[APRA-NW] Discussion topic!

Karen Prater kprater at uoregon.edu
Wed Aug 16 11:02:15 PDT 2017

Hello Apra-NW-ers!
When planning, I start with the end date & work backwards to set the interim goals.
If the project doesn’t have a must-complete by date, then it helps me to pick a date & work back from there.
In other words, if I don’t set an end date, then I don’t stay as focused.

We’ve tried using Wrike and even Excel to keep projects organized. Sometimes it felt like I spent more time updating Wrike than working on the actual project. However, when coordinating with others, some sort of shared electronic system is helpful. The most important piece is communication & documentation. Whether using project management software, or even using email to summarize team meetings/decisions/’who does what, by when,’ regular communication is key to success.

Like Ginger, I’ve embraced low-tech this year. I started using the “bullet journal” style system. I spend a few minutes a day updating notes by hand. I can keep project notes, tasks, and other minutiae in one place just for me. I usually take my journal to meetings. I can add notes right in my journal, or the best part: when someone unexpectedly asks about a specific project, I can turn to my journal page & provide a quick update.

I too am curious how others balance long term projects with the daily deluge.


Karen Prater
Prospect Management & Analytics
541-346-2010 = kprater at uoregon.edu<mailto:kprater at uoregon.edu>

From: APRA-NW [mailto:apra-nw-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Brown Brown
Sent: Monday, August 14, 2017 12:18 PM
To: apra-nw at u.washington.edu
Subject: Re: [APRA-NW] Discussion topic!

I concur with Kelly about setting interim goals (delivery dates) for every two weeks or every month. I also do the low-tech solution of intentionally scheduling in at least 1 hour per day for the project. Whenever I have a long timeline project that isn't urgent, it's dangerous to say I'll get around to it when I have time. The problem is there is never any down time and it's easy to keep putting the project off. From a project management/workflow standpoint, I always give myself some padding of 1-1.5 hours per day in anticipation of things going awry. For example, if I have 8 hours a day available to work, I schedule high priority work tasks to be completed in the 6-6.5 hour timeframe. The extra 1-1.5 hour is for last minute or urgent requests, impromptu meetings/calls, or some research project that is taking longer than anticipated. On days when things go as planned, I use that 1-1.5 hours to work on these special projects. Even 20-30 minutes a day to work on something is better than nothing. If you're able to do a little bit on a daily basis, it keeps the project fresh in your mind and helps cultivate a sense of urgency and commitment to getting it done. When a non-urgent problem just sits out there for that "someday when I have time" moment, you'll lose momentum and inspiration, making it 100 times harder to get started and complete. Because I'm a freelance consultant, this method may or may not work for folks in an office environment...

----- Original Message -----
From: Kelly Riutta<mailto:kriutta at uw.edu>
To: Laura Johnson<mailto:johnsonl at uoregon.edu> ; APRA-NW Listserv(apra-nw at u.washington.edu)<mailto:apra-nw at u.washington.edu)>
Sent: Monday, August 14, 2017 9:44 AM
Subject: Re: [APRA-NW] Discussion topic!

Great question Laura!

To keep long-term projects on task, I like to set interim goals. So if my project is due to be complete in 6 months, what are the check points to ensure I stay on track?

Some examples:
For a large screening verification, I would set smaller delivery dates for every month (or week, whatever makes most sense).

For the design of a new product, I would outline tasks needed and identify stakeholders and then schedule accordingly. It can also help to schedule those deadlines with a colleague – your boss, your colleague – to keep yourself accountable if you need it. Deadlines might (will!) shift along the way as you learn more and that’s ok. By identifying needs and stakeholders up front, you are prepared for which deadlines are immovable and be prepared.

At the UW, many of us have found success using the Kanban method of visualizing the work flow. Some people use a white board to document and keep the project highly visible while others use programs like Trello or old school solutions like post-it notes. Whatever works for you.

Eager to see how others manage their long term projects.

Kelly Riutta, MLIS
Director, Prospect Research
Prospect Management, Research & Analytics
University of Washington Advancement, Box 359504

From: APRA-NW [mailto:apra-nw-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Laura Johnson
Sent: Friday, August 11, 2017 3:49 PM
To: APRA-NW Listserv (apra-nw at u.washington.edu<mailto:apra-nw at u.washington.edu>) <apra-nw at u.washington.edu<mailto:apra-nw at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: [APRA-NW] Discussion topic!

Hey all,
My team had a Skype discussion with some of the prospect development team from UW today. It was great!
One of the questions I didn't have time to ask, so thought I'd share it here to jump-start some pan-northwest professional discussion. Here goes:
How do you maintain progress on long-timeline, data-analysis intensive projects (in the eventuality of shifting priorities of leadership, and quick turnaround requests)?
Reply back to the listerv; let's get a conversation started!
Laura Johnson
University of Oregon
Get Outlook for Android<https://aka.ms/ghei36>

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