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How to use Projects

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  • How to use Projects

    I have a question regarding Projects. If I create a Next Action which is something I m tiust do for a Project that I have already create some weeks ago - do I connect it to that project or simply add it as a new Next action.

    Project: Secure order from Client ABC for new phone system.
    Actions: 1 - Research clients requirements
    2 - Prepare proposal / quote
    3 - Submit Quote

    2 weeks after submitting quote the client asks for further information and requests that this be submitted to him in 5 days time.

    I now want to create a task to do this and must be in the office to do it so I create a new NA - "Prepare reply to Client ABC re quote no xxx" - context = @Office.

    How do I (or should I) see this as item 4 in the Actions for the original Project or what do I do? - The project is not complete until I secure the order but I cannot see a means to connect the new task to the project efficiently



  • #2
    As far as I know, the official GTD answer is: If you keep up with your Weekly Reviews diligently, you'll know what Next Actions are related to which Projects. It's not something that needs to be externalized.

    That being said, if I really felt the need to do this for some reason, I'd just make a note on the Next Action ("for Project X") and make a note in the Project Support file for the project ("still outstanding: this Next Action").

    In general I haven't seen the need for this in my own life, though.



    • #3
      In the gist of what Roger said: if reading the NA doesn't bring the related Project to mind, chances are the NA is not worded very good or you "haven't finished your thinking" on that Project / Open Loop.


      • #4
        Cool! Will try to help.

        First off, I want to clear up something that might confuse a few people (you may be doing it right): You listed three Actions. Only one of them, I believe, is your Next Action. Actions 2 and 3 can't be completed until Action 1 is completed, so only Action 1 would go on your Next Action list.

        Anyway. I've re-written this quite a few times as I've re-read your question. I have to admit to being a bit confused.

        You have an active Project. You complete all of your work on it, but it's still not done. So, the Project becomes inactive, and you put an item on your Waiting For list: "WF client X feedback on quote", or whatever.

        When the client provides you with feedback, you create a Next Action describing the next behavior you must step through to move forward on the Project.

        There's nothing more to be done.

        Do you explicitly connect your Next Actions to your Projects now? If so, use the same connection method. If not, don't. You don't need an explicit connection, since presumably your brain can figure out what that Action is referring to (an Action that reads, "Pull file for client X" is probably about client X!).

        Does that make sense? Am I missing something?


        • #5
          Originally posted by computech View Post
          I have a question regarding Projects. If I create a Next Action which is something I m tiust do for a Project that I have already create some weeks ago - do I connect it to that project or simply add it as a new Next action.

          It seems to me there is no need for you connecting this action to the project: it is already connected to it by its own nature. You maybe mean if you should anotate it at the project support material... well, this is a formality, if you have many projects going on simultaneously then may be it is a good idea to write it down there too, so at your weekly review it is on your face.

          Furthermore, if the desired result is "Secure order from Client ABC for new phone system", then the first three actions you mentioned were a first subproject: "Present First Quote to X RE new phone system". The subproject is done, but not yet the project. If this is the usual flow in your job, then you know that a project has different stages. Some of them might be subprojects for you, others "waiting-fors".

          This is a common flow for translations and the writing industry in general (one of my ocupations). Usually before a major piece is published it passes several editing cycles.

          I guess this also applys for sells, which in fact is a dialogue between you and your client. If this is not an exceptional case for you, then you probably know beforehand that "Secure order from Client ABC for new phone system" will have different stages, and "Present First Quote to X RE new phone system" will be only one of them.
          Last edited by Marcelo; 12-10-2009, 12:04 PM.