contentgrrl

I am conTENT. My work is CONtent.

Posts Tagged ‘checklist’

9 Minimalist “Chores” Streamline Project Management

Posted by contentgrrl on February 28, 2012

ironing is not really the kind of chore I mean

ironing is not really the kind of chore I mean

I am a big fan of Michael Greer (michaelgreer.biz). I first became a fan while I was an instructional designer with his ID Project Management, which I used successfully along with other tools to continually trim my ratio of design hours to student lesson time, whether it was a classroom/lab manual, live video training, or an e-learning program.

Now I do a host of other kinds of projects, including emarketing, knowledgebases, wikis, software release announcements, crunch time preparation, Webinars, video scripts, and newsletters.

Greer’s Project Management Minimalist is a godsend to those who are intimidated and even offended at the breadth and depth of professional PMI certification.

For example, check out his one-pager on page 10 of the free preview “Quick Start Checklist: The Absolute Least You Can Do“.

It shows 9 minimal “chores”:

  1. Mini-Charter (Get a statement about the “tangible finished product” approved.)
  2. Team (Gather contributors, users, and stakeholders.)
  3. Go Wide (Team brainstorms a complete wish list.)
  4. Slash & Burn (Team divides wish list equally among “Must”, “Could”, and “Can Wait.”)
  5. To-Do (Team assigns “Must” tasks to specific contributors.)
  6. Schedule (Team estimates time and sets deadlines.)
  7. Start (Team will start the “Must” tasks, “Keep moving,” and “Handle scope changes”.)
  8. Inspect & Correct (Check punctuality, quality, completeness, then discuss obstacles, assistance required, changes required and gain consensus.)
  9. Post Mortem (Review “lessons learned” for future projects.)

I LUUURVE “Slash & Burn”! Unfortunately, it seems to be missing from his more detailed one-page 10steps.pdf.

So many projects suffer from:

  • analysis paralysis
  • technology that doesn’t do what you think it will and must be rethought
  • directional changes that veer contributors off course
  • great ideas that come up in the middle but break the budget

But now for thoughts from you — have you done projects at work? Large-scale? Small-scale? In between? DIY projects at home?

What have been your biggest challenges in managing your projects?

Posted in performance, project management, tools, writing | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

GTD like Your RPG Avatar Builds Real-Life Character

Posted by contentgrrl on April 8, 2011

I love lists. I’ve used so many systems: daily checklists on my tear-off-a-day desk calendar from the ’80s, Franklin Covey and Success Management Institute in the ’90s, FlyLady’s Control Journal in the 2000’s. Post-it notes to be rearranged and updated daily on my wall. Folders/binders front and center for each duty or project, with immediate next steps clipped on top. Calendar time reserved for a couple of weeks ahead when I need to devote my attention and dissuade distractions and ding reminders.

And I gotta say I’ve accomplished a lot: master’s degree, happy career, healthy family, some spiritual development along the way, and forays into wide-spread interests. Not perfect by any means; always room for improvement.

Now I’m an iPhone app hound :P, especially for recurring tasks so I don’t have to write them down again.

My two current faves:

  • At home, I use [url=http://www.homeroutines.com/]HomeRoutines [/url]for its program inspired by [url=http://FlyLady.net]FlyLady.net[/url] to encourage good household and decluttering habits. I am motivated to fill up those stars!
  • For both home AND WORK, I use [url=http://www.epicwinapp.com/]EpicWin [/url]for its chores to-do lists inspired by role-playing games (RPGs). I build (“level up”) character in real life for quests, and feats of strength, stamina, intellect, social, and spirit. I use mine for work and various project to-dos.

I also get virtual loot, and can update Twitter and/or Facebook as follows: “I’ve been doing my chores and just scored a Undercover Shrubber – Epic Win! http://bit.ly/ao6xRS”. I’ve got several work to-dos slated there.

One site I have liked for fitness and diet is [url=http://www.sparkpeople.com/]Sparkpeople[/url]. But it is so rich in content, tools (menus, calorie counters, tracking databases, reports) and community (login point spinner, groups, blogs, forums, gifts, statuses) that it can be overkill. Eventually it becomes a time-sucking distraction from actually getting out and burning calories.

I keep falling off the wagon there. I tried to simplify – merely log in to note that yes I’ve exercised for 20 minutes today, and I’ve drunk 8 glasses of water, and eaten 5 fruits & veggies. The SparkPeople iPhone app is more about logging calorie intake and burnoff, which is not my program.

Now I can do my three simple daily health to-dos on my iPhone in HomeRoutines and/or EpicWin.

How do you get things done?

What do you do to build your own real-life character?

I look forward to hearing from you!

Posted in games, grrly, heroes, heroines, performance, project management, tools, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »