Super planning power - Start Strong

When you start a new job, project or effort you have a special chance to dramatically change your performance and end results.

First impressions matter, and starting off right can allow you to build tremendous momentum, that a lazy start won't allow you.

If you are are going to start a new project or effort, what steps do you need to take?

1. Brainstorm on the new effort - what would success look like, what are the most likely things to cause trouble, how could you potentially overcome them, spend time thinking and imagining what could go wrong, what would things look like if they did, what would they look like if they go well - Just taking this time will provide a lot more color and background than just jumping in.

2. File that info away - go open minded into interviews about the situation and problem, ask open questions, try and get a sense of concerns, worries, and excitement, from a lot of different people one on one

3. Collate everything together - first the interviews, do it cleanly, capture the key things from each session and see what commonalities there are, and also look for when people with different roles have different perceptions of the same thing, then compare it to your initial brainstorm , what is different, what is the same, what should you think about?

4. Picture an end goal and then plan a tactical first step, while keeping the end goal in mind - what actually needs to ship and by when to be successful, and make sure the small pieces are moving you to  producing something real but be open to shifts in the landscape but never lose sight of the fact that if you don't produce a product or output you have missed.

5. Plan every week and every morning on what the most important things are

6. Review every day and every week to see how you did and what changed.

Keep on moving.

Starting off right can build tremendous momentum, and while it takes some investment it can dramatically effect what you are going to do.

Even if you first pass planning is totally thrown away because things change, you are getting in the habit of breaking things down into important pieces - manageable to complete and valuable for making progress.

Key thing to avoid is lots of small tasks that never get you to the end - polishing things before applying varnish.


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