“Tasks expand to the amount of time we give them” asserts the Parkinson’s Rule. I remember first reading about this in the Four-Hour Workweek from Tim Ferris. Think about it - what tasks have expanded to the amount of time you have given them?
Whether you are a solopreneur or work with a VA or other freelance members, having a variety of tools to manage projects is key. These tools are likely to be virtual so you can share them with others, and you may have different tools for different purposes.
In selecting a tool consider:
What are the tools you want to start incorporating into your work this year, to make projects flow more smoothly?
Enjoy your week,
Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
Author multiple books including the Coaching Business Builder Workbook and Planner (2018), Effective Group Coaching (2010)
Looking for some daily focus around your work? Join me over on Instagram @CoachingBizBuilder for a daily question or prompt as part of the #90DaysPlanDoTrack series.
Check out the November 2018 CBB Book Club Call entitled "2019 Planning. Already?". You can view it here.
This week our attention is going to shift to quickly explore 5 key skills in project management. Whether you are creating an e-book, designing a new program or deciding on new systems for your business, as solopreneurs we are regularly managing projects as a team of one.
In project management, historically, the foundation has been that for any project there is a triple constraint – time, budget and scope. Like a triangle, it is said that these things are fixed (at least in traditional project management). So if my budget gets reduced, it might take a little longer to do things as we now need to do them in-house OR the scope of the project may change given that we no longer have resources to complete a six month project, so instead we may need to do a three month project.
With this in mind the first project management skill I think is important is getting good at identifying project requirements.
Spending additional time making sure we have this first step of project requirements right, helps to make the rest of it flow more smoothly (usually!).
It was in this phase of project identification that I first became aware of the adage that “10 minutes of planning can save 2 hours of unfocused effort”. So true!
With this is in mind, let’s look at five key project management skills that solopreneurs will want to boost:
What do you see as essential project management skills for solopreneurs? Which ones have you been leaning into as a project team of one?
Share with us using the comments below.
Most coaches, solopreneurs, and business owners are going to be involved in a variety of projects during the coming year. What can make it challenging is the fact that you might be working alone on a project, moving it ahead in small increments OR working with an entire virtual team.
Many of the same principles apply from program design (a focus here this past fal) to project planning, and we’re going to widen our focus a bit. From Lean, to Agile, to Six Sigma, larger and smaller organizations of all kinds have been iterating the way they work.
As coaches we may be involved in projects big and small – from creating a new digital product, to organizing a series of workshop. Honing our skills in project planning and project management is very important.
As you step into your quarterly projects consider asking, reflecting and fostering discussion around these questions related to project planning:
10 Questions to ask:
What other questions would you ask around the current projects you are working on?
Let us know what projects you have on the docket by sharing in the comments!
One area coaches may find themselves spending a lot of time around, especially if they work with groups or teams, is the area of program design. Whether it’s designing a webinar, delivering a workshop or facilitating a group coaching program, the elements of program design are all similar.
Design is a critical skill set to have, and since I’ve stated tracking this as part of my own work cycle using the monthly tracker in the Coaching Business Builder, I’ve been surprised in noticing how many days of each month has some level of design effort.
In the next month here at the blog, I’ll be looking at different layers of the program design process, given that this is one time of the year where many of us are looking to launch a new initiative for the 2019.
For those interested in taking a deeper dive into these topics, I go more into it all of my books – refer to:
Chapter 5 – Designing Your Group Coaching - in Effective Group Coaching (link on amazon)
Chapter 4 – Design Principles and Practices - in From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching.
Chapter 5: Creating the Container in Effective Virtual Conversations where I share the PEBBLLES model for considerations for virtual program design
You will also want to check out the November 2018 article I wrote for the Coaching Tools Company on Signature Programs. You can read it here.
Question to Consider:
What are your 2019 program design plans?
Use the trackers and monthly planners in the Coaching Business Builder to schedule in time to work on your designs.
Welcome to the Coaching Business Builder blog! This site is geared to support coaches who are growing their businesses - taking them to the next plateau or starting from scratch. Whether you are working on it as a SIDE GIG or full-time livelihood, business development is ongoing.
The inaugural blog post for this site is my annual summer project ideas post. Each summer I like to share a variety of summer projects you might want to consider as you move into the new season. This year I've done it in video form, and you can also download the related handout. Enjoy!
As I reference in the video, the Coaching Business Builder (CBB) Workbook and Planner evolved out of my own interest and need to a space to capture my project ideas and tasks. The CBB Workbook and Planner is available for pre-order on Amazon and should be released on August 1st, just in time for fall planning and back to work/school.
Keep posted for special pre-launch bonus offers I'll be announcing in the coming weeks.
Download a copy of the 20 different project ideas I share in this 20 minute video here.
Listen into this year's summer project ideas. What do you want to put your attention around?
Coach Jennifer Britton has worked with entrepreneurs across a variety of sectors since the late 1990s, even before she was in business herself. From supporting micro-entreprise and eco-tourism businesses to working with service based entrepreneurs and coaches, her PRACTICAL and TACTICAL approach to business coaching is ACTION focused, with emphasis on AWARENESS as well. Jenn is the author of the Coaching Business Builder Workbook and planner, and 3 others books related to group and team coaching and virtual conversations. She also hosts the Coaching BIzGrowth Lab, an open-enrollment group coaching program for coaches. Jenn founded her business - Potentials Realized - in April 2004.