Here we go again. That feeling of creativity rushing through, new ideas, new concepts, brain pushing keywords non stop – it is the birth of a new project.
Part of my growth in years past, has been to methodically look at a problem and understand what actions I need to take in order to reach the solution. In the case of a new project, when ideas are flowing and your mind is high with the countless thoughts racing through, it is very easy to quickly become overwhelmed.
Not knowing were to start, One must slow down and analyze and understand the task at hand. We must always plan our approach – some may be against such planning, however I find it imperative in order to avoid the mental treadmill and never see the project come to life.
I will be posting every week about ways to solve this hurdle, and actually get somewhere. There are many obstacles that block our way and deter us from achieving our goals. Let’s find solutions and ways to overcome those.
The Nature of a Startup
Let’s start with Eric Rie’s brilliant definition of a startup “A startup is a human institution designed to deliver a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty“. On top of that, being part of a startup is almost like being a professional juggler. Startup founders have to play multiple roles, from being good at leading the team, providing customer support, answering the phones, etc. In short, doing whatever it takes for the company to be a success.
In this juggling process, there are a lot of risks. It’s very easy to get overloaded, to only focus on the parts that you like, to procrastinate, and the worst one in my opinion, paralysis of analysis – which is a direct effect of not having a plan.
The 3 week cycle
In this post I won’t get into daily activities, but rather on creating a plan for your activities. We need to make it short term, not more than 3 weeks.
Your plan should contain the following tasks:
- This initial task is an important part of the process. Create firm goals, purpose and deliverables.
- Risk analysis. Possible red flags for tasks that may delay your project.
- Budget analysis. Even if your team (or if it’s only you) are running on salary, or if it’s a freelance project, make sure you quantify your hours per week per person and create your expense budget for the project. This is important in order to have clear visibility of how much it is costing you to deliver these goals.
Week 1 is the immediate activities which will lead you to understand what must happen in order to see this project come to life. Week 1 is the beginning and also the re-start of the 3 week cycle. Take this time to perform any research needed, analysis of your numbers, metrics, and of course, finalize your daily tasks and goals for the upcoming 2 weeks.
Weeks 2 and 3 are where the magic happens, this is where you execute all the ideas gathered and planning put forth during the first week.
In the end, ideas are nothing without proper project planning and execution.