How much do you want to work?

So in the spirit of getting organized in the New Years and keeping up with resolutions, this week I thought I’d share the way I keep track of all that’s going on with La Vie en Orange. It helps me manage priorities and keep from feeling overwhelmed with all there is to do and all I could be doing. Check out the video below, or read on for a more detailed written explanation with photos 🙂 I learned this great project management system from Jeremy Lightsmith at dotORG Weekend, a Seattle volunteer event where tech professionals, grant writers and attorneys donate 30 hours over a 3 day weekend to support participating non-profits’ needs. You can use it to break down big projects (like we did during the 30 hours we spent with our 6 person team), or keep track of lots of different things over a longer period of time, like I do for my creative business, or like we do at the office where I’m a fundraiser for a non-profit law firm.

Where the Agile Planning magic happens

Essentially, each project (or task) gets a card, and a rating for its size/difficulty. I like to rate mine according to tshirt sizes S-XXL or even bigger (I haven’t met a task that big yet :)).  Then, you move your cards left and right through various categories (I’ll start with the furthest right first…):

  • Accomplished – where all the cards eventually go 🙂
  • In Progress – what you’re working on right now
  • Pre-flight – tasks/projects coming up, that will soon move into In Progress
  • Ongoing – a category I created specifically because there were so many things going on that I needed to keep in mind, keep visible, and remain accountable for
  • Parking Lot – great ideas that aren’t yet ready for pre-flight, or that aren’t a huge priority wait here for their time in the lime light.

My Pre-Flight, In Progress, Ongoing & Accomplished projects

You can also put your tasks/projects/cards in priority order and move them up and down under their headings appropriately. I also keep a column for my overarching goals (both doing goals and being goals), and at work, we have columns to help keep our constituencies at the front of our consciousness.

I find this system to be very flexible, and I love how dynamic it is. I get lots of pleasure from moving things into the Accomplished category, and when I have a great idea that I want to revisit later, I love putting it in the Parking Lot, because I know it won’t get lost or forgotten.

I think this form of project management could also be super effective in a spreadsheet, but I’m a little bit more old-school 🙂

What do you think?  Would you adopt something like this? What systems or tricks do you already use and love?  Please comment below or email me at koriel [dot] jock [at] gmail [dot] com. 🙂  xoxo

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About La Vie en Orange

I've been sewing since I was 4. Grandma started teaching me with Barbie and pot holder loops. Barbie had a lot of neon tube tops and mini skirts that season. :) Soon I was taking lessons and making pillows, shorts, pajama pants. Meanwhile I was flexing my entrepreneurial muscles selling homemade necklaces and hair bows at school. Fast -forward 20(!) years, and here I am. So excited to be selling eco-friendly undies and sharing my something special with the world! Thanks for stopping by! :)
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6 Responses to How much do you want to work?

  1. PM Hut says:

    Hi Kori,

    What this teacher told you is mainly project portfolio management, where projects are monitored at a higher level and are prioritized based on their importance and ROI. Here’s an article explaining what is project portfolio management. I hope you’ll have the chance to read it.

  2. onetruemango says:

    My listmaking has gotten crazy. I am making one of the setups you have here today!

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