Originally uploaded by kestorr
David Allen, productivity Guru, defines a project as an any outcome you’ve committed to achieving that will require more than one action step to complete.Ir-regardless how complex or simple a project might seem, ‘Implement a Staff Performance Management System for an MNC’ or ‘Candle Light Dinner with Your Spouse’, your mind goes through these five steps chronologically to accomplish virtually any tasks.
1. Defining PurposeIt never hurts to ask the ‘why’ question. (i.e. Why are you going to your next meeting? What’s the purpose of your task?) To know and to be clear about the purpose of any activity clarifies focus, breeds creative development and foster cooperation amongst team members in a project team setting.Your purpose must be clear and specific enough. The question “How will I know when this is off-purpose?” must have a clear answer. In other words, if you don’t really know when you’ve met your purpose or when you’ve off track, you don’t have a viable directive.
2. Clarifying OutcomeVision/Outcome provides the actual blueprint of the final result. You must have a clear picture in your mind of what success would look, sound and feel like. You won’t see how to do it until you see yourself doing it. Questions to ask yourself when clarifying the outcome of any projects could be “What will happened when this project can be checked off?” Describe it in past tense.
3. BrainstormingOnce you know why you want to have happen and envisioned the successful outcome in your mind, your mind identifies the gap between current reality and automatically start filling in the gaps, ‘brainstorming’. Give yourself permission to capture and express any ideas externally, and the later on figure out how it fits in and what to do with it.It is important to capture your ideas externally (i.e. on mind maps, outlines) because in addition to capturing your original ideas, it can help generate many new ones that might not have occurred to you if you don’t have a mechanism to hold your thoughts and continually reflect them back to you. Your mind is for having idea, not holding them.
4. OrganizingOnce you get all the ideas out of your head and in front of your eyes, you’ll automatically notice natural relationships and structure.Organizing usually happens when you identify components, sequences and priorities. Start by identifying the significant pieces. “What is the most important element to ensure the success of the project?”. Sort the various components and sequences. “What are the things and what order must they occur to create the final result?”.When organizing, it is important to adopt critical thinking in your though process, because the things that matters most should never be at the mercy of things that matters least.
5. Identifying Next Actions A Next Action is defined as the next physical activity to move the project towards closure. Technically, you don’t actually do a project, you can only do action steps related to it.Answering the question about what specifically you would do about something physically if you had nothing else to do will test the maturity of your thinking about the project. If you’re not ready to answer that question, you have more to flesh out at some prior level in the project planning sequence.