Crises are so fun, aren’t they? They give us that little “high,” after all…but they are no way to live. Especially when you have to track numerous projects of varying kinds.
I know there is a huge literature out there on project management, but for some reason it doesn’t seem to reach creative professionals all that often. Maybe because we’d rather spend our time being creative than thinking about this stuff.
Therefore I offer a really really simple approach. I am hoping that others build on this so that we can ultimately “open-source” what should be a side process that enables us to focus on the work we’re getting paid for.
Maybe the most important result that I am hoping for is that project management becomes a part of our vocabulary. Just like we get that outreach should ideally be subsumed under a larger brand
I did the best I could to make this visually interesting, but if it looks childish – at least you’re reading it right?
P.S. This framework is my own and not endorsed by anyone. At least not yet.
Step 1: Recognize (That A Project Is Knocking At The Door - Before You Accept It)
5. Standalone (can be part of a series, like a publication)
Don’t make a move. No working! Nothing happens till the project is justified and tracked.
• Is this necessary?
• What priority level does it have?
• Do we have staff and resources to carry it out?
• If not, who will provide?
Step 3: Document
• Determine the project scope. What will “completed work” look like? Keep it very specific.
• Assign a tracking number (see coding system per project type)
Blanket code – e.g. “001”
Blanket code + topic – e.g. “002-Flooding”
Blanket code + category tag + topic – e.g. “003-Speech-Shoelaces”
Blanket code + topic (e.g. “004-Benefits Open Season”)
Blanket code + category tag + topic, if applicable – e.g. “005-Regular Newsletter-Benefits”
• Decide who will lead and staff the project
• Determine milestones and deadlines
• Write all this down and have the customer sign off on it.
Step 4: Do the Work
• Tracking number provided to customer
• Project lead name provided to customer
• Status checks
• Scope/schedule readjustments
Step 5: Delivery #1 – Review & Adjust Internally
Step 6: Delivery #2 - Review & Adjust With Customer
Step 7: Delivery #3 – Review & Adjust "All Together Now"
Step 8: Delivery – Final
• Internal and External stakeholders present
• Final feedback solicited from all
• Final adjustments made/plans finalized
Step 9: Action - Rollout, Launch, Kickoff, Distribution, Event Held, etc.
Step 10: After-Action Review
• Obtain feedback from customer
• Note in job tracking system that project is closed