project planning

9 views
Skip to first unread message

Anne B

unread,
Nov 3, 2020, 5:04:06 PM11/3/20
to FIGG
I want to practice doing project planning. I have some potential projects in mind but first I want to talk about project planning steps. This list of project planning steps is drawn from

Tutoring Max #50
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sMvdByC1RU

and

https://curi.us/2321-project-planning-discussion


1. title/summary of project

2. goal/purpose. why do this project? what problem will it solve?

3. why do this project now as opposed to in the future? why do it instead of some other project?

4. what will constitute success for the project? how will you know that you’ve succeeded?

5. what are the project steps?

6. what’s the timeline?

7. what are the prerequisites? have you done them?

8. what resources will you need? do you have those resources?

9. what makes you think you’ll succeed? what’s your track recrod with this kind of thing?

10. what could go wrong? brainstorm lots of things that could go wrong and solutions for those problems.

Max Kaye

unread,
Nov 3, 2020, 7:37:24 PM11/3/20
to fallibl...@googlegroups.com
On Tue, 3 Nov 2020 17:04:03 -0500 Anne B <anne...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I want to practice doing project planning. I have some potential projects in mind but first I want to talk about project planning steps. This list of project planning steps is drawn from
>
> Tutoring Max #50
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sMvdByC1RU
>
> and
>
> https://curi.us/2321-project-planning-discussion
>
>
> 1. title/summary of project
>
> 2. goal/purpose. why do this project? what problem will it solve?
>
> 3. why do this project now as opposed to in the future? why do it instead of some other project?

I'm not sure you need a complete answer to (3) at this point. You can evaluate, improve, and complete the answer(s) as you go.

You don't need a complete answer b/c part of the (pre-)project can be learning a new skill or more info to evaluate if something is a good method or w/e.

It's an important question and one should have a good answer to why *this* combination of idea, people, timing, etc is good and better than other options.

Also, if you learn more info later that changes your answers to (3) then it can be a good reason to re-evaluate the whole project. Sometimes that means dropping an in-progress multi-year project. If that happens dropping the project can be good or okay. It depends on the info.

> 4. what will constitute success for the project? how will you know that you’ve succeeded?

Is this different to (2)?

> 5. what are the project steps?

Do you want to do any pre-project stuff? "What skills do I need" sort of thing.

> 6. what’s the timeline?

Is it appropriate to put the 'timeline' step here? It's before pre-reqs and you might not know enough at this point. If there's a *goal* related to timing (e.g. buy a house before Jan 1) then that sort of timeline (i.e. deadlines and the like) are accounted for. Otherwise I think this should be later.

Also, I think ppl often make things worse by thinking too much about timeline instead of a dependency graph (of tasks in a project). A timeline can be produced from a dependency graph, but you can't really go the other way.

> 7. what are the prerequisites? have you done them?
>
> 8. what resources will you need? do you have those resources?
>
> 9. what makes you think you’ll succeed? what’s your track recrod with this kind of thing?

I think this is particularly relevant for things which are big, pioneering, new + not conventional, etc. Most ppl can probably move house without failing even if they don't have much of a track record. I guess they do have a track record moving objects in space, so they do have some ability to gauge how long/difficult moving house might be.

> 10. what could go wrong? brainstorm lots of things that could go wrong and solutions for those problems.


I think these steps are a good start. Any issues with your order of steps are easy to resolve (or with doing multiple steps at once / over some period of time), so nbd.


I am trying to think of things you might have forgotten but nothing is coming to mind atm. Woke up recently so not at 100% brain yet.


## on (2) - goal/purpose:

i think it might be worth writing down the 'full' IGC here ('full' meaning the triple; the idea, goal(s), and context; not 'full' like super detailed). Doing so doesn't completely answer (3) but does help. You can also put in blanks or whatever if you don't know something yet.

I started writing out an example for the 'moving house' example, and initially put this for the goal: *move possessions from house 1 -> house 2, complete outstanding admin work (change of addr, w/e), get bond back for house 1*.

This is a bad project goal. It's basically a v small set of tasks, so it's more like the meat of a project plan than a goal. I thought it was worth mentioning b/c it's an easy trap to fall in to.

Example:

(note: I wrote the goal before the idea, I wonder if that makes much of a difference)

Project: moving house
Idea: find and rent a new house in a suburb close to my kids' school
Goal: better living conditions (AC and dishwasher); cheaper rent (more sustainable); closer to work/school/family
Context: i have the time to look for houses, don't have a penalty for ending my current lease, and it's school holidays so a good time to move because I and my kids have more flexibility. there's a lot of new houses in Quietville so I can probably find one that's got AC and a dishwasher included. demand is low right now so I can probably get a good deal on rent, too.


