8 Steps to Finish Your Almost Done Projects

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How many almost done internal projects do you have on your to-do-someday list? You know the ones I’m talking about. The great idea you or someone in your company had one day. It made sense, you could see the opportunities, you dove in.

And then one of these things happened.

  • A client project became the priority.

  • You had a new, better shiny idea.

  • You started second guessing the wisdom of this project.

  • You got bored.

  • You got stuck.

  • You didn't want to ask for help.

  • What Happens to Your Fresh Strategic Opportunities?

    You company's big ideas hig pause. You tell yourself that you'll get bacck to it just as soon as ---

  • you take care of your client

  • you get unstuck

  • you finish the new shiny thing

  • you get un-busy

  • you're sure you should finish

  • If that sounds familiar, you’re in good company. We all do it.

    We make commitments to our clients, and we wouldn’t consider for a moment not delivering. And yet we treat our own valuable opportunities as something we’ll get to when we have time.

    Why do we shortchange our own company’s future?

    What if you could complete more of your own strategic projects and still meet your clients’ needs? This was the question I asked myself.

    We have no shortage of big ideas on our someday list.

  • Some of these are simply what-ifs with little detail.

  • Others have the getting started steps clearly outlined.

  • And then there are those that are in the 95% done category.

  • Let's Talk About #3

    Before we start any internal project, no matter the scope, we ask ourselves these 10 key questions.

  • What is the purpose

  • Why should we consider it

  • Who is it for / not for

  • What measurable difference will this make for our clients and company

  • What is the desired outcome

  • What are the risks and obstacles

  • What happens if we don’t do this

  • What do we need to execute

  • What will determine success

  • When will we give ourselves permission to stop

  • We answered these 10 questions. That means the 95%ers on our undone list deserve the final 5%. We would never expect a client to accept 95% so why should we?  We decided that with these 8 steps we could become our own client.

    1. Gather your list of unfinished projects. Don’t edit, judge, or overthink. Just start with the imperfect list.

    2. For each unfinished opportunity, do a fresh, objective review of it. If a client were presenting this initiative to you, what would you tell them?

    3. If the project still deserves the final 5% attention, then detail in writing the actions and responsibilities to finish.

    4. If the project doesn’t deliver on your company’s long-term strategic goals, then take it off the list. Knowing when to stop is an important step in every project. Stopping for the right reasons is smart finishing.

    5. Prioritize your list. Pick only one project you will start and finish. Tackling too many at one time is unrealistic. The goal is to finish one valuable project at a time.

    6. For each project, commit to the time and resources needed to wrap it up. Schedule the work just as you do for every client project. Remember, you identified real strategic value in this deliverable for your company. Give it the attention you, your client, deserves.

    7. Finish and deliver the project.

    8. Now go back to the list, pick the next single priority, and finish it.

    What's the first project on your someday list that you're ready to commit to finishing?

    . . .

    Linda Rolf is a lifelong curious learner who believes a knowledge-first approach builds valuable client relationships.

    She is fueled by discovering the unexpected connections among technology, data, information, people and process. For more than four decades, Linda and Quest Technology Group have been their clients' trusted advisor and strategic partner.

    Linda believes that lasting value and trust are created through continuously listening, sharing knowledge freely, and delivering more than their clients even know they need.

    As the CIO of their first startup client said, "The value that Quest brings to Cotton States is far greater than the software they develop."

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