Project Pillars

Published: 2019-07-22 18:32:18 -0400 -0400

Reading time: 3 mins (636 words)

goal

Over time I’ve found myself with the recurring issue of what to do next. This is a problem that is also faced by most teams / companies and one of the more successful ways I’ve seen them take this challenge on is by comparing the costs / benefits of each effort and using that as a metric in the decision process.

Thus the point of these pillars is to initiate a process that will help me compare my numerous projects so I know what the best prospects are at any one time.

pillars

Approx. the points for each project by adding them up.

Max is: 5 Min is: -3

So likely stick to the positives. We can label in Trello like:

  • High opp - green [4+]
  • Medium opp - yellow [2 - 3]
  • low opp - red [-3, 1]

  • Is it in-line with what I’m trying to do in this time period? (0, 1):

  • Is the end artifact cool? (0, 1):

  • am I excited to build / do it(-1, 1):

  • will i learn something I want to learn (0, 1):

  • will I learn something that is useful (0, 1):

  • is it impactful (0, 2):

  • how much does it cost (-3, 0):

  • total:

Is it in line with my current OKRs?

I want to make sure that what I’m building lines up with what I’m trying to do in this time period so we add a weight to that to help keep us on track.

  • 0 - no
  • 1 - yes

Is the end artifact cool?

Would I look at it and be like “that’s cool”?

  • 0 - no
  • 1 - yes

Am I excited to build it (-1 - 1)

If I’m not excited to build it, motivation may be hard to come by. Moreover, if I’m not excited to build it then the other things better be damn good for me to waste my time doing something I don’t necessarily want to do.

  • -1 - ugh I don’t want to do it
  • 0 - meh
  • 1 - hecka yeah

Will I learn something that I want to learn (0 - 1)

Projects don’t necessarily need to be cool in their end form. It’s possible to build something solely for the passive rewards of better understanding the domain. I want to encapsulate that.

  • 0 - won’t learn anything I’m excited about
  • 1 - will learn something I’m excited about

Will I learn something that is useful

  • 0 - won’t learn something I’m excited about
  • 1 - will learn something I’m excited about

Is it impactful (0 - 2)

Impact is the state of causing a change. I think the most valuable thing that can come out of effort expenditure is seeing some change. Each facet of life will have its own idea of what impact is, but I’ve listed some examples below.

  • 0 - low impact - Minor impact, unlikely to see a meaningful change
    • Examples: 1% more efficient, saving 1 hr / month, making $1 / month
  • 1 - medium impact - A sizable impact, good chance of meaningful change
    • Examples: 10% more efficient, saving 1 hr / week, making $1 / week
  • 2 - high impact - A significant impact, high chance of large change
    • Examples: 25% more efficient, saving 5 hours / week, generating $10 / week

How much does it cost (-2 - 0)

Now a cost / benefit analysis isn’t complete until we talk about cost. Similar to value, the cost of something really depends on the scope but here we’ll stick to a high level but I’ll provide some guidelines that could be used to gauge.

  • -3 - v high - A quarter+ of time
  • -2 - high - A ~month of time
  • -1 - medium - A weekend or week’s worth of weekdays
  • 0 - < 2 hours
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