--
Max
xk.io

I post my FI work/articles/exercise/practice here:
https://xertrov.github.io/fi

Anne B

unread,
Nov 5, 2020, 3:38:29 PM11/5/20
to FIGG
On Nov 3, 2020, at 7:37 PM, Max Kaye <m...@xk.io> wrote:

> On Tue, 3 Nov 2020 17:04:03 -0500 Anne B <anne...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> I want to practice doing project planning. I have some potential projects in mind but first I want to talk about project planning steps. This list of project planning steps is drawn from
>>
>> Tutoring Max #50
>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sMvdByC1RU
>>
>> and
>>
>> https://curi.us/2321-project-planning-discussion
>>
>>
>> 1. title/summary of project
>>
>> 2. goal/purpose. why do this project? what problem will it solve?
>>
>> 3. why do this project now as opposed to in the future? why do it instead of some other project?
>
> I'm not sure you need a complete answer to (3) at this point. You can evaluate, improve, and complete the answer(s) as you go.

It’s good to consider (3) and write down an answer, even though you might change that answer later.

> You don't need a complete answer b/c part of the (pre-)project can be learning a new skill or more info to evaluate if something is a good method or w/e.
>
> It's an important question and one should have a good answer to why *this* combination of idea, people, timing, etc is good and better than other options.
>
> Also, if you learn more info later that changes your answers to (3) then it can be a good reason to re-evaluate the whole project. Sometimes that means dropping an in-progress multi-year project. If that happens dropping the project can be good or okay. It depends on the info.

If you learn more info that changes your answers to some of the other parts, you might also re-evaluate some or all of the project. For instance, question 2: maybe the problem changes or disappears, so you want to change or drop the project. Or question 6: the timeline could change because you find you need the project done sooner than you thought, or the timeline could change because some early step takes a lot longer or shorter than you thought it would. Or question 8: maybe your resource situation changes, like you later have a different amount of time or money. That could cause you to change or drop the project.

>> 4. what will constitute success for the project? how will you know that you’ve succeeded?
>
> Is this different to (2)?

It’s different but related. I think I’ll incude it in (2). I was picturing that in (2) you might say a general goal, like learn to type faster, and in (4) you’d specify that success means typing a certain number of words per minute.

>> 5. what are the project steps?
>
> Do you want to do any pre-project stuff? "What skills do I need" sort of thing.

“What skills do I need” falls under (7). I was picturing (5) as more like a chart of what happens as part of the project, including dependency relationships, like needing to complete steps A and B before starting step C.

I didn’t know about dependency graphs before reading what you said about them below, so I looked them up and read a little. That’s the kind of thing that would be included in (5).

>> 6. what’s the timeline?
>
> Is it appropriate to put the 'timeline' step here? It's before pre-reqs and you might not know enough at this point. If there's a *goal* related to timing (e.g. buy a house before Jan 1) then that sort of timeline (i.e. deadlines and the like) are accounted for. Otherwise I think this should be later.
>
> Also, I think ppl often make things worse by thinking too much about timeline instead of a dependency graph (of tasks in a project). A timeline can be produced from a dependency graph, but you can't really go the other way.

Okay. I’ll move (6) to go after (7) and (8).

>> 7. what are the prerequisites? have you done them?
>>
>> 8. what resources will you need? do you have those resources?
>>
>> 9. what makes you think you’ll succeed? what’s your track recrod with this kind of thing?
>
> I think this is particularly relevant for things which are big, pioneering, new + not conventional, etc. Most ppl can probably move house without failing even if they don't have much of a track record. I guess they do have a track record moving objects in space, so they do have some ability to gauge how long/difficult moving house might be.
>
>> 10. what could go wrong? brainstorm lots of things that could go wrong and solutions for those problems.
>
>
> I think these steps are a good start. Any issues with your order of steps are easy to resolve (or with doing multiple steps at once / over some period of time), so nbd.

I’m picturing going through these 10 things and writing down some answers, going back to change earlier answers as needed. All of them together constitute the project plan.

> I am trying to think of things you might have forgotten but nothing is coming to mind atm. Woke up recently so not at 100% brain yet.
>
>
> ## on (2) - goal/purpose:
>
> i think it might be worth writing down the 'full' IGC here ('full' meaning the triple; the idea, goal(s), and context; not 'full' like super detailed). Doing so doesn't completely answer (3) but does help. You can also put in blanks or whatever if you don't know something yet.

I think (1), (5) and maybe (6) are about the idea; (2) and (4) are about the goal; and (2), (3), (7), (8) and (9) are about the context. So the project plan as a whole is meant to be a full IGC.


My new project planning parts are:

1. title/summary of project

2. goal/purpose. why do this project? what problem will it solve? how will you measure whether you’ve solved the problem?

3. why do this project now as opposed to in the future? why do it instead of some other project?

4. what are the project steps?

5. what are the prerequisites? have you done them?

6. what resources will you need? do you have those resources?

7. what’s the timeline?

8. what makes you think you’ll succeed? what’s your track recrod with this kind of thing?

9. what could go wrong? brainstorm lots of things that could go wrong and solutions for those problems.


