First steps to next steps
Children have so much to learn – the everyday life skills that are ingrained habits for us as adults are all new experiences to them.
Take for instance washing your hands: we do this about a dozen times a day and think nothing of it. Toddlers are mucky eaters and mucky players (at least in my experience with twin boys) so it is essential that they learn to do this for themselves. They want to play with the soap and water – more mess-making opportunities! But there is one fundamental obstacle – they can’t reach the sink. Enter the miracle invention of the little plastic steps that gives them the extra 12 inches they need to get their hands wet. In fact once they have mastered the little plastic steps they find all sorts of uses for them – with my two this included being able to reach the kitchen worktop to steal cupcakes.
So many times we sit in project scoping meetings where leaders create a vision for the future and identify the milestones to getting there. They will plan a sequence of events and might even start knocking up a gant chart. The hot house of the project meeting creates an environment of enthusiasm and goodwill, which will suggest it’s all going to happen. The project team agree to meet again in a month’s time then disperse back to their regular routines.
One month later they meet again and nothing has happened.
They failed to spend the last 20 minutes of the meeting deciding the first steps to the next steps. These are the pragmatic minutiae of the action planning which will get the project off the ground whilst there is still air coming over the wings:
- Who’s going to own the output of the scoping meeting?
- How’s it going to be shared? In what format?
- Who is going to consult the relevant stakeholders?
- Who are the relevant stakeholders?
- How are the project team going to update each other?
- How committed is everyone to making it all happen?
- What personally will each person have to do or not do?
What are your first steps to your next steps?