly review as it will just slow you down. If, during the weekly review, you cannot identify your next action, then your next action should be to schedule time to plan the projecct.

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