Quick Shout Out!
I have been influenced by many writers, but there is one that has stood out for me over the years. Seth Godin is by far the most memorable. If you consistently read my posts, you will see him referenced on many occasions. He has taught me how to not be afraid of change. To not just embrace change, but how to successfully navigate my way through it and come out on top. How to initiate positive change! (Please read his books and subscribe to his blog if you would like to see how it is really done.) On the whole there is one thing he will not give you in his books or blogs. He will not provide you a tangible road map to success. Building that is up to you! (Thanks Seth for helping inspire approaches such as the one in this blog.)
Now back to regularly scheduled programming…
I, on the other hand, would like to give you a useful guide that uses a simple approach that can help you get from concept to completion. It can work in any situation and is easy to use. Take a look at this pie graph for a second.
It all starts with an Idea. No date required…you can’t schedule creativity. Once you have an idea and have run it through a quick litmus test to see if it is worthy, you are ready to go.
Move into Planning. This is an important step that sets up a successful launch. Use this time wisely and make sure to set hard, non-negotiable dates to finish each step in the Concept to Completion process. **IMPORTANT 1** Make sure that everyone that is in involved in the process is present for planning. After planning there should be only one voice that takes the project over. We all know what too many chiefs can do to a project. KILL IT! One boss only after planning has been approved. Make sure that the ‘Big Boss’ signs off on your planned execution. You will pay dearly if you skip this step. **IMPORTANT 2** Remember when you are in the planning phase to know your people and set your deadlines accordingly.
Execution is the fun part. Create and build your idea into something tangible. Do not settle for anything less than pure vision, but keep in mind your deadlines. Think of who your customer or audience is.
Time for Approval! Now is the time to bring back in the CEO, the President or your wife (whoever the big boss is). Now is not the time for you to bring everyone that was involved back into the room to get 85 signatures. It is the time to showcase the pre-approved project to the one person who is paying the bills. Remind the ‘final say’ of what you planned and what was signed off on, then show them the final product. Some adjustments may occur, but make sure the changes do not push your Completion Deadline backwards. This is unacceptable!
Completion is sweet! Celebrate by giving everyone involved proper acknowledgement. Make sure to do a give and take session with everyone to find out what can be done better next time. There is always a better way! Listen and make necessary changes to the next project.
Please use this guide if you think it will help. It has helped our teams (whether they know it or not) and has definitely given us a consistent approach to every project.
Now do something about it!