Do this before kicking off a new project

Photo by Jan Piatkowski on Unsplash

You have brainstormed, you have the idea, you are ready to go! So where should you start?

If you know me, you know I am about to drop a framework (and an acronym to boot!), despite the best idea and the urge to put in motion, I recommend you BOIL down a few points to ensure all stakeholders and collaborators are on the same page before getting started.

BACKGROUND

Before moving forward, it is important to look back. Sometimes brainstorming takes you on a journey so far away from your original destination it is hard to remember the problem you are solving for to begin with. Having a clear perspective on the route that brought you to the solution will make sure you are on the fast-track to execute against your goals.

Some questions to answer in this stage include:

  1. What is the context of the project?
  2. What is the problem that needs solving?
  3. What currently exists to solve the problem?
  4. What other solutions were considered?
  5. Why did you decide to take action or in other words “why this now”?

OBJECTIVE

Now that you have a clear understanding of the problem and proposed solution it is time to determine your end state.

Quite simply this is the stage in order to determined clear goals and success metrics for the project and define done.

IMPLICATIONS

The third thing to consider before embarking on a new project is how the project will compete with other priorities as they come up. Understanding the impact the project will have and if it will become a dependency for other work is important not only for you but for all contributors and stakeholders.

Some questions to answer in this stage include:

  1. What is the impact this will have on the team, organization, etc.?
  2. What conflicting priorities exist? What is the impact of those priorities?
  3. What would happen if we do nothing?
  4. How would changes made in this project create a ripple effect in other projects?
  5. What needs to be done after this is complete?

LOGISTICS

Finally, it is time to create the roadmap and get to work.

Some questions to answer in this stage include:

  1. Who “owns” this project? Why? What are the expectations of this person?
  2. What are the roles of the stakeholders and contributors?
  3. What type of decisions need to be made and how (i.e. The owner makes them, a vote is made, there is a consensus among stakeholders)?
  4. How will work be documented? How often will asynchronous updates be shared?
  5. When will synchronous meetings be needed and what is the purpose of those meetings?
  6. What is the timeline? What specific milestones need to be reached?
  7. What does done look like? How will we know it is complete?
  8. What is your expected feedback loop? How will we measure success?

Have other tips to share? Add them to the comments below!

Looking for more remote work advice? Connect with me on LinkedIn and check out my website.

Remote Work Advocate. People Ops. Digital Nomad. Speaker.

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