The Do’s and Don’ts of Project Planning
The end of financial year has flown by again and with pension minimums, last minute contributions and the inevitable legislative curveball behind us, we can now take the opportunity for one, long, deep breath before kicking into the tumble turn and we’re off again on the next lap. It feels like the perfect time to reset and focus on your business, your staff, and the niggles that if ignored can turn into nightmares down the track.
So it’s project time!
I love projects. Kicking off a new project can bring a terrific sense of opportunity, but they are fraught with pitfalls and dangerous traps for both young and old players. We’ve all had that epiphone in the shower that will “change everything” . While it might feel like a “Eureka!” moment, without proper planning and forethought a poorly executed project can put your business in a worse position than before you started. To avoid some of the most common mistakes I’ve seen that can mean the difference between a successful project and an NBN rollout, check out these 6 tips below:
- FOCUS – Projects are a welcome distraction from the day-to-day advice machine, but it’s easy to get carried away and go down rabbit holes that lead nowhere. Get laser focused on what you want to achieve from a project and don’t get side-tracked with things that come up along the way. Otherwise, you may start a project to fix your insurance process and end up writing a procedure for how to decalcify the coffee machine.
- DON’T BLOW IT UP – A bad process/procedure can feel so inhibitive to success that simply scrapping it and starting again feels better than sticking with something that clearly doesn’t work. Blowing up your process can feel good in the moment because you’re doing away with something frustrating, but that poor process is better than no process at all. Target specific areas and pick around the edges while transitioning across to your new procedure so things don’t grind to a halt while you’re deep in project mode.
- TOO MANY COOKS SPOIL THE BROTH – It’s important your staff buy-in to your new ideas as there is no such thing as a leader without followers. Get their opinions, concerns and most importantly, support, but set parameters. Too many opinions can stop you from progressing an idea and you may compromise to make sure everyone feels like they’re getting a say. Workshop your ideas with the whole team, but assign the execution and refinement to a couple of key owners to keep it moving forward.
- GET VISUAL – buy poster paper, coloured pens, a whiteboard, whatever it takes. Visualise your processes and goals. It brings them to life and allows for a more interactive and creative experience for all involved.
- GET OFF SITE – we spend 40+ hours every single week in the same environment and wonder why we can’t come up with any fresh ideas! Moving locations is the easiest way to provide new stimulus and promote creativity. This can come at a financial cost but the outcomes you achieve will make it worth every penny.
- CELEBRATE THE WIN – through no fault of anyone, projects can drag and end up feeling burdensome. Once you’ve finally crawled over the finish line, you can feel exhausted and wonder why you started it in the first place! It’s critical at this point to acknowledge where you started and how far you’ve come. That sense of meaningful progress is crucial to the feeling of success for you and your team and will ensure the next project is undertaken with positivity!
Good luck for the year ahead from me and the Genxt community!
By Charles Green, AFA Genxt National Chair
Email Charles: email@example.com