“Vision without execution is just hallucination”
Hurray! We are ready to move to the next phase and get stuff done! We have the right project selected and a plan in place; aren’t you so excited to start checking things off the list?
Wait, what? You’re feeling ‘Ugh, I’m so over this idea. Let’s scrap this. Have I told you about [insert your next Shiny Object here]?!”
While I don’t totally relate, I understand and sympathize. There is a reason for your lack of enthusiasm when we get to the execution phase, especially if you’ve spent any time selecting and planning the project you’re about to embark on. You’re a visionary. Ideas are what make you so successful in this entrepreneurial world. By the time the project is planned you want to move on – in fact you have the next really good idea and it’s just dying to come to life.
However if you never execute any of your ideas; that’s just what they’ll stay. Ideas.
So how do see some of these projects thru execution and bring them into the world? Below I lay out two options depending on where you are at.
Just Starting Out, 1-2 years in business, Solo-preneur
You have an extensive to-do list and no shortage of ideas and tasks being added to it daily. There is so much noise and constant bombardment of all the things you “should” be doing that it’s easy to get overwhelmed every time you check-in or open your computer. If you’re reading this, you’ve made it through choosing the project you want to execute as well as building a plan on how you’re going to do it. Congratulations – this is no small feat my friend!
Now you need to dig deep and see this through to the end. After-all, you believe this project will have a huge impact in your business.
1) Remember why you are doing this and what it will mean to your business. Post it somewhere that you will have to look at it everyday.
2) Block out time each day (doesn’t have to be the whole day, but needs to be as much time as you can give) to work solely on this project.
3) Take your plan and write out the detailed tasks for just the next week or two. Don’t go any further than that – for now. Just the next week or two.
4) Match up the task with the time you’ve blocked off. Commit to what you are going to get done each day.
5) When it comes time to do the work, remove all distractions.
– Phone off – not vibrate or silent – OFF! Seeing the screen light up will distract you.
– Turn off all notifications on your computer. Only have the screens open that are required for the tasks you are working on.
6) DO THE WORK
7) Each week spend 30 minutes reflecting:
– What you need to continue doing?
– What you need to stop doing?
– What you should start doing?
8) Repeat until you complete the project
TIP: If you allow time for creating, dreaming and ideas during this process you may be less likely to give up completely and feel like you are honouring all of the many “hats” you are wearing in your business right now.
Established, 2-5 years in business, most likely with a team
You may have figured out by now that executing the details of the project once you get to this stage is not what fires you up. In fact, this is when you start to feel unfulfilled and bored in your business. Possibly you have a shelf full of 1/2 done projects or things that are waiting for you to ‘finalize’. If this the case, you are in need of an integrator. In other words, someone who loves processes and schedules; who thrives on making things run on time and getting things done. If you are tired of playing this role in your company, you can find this skill set in the market place.
Regardless of whether you, the business owner, act as the “project manager‘ or you hire out this task, these are the critical steps which should be followed to ensure a smooth execution with the most economical use of resources.
1) Ensure that everyone on the team is absolutely clear on what you are delivering and what success looks like on the project.
2) Regular check-ins with the team
3) Most likely this is a weekly team meeting. 30 minutes is long enough if you keep things succinct and on point.
4) Tasks are assigned with clear roles and responsibilities.
5) Tasks should be detailed, with realistic timelines and reviewed each week with the team.
6) A RACI OR Accountability chart is a useful tool to keep the team on task and focused during this phase of the project.
7) Check your progress against the plan weekly. Adjust tasks around if required to ensure that as many things as possible are completed as early as possible. You don’t want to leave things piling up until the end. Well, unless you enjoy 18 hour days and all nighters that is.
8) Monitor your budget weekly. This does not have to be with the entire team if you don’t want to “open the books” up.
During this phase you and your Project Manager MUST be on the same page. You will need to have regular (daily) updates with each other as chances are, if this relationship is new, you will both be executing and overseeing tasks so as the saying goes “the right hand needs to know what the left hand is doing”.
You’re ideas will never become reality unless you take action. Small action everyday will move you forward and eventually you will cross the finish line! I believe in you and know you can do it!!
Keys To Success
1) Don’t look too far ahead.
2) Start small and celebrate your progress – this momentum will build and eventually carry you through.
4) Do the work.
Here’s to seeing what you launch into the world!