Having a clear vision of where you’re going is valuable to any initiative.
In addition to grand visions, many projects need nitty-gritty detail. A data analysis effort ends in a report. A software development effort ends with a user interface. A move project ends with all your stuff in a new location.
Whatever the endeavor, a good place to start is by discussing the end result in detail. Everybody wants a report that tells them the answer, or a piece of software that meets their needs, or a move that goes smoothly. Those are objectives, and they are useful. But what exactly does the end result look like?
Taking some time and effort (and it often requires more than you think) to sketch it out on a napkin or a whiteboard the specific attributes of the end product can make a huge difference.
Are we talking about a pie chart or a bar graph? What’s on the X axis? How will the data show the trend and support or challenge our thesis?
What are all the fields that need to be on that screen? What is going to be on that drop-down list? What sort of data validation rules will be enforced?
Where exactly will that printer be located in the new space? Where will the nameplates go on the new furniture? Did someone order longer cables that might be needed for the phone in reception?
Small things can mean a lot. It’s often best to invest some time with your team to contemplate as many as possible before embarking on a major project. Bringing the grandiose plan down to earth in this manner can help everyone to think things through and to brainstorm about problems and solutions long before it’s crunch time.
Photo credit: janeandd