Getting your feedback on project management helped me realize that a handy dandy graphic always makes large concepts easier to understand and break down. At it’s most basic, project management involves these six steps:
- Goal Setting
- Defining Scope
I’ve mentioned that I’m tackling project management at step two, defining scope. There is already a lot of good content on setting goals out there. Having clear goals is an absolute prerequisite to project management, if you don’t know where you want to go, you can’t figure out what you need to do to get there. However the bulk of Project management focuses on the part that happens after you’ve set your goals.
Defining scope is when you look at all of the potential projects you want to tackle and make the hard call about which ones to pursue and which ones to abandon (or put on hold.) Your goals and objectives are the criteria against which you decide which ones make the cut.
Estimating helps you determine how long it’s going to carry out the projects you’ve set out to do. Once you’ve got your scope down, you estimate how long you think it will take. Once you do this, it makes sense to revisit your scope and see if you need to cut more or maybe you’ll find that you may have time to do more than you thought. We left off here, and I’ll continue with estimation next week.
Planning is when you map out your scope against time. When you look at your schedule and see how many hours are actually in the day. It’s when you can look at all the activities in your life (family, friends, exercise) etc. and see how to plot in your work. It also helps you really SEE what you don’t have time for and helps you become more conscious of you spend your precious time.
Executing is the doing. This is where we’ll talk about resistance, tracking the time it really takes you to do something, streamlining your work process, sitting down to focus and minimizing distractions.
Reviewing is ‘coming up for air’. Revisiting your goals, your scope, your plan. Checking progress, confirming that you’re on track (or not, and if so, why?) determining whether or not your goals and scope still make sense.
There is a lot of stuff under each of these buckets. I‘ll use the graphic to help illustrate ‘where we are’ in the overall topic.