Personal Experience with different Tools and Frameworks used in Projects
Getting a clearer overview of the YogaUnion project from the Gameplan was one thing, but Kinga had so many specific tasks on her mind that needed to be executed.
One day when I was sparring with one of my teammates, I was introduced to a to do list for more complex projects and ideas. I realized that this might be what Kinga needed.
At the given time Kinga´s to do list was written in Trello.
It was written as a bunch of different tasks in bundles of subjects, but with no system of which tasks were most important, how much time each task would take and how many people it required to execute. The tasks were divided into: Website, What tasks the manager needed to do, Photography, Videos, and so on.
Before Kinga arrived to the meeting, I had put all of the tasks from her Trello sheet out on post it notes, and I asked her to put these tasks into a new order. The tasks could either go into:
“Do this now”, “Make this a project”, “Do this task”, or “Do not think about now.”
Do this now, and do this task was tasks that could be done by one person just doing focused work: Like sending an e-mail, or taking pictures for the website.
Do this now was the tasks that Kinga needed to do for herself as soon as possible that had the biggest impact on her project, but didn’t necessarily take up a lot of time.
The do this task had less of an impact on the project, and didn’t take that much time either, therefore we decided that, in Kinga´s case, the “Do this task” area was provided for all of her “helpers” tasks, which could easily be executed by: me, the yoga teachers, the photographers, the managers, and so on.
The “Make this a project” domain would be filled with tasks that had a big impact on the project, but also would take up a lot of time. This area was for tasks that needed more than one person in order to be completed, or tasks that needed some sort of tool in order to be carried out. Here she put in “building the website” (which her and I ended up doing together), “making a blog”, “building a student database”, and so on. The last area: “Do not think about now” was meant for the annoying tasks that was taking up space in the back of her mind, and was keeping her up at night -but things she didn’t actually have to worry about at the moment.
As we sat down and went through the tasks, more and more stuff came to mind, and at one point Kinga stormed down to find another notebook with tasks she also needed to do which she temporarily had forgotten about.
Sometimes I could feel how stressed she became from putting every single task she had to do down on paper, because at the end, an entire A0 was filled with Post Its of tasks she needed to do within a few months.
I understood her pain, and even got stressed myself by all of the tasks I had to help her with and be a part of, so I decided to hack the tool a little bit.
In the “Do this now” area I put a column of the tasks that she had to “do today” and “do this week”. Once she had done the most urgent tasks, she could take them off, and move the next urgent tasks into the “do today” column, and slowly work her way through the whole scale.
I told her that a part of her “do this now” tasks as the manager of the project always would be to give out tasks from the “do this task” column – to me and the rest of her helpers. She also had to focus on and prepare for what upcoming projects she needed to execute.
The initial work I needed to execute for Kinga and Yogaunion was to come up with a solution for the after life of a retreat and work on SEO for the website, since those two areas were where Kinga needed help the most.
Although when I arrived in Ubud, and got to know what Kinga was working on herself, I realised that my plan had to alter. Kinga was not just fine-tuning a yoga teacher training retreat that needed a couple more teacher training courses a year, she was managing staff, rewriting missionstatement, copywriting an entire website, making sure new website was made, managing finance, legal stuff, working visas for foreign employees, making data base, branding and making monthly newsletters
The businesses consisted of 3 times yoga teacher training which was running at the same time more than 10 times a year.
The goal with the outcome of her project was to leave people feeling less stressed, but now she was stressed herself. I realized that before I could do any work for her, I had to clear her mind and make her less stressed first. Therefore I decided to ask Kinga if she wanted to make a Gameplan with me for her project.
Luckily she said “yes”.
First we started jotting down the key recourses and stakeholders of her project – which made Kinga realize that she was not alone in handling everything by herself, but also she would have an overview of who to reach out to if she needed help.
Next we worked with the target of her project, which was to create less stress for the employees of the retreat, the owners and herself – we worked on finding other objectives for the her target as well, but I told her that every time she felt that she had gotten stressed/off track she had to look at her target, and ask herself if she was still working for her main purpose – and if not, she would have to rearrange her work, take a day off, or do anything else to stay stress free, so she would be able to create and inspire towards stress free solutions for Yoga Union, since this was now her official primary objective.
We filled out the rest of the Gameplan together, and it ended up being a great tool for her to be able to see the overview of the project more clearly.
Kinga told me that she had introduced the Gameplan with great success at workshops for young entrepreneurs in the health and wellness industry on Bali.
I have made Gameplans with my own projects, and other organizations as well, and it is interesting to see how the Gameplan is adaptable to both bigger and smaller projects.
The outcome of the Gameplan always becomes very individual, and people seem to understand its purpose and functions almost straight away – which creates a natural and intuitive workflow between facilitator and participator.