This week has been a crazy one, filled with consult projects, town council meetings, big launches, and (on the downside) way-too-much screen time for my kiddo. 😢
Fortunately, my biggest project this week (a double-whammy of migrating a client’s website AND brand-new email marketing system) is up and running without any major hiccups happening along the way. *knock on wood*
This project was massive: a 6-figure email list, 30+ digital opt-ins, 100s of blog posts, dozens of digital products.
On Monday and Tuesday, I spent roughly 20 hours and a bag of Twizzlers getting all of the pieces into place so we could launch ASAP.
(We couldn’t leave the “Coming Soon” page up for as long as my own was up, after all. #callingmyselfout)
The custom design and development of the website had been in progress for over a year. We analyzed every angle of the user experience from the customer’s point of view and built the website from the ground up. And this past week was go-time where we’d finally implement the plans we had spent time putting in place.
Today, I want to share a few of the things that I did to prepare for this massive project…
One of the first things I do for ANY project is to brainstorm all of the people, systems, tools, workflows, customer touchpoints, etc. that could be impacted by the project.
You can use an Affinity Diagram to do this work, which is really just a fancy way of saying… write it all on sticky notes and group your notes into categories! Here’s an example from this particular project:
- Weekly YouTube Videos may not be released on time while launch is happening
- Blog posts won’t be able to be published
- Customers won’t be able to access PDFs or buy products
- Blog Copywriter
- Customer Service Rep
- Project Manager <– me
This is by no means the comprehensive list, but you can see that as you do this brainstorming work, you start to get very clear about what needs to be accounted for in your project plan.
✔ You have a list of systems you need to check and understand the connections to, so you can rebuild them or turn off things that you won’t need anymore.
✔ You have a list of processes that might have otherwise slipped your notice during the chaos of launch week. This gives you a head’s up that perhaps you should record a few extra YouTube videos weeks before the launch so you can still release your regularly scheduled content on time.
✔ You have a list of people you need to communicate with, to let them know key dates (such as when the website is going offline) and what workarounds you’re creating so they can continue to do their jobs.
I don’t want to get too much deeper into the nitty-gritty with you, so I’ll just leave you with this: By taking the time upfront to consider every aspect of the project, I knew exactly what I was working on from the second the Coming Soon page went live.
That 20 hours I spent?
It easily could have been 40+ hours if I hadn’t prepped ahead. I had pieces ready to go that just needed to be switched on with a click.
So, the next time you’re planning a project, big or small…
…take an hour to list every possible connection or link that the project touches.
It won’t necessarily mean that there will be less work at the end of the tunnel, but it does mean you’ll know exactly what to work on and when to do it. It’ll save you mental energy and time in the long run.