Making commitments and fulfilling them is a primary focus in my mentoring program, The Alliance.
As a result, projects get done and businesses grow.
Is it as simple as that? Yes.
The success of a business like yours is made up of the successful completion of one project after another.
Nonetheless, many folks don’t work with a project mindset. So, instead of plans and actionable items, they work with ideas.
That’s a problem because ideas don’t get done.
What does get done? Projects, if you successfully fulfill one commitment after another, that is.
You can either keep your ideas in your head or documented in ad hoc way, or you can turn your ideas into projects by:
- Setting a due date for completion of a deliverable.
- Identifying and scheduling the completion of milestones that, in-total, produce the deliverable.
- Identifying and scheduling the tasks (To-Do’s) needed to reach each milestone.
In order to do this you’ll need to develop the habit of managing your commitments through project management.
Where do you start? With project plans.
There are many theories, practices, and platforms that support project management.
Frankly, the only practice I care about is the practice of making commitments and fulfilling them.
The tools you use for managing your projects aren’t important to me. What’s important is that you choose a tool and use it.
To that end, here are three SIMPLE options, including templates, to manage your projects:
- Basecamphq.com (this link gets you a $10 discount), my favorite project management software for small business.
- The World’s Easiest Project Planner (in Word) DOWNLOAD THIS TEMPLATE
- The World’s Easiest Project Planner (in Excel) DOWNLOAD THIS TEMPLATE
Different people choose different platforms depending on their experience and the way they process information.
I can’t make heads or tails of Excel spreadsheets, so I use basecamphq.com. However, the best virtual assistant team I know, uses only Excel spreadsheets to manage the work of scores of client projects. And many of my clients, when managing small projects, feel more comfortable using a simple Word document.
A word to the wise: Don’t obsess on form. Rather focus on completion. Choose what’s most comfortable today and get going.
If I may, let me close with a short story.
Four months ago, I advised a company on how to begin using project management tools. They called me last week to ask which of three project management software programs they should use.
I nearly had a heart attack.
It took all the self-control I could muster to not yell, “Are you f-ing kidding me!”
Fortunately, I got it together and went with a more professional approach:
They’re all virtually the same. Choose one. Commit. Carry on with the important work of getting things done. To do otherwise, demonstrates a lack of commitment. If that’s the case, close up now before you spend any more of your investors’ money.
Have something to say about producing projects? Comment below.