Project planning has always been one of my favorite things to do. I function better with organized goals and clear steps for how to accomplish them. When I started working in the online industry, I thought every business owner was like me – surely they had a method for how they completed so many things without cutting corners or burning themselves out, right? Wrong, lol. A lot of my clients were actually hanging on by a thread, asking me how to plan business projects and how to keep big goals organized.
Unfortunately, project planning, or transforming large ideas into actionable steps, isn’t something we typically think about until it’s time to get work done.
So, If you’ve been wondering how this whole planning thing works, keep reading. Business projects run so much smoother when we take the time to plan them out before we start working!
Why is project planning important for online business owners?
As business owners, we’re full of innovative ideas. Whether we’ve decided to launch a new service, create a digital product, or update a few pages on our website, our days are filled with project tasks.
Planning helps us clearly define our project goals and desired outcomes before we begin working, reduce the overwhelm and procrastination that comes from not knowing how or where to start, and experience confidence and efficiency with tackling or delegating the day-to-day tasks that keep our project moving.
HOW TO PLAN PROJECTS IN YOUR BUSINESS:
STEP 1: ANALYZE
First, you’ll want to get clear on your “why” and define your project goals & expectations. Understanding the reason behind your actions helps you stay motivated. It also helps you identify clear objectives for your project so you can stay on track throughout the process. During the analysis phase, you’ll want to clarify things like the project goals, budget, timeline, and resources needed. If possible, try not to miss this first step!
STEP 2: CLEARLY DEFINE THE END GOAL
After you finish your analyzing, start thinking about the end result of your project. It may feel a little weird, but envisioning a detailed final product and building backwards helps you break down all the steps that go into executing your project well. You’ll want to ask yourself the question, “What does a successful project process and outcome look like for me?”
STEP 3: BRAIN DUMP
After mapping out the end result, dump your brain. Write down any thoughts and tasks that may be floating around in your head. Even the tiniest details can be brain dumped! For this step, you’ll want to ask yourself the question, “what small tasks do I need to complete to produce the outcome I want?”
If you’re looking for a cool way to organize your brain dump, check out my instagram post on how to mind map here.
STEP 4: PLANNING
This is where your analysis, end goal, and brain dump all come together. You’ve already written your goals, figured out what a successful project looks like for you, and dumped all the details, so now you can organize those tasks in the order of importance.
I like to use my project management tool, ClickUp, to keep all tasks organized and assign due dates for myself.
FREE PROJECT PLANNING RESOURCE:
I created a free project planning guide to help you break your big ideas down into small, actionable steps. It follows the same simple 4-step framework I explained above and It’s fillable, so once you download it you can type in it!
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