We all got them. Sometimes they are fun and other times they are a struggle. Truth be told, they are a fundamental fact of work life that will never go away. What are they? Projects!
I was reminded at the NEFLIN workshop this past week that many people tend to think of a project as something big and complicated. However, most of our projects are actually very small. David Allen defines a project as anything that requires more than one action to complete. By that count we have dozens and dozens of projects underway! Unfortunately, it is far too easy for projects to stall and grow stagnant. Is there a way to move them along?
One approach is to follow the Natural Planning Model from Getting Things Done. (In the latest edition of the book, it can be found on pages 60-63.) Every project starts for a reason. When that reason becomes obscured or forgotten, the energy behind a project can fade. That is why the first part of the Natural Planning Model is all about purpose. If you and your team do not clearly understand why the project even exists there will be little energy to see it through. Another way to think about purpose is to ask the question, “What problem am I trying to solve?”
So what projects are on your plate that have lost focus and energy? It might be time to take a good long look at the purpose of those projects to see if a little clarity might be the spark to move them forward.