Calling Project Managers - your GTD experience

mwat2020

Registered
Hi all, I'm a GTD newbie and I'm almost done with the book. I'm excited to find GTD as I want to replace my current system of TO DO lists. While my To Do lists have served me well over time, I'm getting to a breaking point where it is tough to manage. Plus, I just want better focus (i.e., less 'stuff' in my brain).

I'm an IT Project Manager and work on multiple projects. I align everything to projects which seems naturally, however in GTD - the for the To-Do, it is highly recommend to align by context (e.g., "AtComputer", "AtPhone").

Question to Project Managers (or anyone) : how do you organize your To-Do list with different projects you are managing? (btw, I'm not talking about GTD definition of projects - this is project that a Project Manager is running).

Last but not least, if you can share the tool(s) you are using and organizational structure of you To-Do list, that would be great.

Thanks all.
 

nickmay

Learning and practicing, and then practicing more
When I was a PM, I used contexts and projects just as GTD does for my own personal project tracking -- so I knew which projects which I PMed I was responsible for. I do explicitly maintain a link between a project and it's next action in my system, it's a lot easier to review my projects list that way and make sure every project is in a good place.
 

GTDengineer

Registered
Presumably, as a PM, you have a giant, long term Gantt chart for each project with all actions until project completion identified, right?

You also have various lists such as a change list, a problem list and an open points list.

These charts and lists are your project reference material.

Each week in your weekly review you review every PM project Gantt chart and list and pick out the short term projects and next actions which should be engaged in a GTD system. The actions are added to your GTD next actions list, grouped by context. As a PM, many topics will be added to your ‘agendas’ and ‘waiting for’ lists as well. In some cases, meetings will have to be placed on the calendar.

Ideally you work from the GTD project and actions lists and your calendar until the next weekly review.
 

Dan Studnicky

Registered
Each week in your weekly review you review every PM project Gantt chart and list and pick out the short term projects and next actions which should be engaged in a GTD system. The actions are added to your GTD next actions list, grouped by context. As a PM, many topics will be added to your ‘agendas’ and ‘waiting for’ lists as well. In some cases, meetings will have to be placed on the calendar.
I do something similar.

In my PM role, it isn't my responsibility to do the work, but it is my responsibility to get updates from engineers (how are we progressing and if anything is going to block us from making progress) and communicate status regularly with the stakeholders (internal and external). While we do have software that brings together the organization's project general tasks, schedules, and phases, it isn't really appropriate for the everyday things like "call client about delayed equipment" or "discuss client's potential change order with salesperson." That's where my GTD system comes into play.

When I do a weekly review, that's when I can refresh stuff I may have missed during the week (schedule / Gantt chart updates, engineer updates, project status).

What I do is add each project as a list in Microsoft To-Do and use that to store my GTD-level next actions. Then when I do a weekly review I run through those lists to see if I need to do anything (provide status updates, update the project Gantt chart, things like that).
 

julie777

Registered
One thing to note, because you haven't started using a tool to help you with GTD, is that when using a software app the notion of context lists vs project lists, vs next actions is pretty seamless.

Projects have actions
Actions have a context
The list of Next actions is a combination of single actions that are ready to be completed and project actions that are ready to complete.
Next actions is commonly filtered by context so that you only see the actions that you can complete given your current context. Similarly for time and effort.

I use Nirvana (nirvanahq.com) to manage all my GTD lists because it supports GTD right out of the box without any complex configuration. You don't need a "how to set it up" guide.
I use OneNote for all my reference material, project materials and anything else I can digitize.
I use the calendar on my phone.
email client as appropriate per device.
All of the above tools are accessible on my computer or any of my devices.
 

OF user

Registered
For some projects (large ones with lots of moving parts and sub-projects - also can be collaborative), I like Kanban instead of GTD. But if you create a Kanban board and substitute your value stream with contexts, you are back to GTD.
 
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