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Big Projects,sub projects and sub-sub projects

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  • Big Projects,sub projects and sub-sub projects

    I work on large real estate projects that have many components. I break down the tasks into smaller tasks obviously (i.e. Obtain Building Permit would be begin drawings, submit, obtain comments, revise plans, resubmit & obtain permit (but these would all have other tasks such as for begin drawings has provide scope and RFP to consultants, obtain consultant proposals, hire consultants, prepare for kick off meeting and have kick off meeting - each of these may even have further tasks associated with them).

    Does anyone use GTD for things such as this? I would need to have all "projects" associated with the Development I am working on (i.e. X Marketplace or Y Office Building). Any tips or other resources are appreciated.

  • #2
    I manage large projects (5-25+ man-years of effort). I'm responding partly just to subscribe to this thread because I'm interested to hear what others have to say.

    I find it's important to use something like MS Project to lay down the initial skeleton of the project with major phases, sub-phases, tasks, etc. This gives me more confidence that I've accounted for interdependencies and allows me to easily see the critical path.

    The bulk of my daily project work is straight GTD. Each active sub-project has a planning page with hand-written notes using something approaching the rapid planning method. I review these notes every morning to generate an action list for the day.

    In addition to my personal weekly review, I do a group review with my team leads to catch up on their progress and to anticipate problems.

    Religiously adhering to the basic principles of GTD - capture everything, process in a timely manner, use simple systems that you trust, and then review regularly and execute like a mad man - is obviously a must.

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    • #3
      I agree mackiest - I do a schedule on MS project and I have been good at keeping on top of things but GTD seems so cool if I can adjust my ways it will be much easier I think and help get a lot of stuff out of my brain. I just have a hard time seeing how it will work. I guess I need to just jump right in.

      I am thinking about trying the outlook plug in too.

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      • #4
        Could the main project be a 1-3 year goal; the subprojects be projects and the sub-sub be sub projects:

        Goal: Build a building by 2012
        Project: obtain building permit
        Sub-project: complete archectural drawings

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        • #5
          I struggled with similar task for quite some time. And finally gave myself a permission to take larger work-related projects (actual projects) apart from my "regular" GTD routine to a degree. Despite much (nervewrecking) work i just couldnt integrate these both into a neat joint system. The stuff im working with is intralogistics projects, both large and small, from building logistics centers to selling forklift spare parts. The main body of a certain project is usually in spreadsheets and gantt charts. From there I integrate all I can into next actions, phonecalls, waiting fors and calendar. Weekly review seems to be enough to keep me up to date with the development of the projects at hand. I also update the projects at hand from my main GTD-system into the actual project material (spreadsheets, gantts & crm) in weekly review.
          I have my smaller projects (personal & work) in outlook notes/tasks, and I do add all these bigger projects to my projects-list there. I find it is sufficient to have a a simple list of all projects at hand > I dont try to integrate my bigger work-related projects into my areas of focus, goals etc. I simply relate to these as work.
          Having written this it seems i actually seem to have a GTD system for managing my bigger projects... hopefully this gave some ideas and didnt just add to the "stuff"...
          -Jukka

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          • #6
            Things that are called 'project' on company level are 'areas of focus' in your GTD system. Things called 'tasks' on 'company-projects' level are projects in your GTD system. The framework in wich a thing is a project is different wether it is the company or your self. Don't 'translate' the whole business plan into a GTD system.

            Does that help?

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