"Projects," "Outcomes," "Deliverabl
I'm a "project manager," so "project" has a particular meaning for me. I'm trying to clarify the distinctions I need to make at different levels of organization; trying to keep the distinctions meaningful to the "workflow process."
A lot of tasks come to me, beyond the "projects" I am also responsible for; so clearly I need a category that is smaller than what is a "project" for me. As a place-filler I've been using "Projects" (e.g. "remodel community building") and "projects" (GTD-type).
The GTD template from M Lines uses the category "Outcomes" in a way that seems to me to be comparable to "projects" in the book. At one point in the book the term "deliverables" is used -- though there is nothing in the index, so it must not be a part, per se, of the system. Likewise "components" (as parts of a project.)
The long-and-short of it --
I'd appreciate a discussion of the concept of "project" especially in relation to "outcomes," "components (of projects), goals, objectives, deliverables, etc.
P.S. I'm surprised not to see "Define Outcome" in the workflow diagram, though other places in the book that is mentioned as an essential step. Isn't it always "define outcome --> what is the next.
Re: They're all projects ...
Thank you for this this thread.this is something that has really bugged me. I have the same definitions and it is nice to see that I'm not the only one that breaks things down in this way.
Originally Posted by K_Hensman
Projects and Next Actions as "reminders"
The Projects List is an inventory of where you're going.
The Next Actions Lists, inventories of where to start.
I've had this come up in different degrees during every coaching. Sometimes just as a vague look of anxiety (you can see it) and other times they just come right out and express how concerned they are with not being able to connect projects/next actions. I usually echo David's response that when you become intimately involved with the lists on a weekly basis, you just know what actions go with what projects.
My take is, and especially for people who don't experience this in training/coaching, many of us struggle with drilling down to the very next action (s), so they feel they still have to capture all the steps of the project as opposed to the very next step or action. So here is what I would offer:
When I run into this question I first really define the specific project outcome. Then, identify the very next action that can/must be taken on this project. Often there is one and only one next action - i.e. a waiting for a report which then drives a logical next acton read & review report, then draft response for department. These examples logically follow one another and need only to be captured as one is completed the next action is then recorded on a list or calendar.
It seems, based upon my experience, there are two issues here for the client: first he/she wants to see all the individual tasks to project completion so I encourage them to make these lists as "notes" under the individual project and pull out the very next actions that must go on the next action/steps list. The client is always reminded that these "notes" (works in both Palm and Outlook) are not yet actionable and need to be reviewed weekly to determine if they are now actionable and need to move to an appropriate action list. Second, if they still want to cross reference their individual actions to a project, they usually come up with a creative abbreviation which they place in ( ) at the end of the next action, call or waiting for (example: hire VP-Sales, off relocation, etc.).
I just say, "your brain has to connect those dots, and that's the function of the weekly review. If you stay engaged with your lists appropriately to have them really function well for you, these things will be rather self-evident. If you don't, the whole system won't really work anyway. Just don't write 'Fred', rather 'Call Fred re: mtg'."