How do you simplify a challenging project that at first glance seems overwhelming? Procrastinate? Flounder in the middle, then move backwards to the start? While I have admittedly done both, neither of these options was going to work for me last week with a new assignment and a proposal due.
Complicated tasks can sometimes seem like that big, tangled ball of holiday lights you pull out every season. You have to gently lay out each strand and test them before you can use them.
For projects, I have a system that I use that helps me simplify it into those individual strings. Then we can better understand each phase, and how they will work together.
First, I write down GOALS of the project. Seeing and agreeing to each objective is important—even more when working with someone who is not as knowledgeable about the areas of expertise or technologies we are focusing on.
Second, I break the project into the MANAGEABLE STEPS needed to reach each goal. Once shared with the client, these details help us to create an estimated timeline, budget, and let us know what other departments and vendors need to be involved.
Many times there are unknown variables that might modify how we proceed, but we now have a starting point.
The next time you have an intricate undertaking, first take a step back. After the ideas start to formulate, then establish your goals and steps. Written down, they will help light your way to success.
The journey continues.