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Multi-stage project next actions

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  • Multi-stage project next actions

    I've just began working a new, very big project.
    I identified a couple of stage and in my NA lists I put what is related to the 1st one.
    Where is the best place to put the NA that come to my mind and that are related to next stage?
    1. Someday List? And then move them to NA list (in the appropriate context)
    2. Project Support Material?

  • #2
    If the stages are completely independent then I'd put as many next actions as you can do on whatever context lists they belong in. I'd also capture all your thoughts on the whole project for project support. No sense re-thinking what you've already thought once even if you have to change it some as you go along.

    I find that critical when I have big projects, esp. those that span a long time or actions that take months or years to finish .


    • #3
      If the stages are completely independent then I'd put as many next actions as you can do on whatever context lists they belong in.
      The stages are following one another. They are partially dependent.


      • #4
        The "classic GTD" answer is to put those other NAs in your project support materials, I believe. NAs generally don't belong in Someday/Maybe.

        FYI, it may be more effective to break down that big project into several smaller projects, and track them separately.


        • #5
          Project Support


          In my system, a detailed project plan is project support material. I put plan tasks that have started into either the project list or the next action list depending on their complexity. Needless to say, if a plan task becomes a project, it will have its own next actions, waiting for's, or what have you. I wouldn't waste time jamming the someday/maybe list with plan tasks that haven't started.


          • #6
            Is it a Goal?

            Is delivering this big project actually a Goal? You may find some relief by specifying it at 20 or 30000 feet and taking some time to accurately describe your vision of a successful outcome.

            This goal would actually drive your day to day Projects which might concern such areas as:

            - Produce detailed plan, time estimates and key milestones and set up reference files
            - Purchase item X needed for project
            - Recruit for role Y if you are leading a team
            - Work with person Z to complete stage 1


            • #7
              NA's for next stages

              I have one possible solution.

              In my opinion, the best place to put this information is on your project plan. This keeps it close to the surface and will be found when you review your plan as you finish one stage. At that point you can decide if it is still current.

              DA discourages Next Actions in Project Support or Plans, but I believe the important detail there is that you not be looking for Next Actions in Project materials when it is time to pick something to do, and you won't be. Instead, you are using that Project material to remind you of a "future Next Actions." That is no different than having a subproject listed.

              Note that even "photocopy business card" can be two steps or more if you don't want Next Actions on Project plans.

              Another alternative would be Waiting For, though that list may get bloated with future Next Actions that you are not committed to doing yet.

              I would not want to use SDMB lists, either, as they tend to be reviewed less frequently (though they should be).

              The question to ask is, WHERE is the most likely place for you to find this moment WHEN you need it. It seems certain that you'd look at your project plan toward the end of the previous stage and then find what you needed.



              • #8
                Originally posted by aaresca View Post
                The stages are following one another. They are partially dependent.
                Then only put the actual true next actions on NA lists and all else goes in project support, however you have that filed.

                In my system project support for most projects is a project in Omnifocus, a series of notes that are listed as next actions but no defined or attached as notes to OF items and perhaps a reference to either a yojimbo folder of stuff or a physical paper folder of stuff depending on the project.