Saturday, August 1, 2009

Getting started

Have you ever been to one of those company retreats where you generated and agreed upon some fantastic new ideas but when you all returned to work Monday nothing happened?

It's a common outcome. The old patterns of work, with which we are familiar, seem to overwhelm the new. The handful of steps to get started are soon forgotten. The new ideas quickly fade from memory.

But there is a way forward. It's the law of two feet. You need to get started, and set aside some time every day for the new project to take root, so it becomes part of your normal routine.

A few quick action steps is insufficient. First you must translate the kernel of an idea into all its rich variety, that gives it substance. You must then richly connect the idea and its consequences to people and their interests (or passions) and what they do.

It's a process of right brain to left brain transfer. You use your right brain to create the rich new world that surround the idea, then solve all the aspects of the project in all its complexity, and turn these into automatic left brain routines.

Here's a way workshop to help you on your way. It's from the Zing collaborative title for business, Dreams, Memes & Themes, a quick brain dump that takes 30 minutes:

1. Craft a tentative name for the project (5 words or less)
2. Describe the project (25 words or less)
3. What is the theory, knowledge base or best-in-class method we should use to help make this a great project?
4. What new or existing technology or equipment should we use or investigate for the project?
5. What are the first five steps: to get started. Respond like this 1... 2... 3... etc.
6. What are the major milestones including target start and completion dates? Respond like this event 1: date, event 2: date...etc.
7. What resources are required for the project? (Funds, equipment, materials, buildings, etc. x quantities)
8. Estimate the likely cost of the project including people time x dollars, equipment x dollars and consumables x dollars
9. What are the benefits of this project?
10. What are the risks or likely problems to be encountered with the project and how should they be overcome?
11. How will we know if the project is successful? How and when will we measure it?
12. Who should be on the team and why?
13. What are we likely to learn from the project?
14. Craft a new name for the project (5 words or less)

No comments:

Post a Comment