Monday, 16 June 2014

Get it right. Principle 3: Plan

After a much longer than expected break from this run (sorry 'bout that), welcome to Part 3 of my "Get it Right" mini-series. These principles designed to help me save time, improve efficiencies and above all, protect investment when running a web project

The second instalment in this series looked at using data to inform you decision making.

This time I want to talk to you about planning. More specifically, these are the tactics I have used to generate a chronologically ordered list of deliverables (or "project plan") that is not only easy to use, but also easy to communicate to your team.

As ever, this is only one man's opinion. I'm open to feedback and will do my best to come back on any comments made.

So without further ado... Principle 3...

No 3 - Be meticulous in your planning

  • Write it down - however you decide to do it, the important thing here is to put pen to paper. Obviously if you have a team of people in need of access to said paper, a digital solution would make sense, but it's the "writing it all down and seeing all the deliverables in one place" bit that's important. Year planner, MS Project, Excel - do whatever works for you and your team, just be sure to get the detail out of your head.
  • Know your enemy - the biggest enemy of all is time itself, but with so many other factors affecting your plan, it's important to develop an enlightened awareness of the risks. Get everything from the project due date to bank holidays and tube strikes into your schedule and plan accordingly. Fail to prepare = Prepare to fail.
  • Review and communicate - You plan is only as good as it's last update. Keep your plan in a drawer for the length of the project and whatever you end up delivering will not achieve your scoped objectives... I guarantee that. So keep it up-to-date and communicate it regularly, so everyone can see what bits are slipping and marvel in your ongoing success.
Hopefully that's proved as a little insight into my own approach to planning, but if you have anything to add, I'd be happy to hear your views.

Check back in the next few weeks for Principle 4.