If you’re like most entrepreneurs, I bet you have a nice laundry list of all the wonderful projects you want to start this year. Or maybe you’re currently knee deep in several projects and are trying to figure out how to manage everything properly.
Enter the art of Project Design.
Today we’ll focus on one of the core pillars of project management: timelines.
Tools you’ll need: a writing medium (excel or pen & paper), a calendar & your beautiful self.
What is the driver of each project?
In other words, why do you need to get it done? Is there a hard deadline? (example: you advertised to your audience that your product was going to launch on a certain date and need to fulfill by that date.) Or is it something you have not announced but is on your bucket list?
Note to self: the projects with hard deadlines usually take priority.
Action: List each project and the targeted deadline next to each.
Assign milestones for each project.
Basically, what general tasks need to be accomplished for each project? For example, some milestones for an online course may include:
- Write copy
- Record & Edit Videos videos
- Set up website
- Set up payment system
- Set up email autoresponder
- Marketing plan & content
- Customer service plan
Action: List each milestone, the start and due date next to each, along with the person responsible for completion.
Enter these dates into a calendar.
Use different colors for each project. Share this with your team if you have one. I like google calendars for its ease of use and collaboration abilities. You may also want to invest in a project management tool like Basecamp (my current favorite).
Action: Check your calendar every day to see what needs to get done. Don’t be afraid to adjust dates either. You may find that something takes longer than you anticipated.
My motto: Estimate, Act, Evaluate, Modify, Repeat.
Are you being realistic?
I’m first to admit that I usually bite off more than I can chew. It’s helpful to have everything written out so that it’s easier to manage, but writing it out can also help you evaluate if you are taking on too much. If you are, then you can do two things: delay the projects that are NOT priority OR get help.
What steps do you take to manage projects? Did you have an ah-hah moment after reading any of these tips? What, if anything, are you still stuck on? Let me know below!