My tentative plan, once I’m happy with my list of what to include in a project plan, is to do one or two smallish project plans and share them. Those plans will be for projects that I’m considering doing, but I might find after doing a project plan that it doesn’t make sense to do that project at that time or at all. It’s possible I’ll get stuck on making the project plans. Some of the questions seem difficult to answer.

Anne B

unread,
Nov 19, 2020, 12:27:01 PM11/19/20
to FIGG
On Nov 5, 2020, at 3:38 PM, Anne B <anne...@gmail.com> wrote:

> My new project planning parts are:
>
> 1. title/summary of project
>
> 2. goal/purpose. why do this project? what problem will it solve? how will you measure whether you’ve solved the problem?
>
> 3. why do this project now as opposed to in the future? why do it instead of some other project?
>
> 4. what are the project steps?
>
> 5. what are the prerequisites? have you done them?
>
> 6. what resources will you need? do you have those resources?
>
> 7. what’s the timeline?
>
> 8. what makes you think you’ll succeed? what’s your track recrod with this kind of thing?
>
> 9. what could go wrong? brainstorm lots of things that could go wrong and solutions for those problems.
>
>
> My tentative plan, once I’m happy with my list of what to include in a project plan, is to do one or two smallish project plans and share them. Those plans will be for projects that I’m considering doing, but I might find after doing a project plan that it doesn’t make sense to do that project at that time or at all. It’s possible I’ll get stuck on making the project plans. Some of the questions seem difficult to answer.

I posted a practice project plan here:

https://aelanwave.wordpress.com/2020/11/19/project-plan-rsvp/

Feedback welcome. This is a first attempt. I’d like to write at least one more.

I pasted it below for reference, but the formatting is nicer if you go to the link.

------

Project Plan: RSVP

I mostly wrote this as practice in project planning. I may or may not do the project. I used the planning steps in this post.

• title/summary of project
Learn to read with RSVP and then learn to read faster with RSVP.
• goal/purpose. why do this project? what problem will it solve? how will you measure whether you’ve solved the problem?
If I learn to read faster with RSVP, I can read more things in the same amount of time. This solves my problem of lots of things I want to read and not as much time to read them as I’d like. It’s possible that increased reading speed with RSVP will transfer over to increased reading speed with regular print. I don’t know yet what speed would constitute success for the project. I’d first measure how fast I currently read with RSVP. Any improvement would be success. I’d plan to keep speeding up until I can’t any more but my ideas about this are vague.
• why do this project now as opposed to in the future? why do it instead of some other project?
Learning to read faster will help me with all reading I’ll do in the future. Lots of things I want to do in the future involve reading. So doing this project sooner rather than later would help me with more other projects.
• what are the project steps?
Project steps, roughly in order:
• Try some different RSVP apps and compare them. Decide which to use.
• Figure out what content to read and how to get it onto the reader.
• Measure and record my speed at the beginning of the project.
• Decide what speed to aim for and make a note of it. Decide if I have other goals besides speed.
• Figure out a way to keep track of reading speed progress.
• Research tips for how to improve at RSVP.
• Come up with a practice plan and schedule.
• Implement the practice plan, keeping track of reading speed progress.
• Evaluate every week or so: how it’s going, what my progress is, problem/solutions that have come up, whether I’m done yet.
• what are the prerequisites? have you done them?
I included the prerequisites I could think of in the project steps.
• what resources will you need? do you have those resources?
I’ll need time. I may need to pay for one or more reader apps. I may need to pay for reading material. I don’t have a lot of extra time these days. I’ll have to decide what to do less of in order to do this, but I have some ideas. There is plenty of free material for learning on. I may decide that material isn’t very interesting and I’d rather pay for things that I prefer to read. I’m okay with that.
• what’s the timeline?
I’m picturing this project taking a few months.
• what makes you think you’ll succeed? what’s your track record with this kind of thing?
I haven’t completed that many big learning projects. But I did complete some grammar projects. Maybe I should aim for following the plan for a certain amount of time rather than achieving a certain speed.
• what could go wrong? brainstorm things that could go wrong and solutions for those problems.
• I don’t find an app I like at a price I’m okay with.
Look further. Decide to pay more than I originally wanted to. Do a different project instead.
• I don’t find reading material I like at a price I’m okay with that’s available for the app I want to use.
Look further. Read stuff I don’t much want to read, just for the practice. Decide to pay more than I originally wanted to.
• I get bored with the project.
Brainstorm solutions. Get better reading material. Decide not to finish the project.
• I don’t make much progress in improving my speed.
Do more research on how to make progress. See if I can improve something besides speed, like comprehension.
• I find that this project takes too much time from things that are more important to me.
Think about my time priorities. I might end up changing my priorities. I might end up finding something else to drop that would leave more time for this.
• I feel seasick or get a headache or something from reading with RSVP.
Research solutions. Try a different app. Try a different kind of speed reading.
Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages