Projects Question

Jimbobal

Registered
i need a bit of advice as to how to deal with my work projects. I’m a surveyor and I deal with upto 20 construction projects at a time some of which take 4 years to complete.

Are each of these a project? The reason I ask is because they obviously have a desired outcome (completion) but they are such long range they would stay on my list for many years.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

James
 

David Parker

GTD Connect
A Project in the GTD approach is something you can complete in the next 12 months.

Anything longer than that is a one to two+ year goal, objective, or vision (horizon 3 or 4 on the Horizons of Focus map). But are you completely responsible for each of these construction projects, or do you play a part (large or small). If your part is smaller, then they may be Areas of Focus.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
i need a bit of advice as to how to deal with my work projects. I’m a surveyor and I deal with upto 20 construction projects at a time some of which take 4 years to complete.

Are each of these a project? The reason I ask is because they obviously have a desired outcome (completion) but they are such long range they would stay on my list for many years.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

James
It depends on how you interact with the construction projects, and what you find useful. Is your involvement clear throughout construction, so that you know there will be a next action at some future time, known or unknown? Or are you called in on an ad how basis to resolve some issue? I have some ongoing responsibilities that could each be their own area of focus. I choose instead to think of each year as having separate projects, partly because I do not want to give them the importance of an area of focus.
 

Jimbobal

Registered
Well it’s tricky as a manager a lot of the stuff is delegated but I need to know what is happening. Some projects can be as little as 6 months and others can go on for 4 years.

We play a relatively big part as we are a key member of the design team. I think they are projects as there is a clear end goal but I wasn’t sure they best way of dealing with it

My area of focus is Chartered Surveyor for these projects as looking after these projects are just one part of my job.

Doesn’t that make sense?
 

Geeko

GTD since 2017
Well it’s tricky as a manager a lot of the stuff is delegated but I need to know what is happening. Some projects can be as little as 6 months and others can go on for 4 years.

We play a relatively big part as we are a key member of the design team. I think they are projects as there is a clear end goal but I wasn’t sure they best way of dealing with it

My area of focus is Chartered Surveyor for these projects as looking after these projects are just one part of my job.

Doesn’t that make sense?
I think it is hard to keep track on a project that is scheduled over a period of 4 years. Maybe you could have a look at your project plan (I’m sure there is one for a project this big). Did you define any milestones? Maybe it is worth to track these as sub-projects to see some progress.
That way you should get some more manageable chunks which are even easier for you to delegate.

The main project should go on your goals- or vision-list.

Cheers,
Tristan
 

Jimbobal

Registered
There are plenty of subtasks so maybe I will use that approach

Their problem with putting them on my goals/vision list is that there can be 20 of them at any one time and i though the goals were meant to be more focussed.

Also some are only 6 months.

Do you think the sub-task approach works?
 

Geeko

GTD since 2017
There are plenty of subtasks so maybe I will use that approach

Their problem with putting them on my goals/vision list is that there can be 20 of them at any one time and i though the goals were meant to be more focussed.

Also some are only 6 months.

Do you think the sub-task approach works?
If there are that many main-projects you could put them onto a separate list that you keep and review together with your higher Horizons.

I think the sub-project approach will put you a little further on top of everything because it should be much easier to see the next actions. And if you link your sub-projects to your main-projects you can easily get the big picture. But I would only do that for the real big main-projects. The small projects should go on your normal projects-list together with the sub-projects mentioned above.

At least that is the way how I handle my 2- or 3-year-projects at work.

Cheers,
Tristan
 

mcogilvie

Registered
Well it’s tricky as a manager a lot of the stuff is delegated but I need to know what is happening. Some projects can be as little as 6 months and others can go on for 4 years.

We play a relatively big part as we are a key member of the design team. I think they are projects as there is a clear end goal but I wasn’t sure they best way of dealing with it

My area of focus is Chartered Surveyor for these projects as looking after these projects are just one part of my job.

Doesn’t that make sense?
OK, good, so you are part of a larger team and have your own as well as delegated tasks (Waiting For's). I think each one is probably a project with subprojects for you, unless you prefer areas of focus with projects. I'm not so concerned with violating the GTD rule of 1-year for projects to complete in this case. One thing I do with some larger projects is to put a milestone in the project title, as in "XYZ project: R&D" or "ABC ms: 1st draft". This extra bit gets updated as the project progresses. I have found this to be very handy.
 

TesTeq

Registered
i need a bit of advice as to how to deal with my work projects. I’m a surveyor and I deal with upto 20 construction projects at a time some of which take 4 years to complete.

Are each of these a project? The reason I ask is because they obviously have a desired outcome (completion) but they are such long range they would stay on my list for many years.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

James
For external projects (where I am not a leader/dictator but only a team member) I prefer to use the Area of Focus approach since external project requires my attention but I have too little control on the whole thing.
 
Last edited:

Oogiem

Registered
I’m a surveyor and I deal with upto 20 construction projects at a time some of which take 4 years to complete.

Are each of these a project?
Personally I'd call each one an Area of Focus with the projects under that.

However There isn't really anything totally wrong with calling a multi-year outcome a project if that fits for you and works. Many of my projects have been ones that spanned years to complete, some were planned decades ago. One example was the project to replace the elk fence around our property. That started in 2006 and wasn't completed until 2011. It was planned back in 1998.
 
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