"A GOAL WITHOUT A PLAN IS JUST A WISH."
These words of wisdom are believed to come from French nobleman, aviator, and The Little Prince author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. They also might come from Joan Horbiak's 1995 weight loss book, 50 Ways to Lose Ten Pounds. Whoever spoke them first, they're words to live by. It's something to keep in mind no matter what you're doing: exploring new worlds, cutting back on carbs, or developing custom e-learning.
We have our own saying around here: Great processes make deadlines. It's a simple truth, and it's crucial to how we develop our projects. No matter the size or scope of a project, it's essential to take the time early on to lay the groundwork for an effective, fruitful collaboration. Here are four things to do from the beginning that will change the way you approach your deadlines.
1. DEFINE YOUR SUCCESS
To plan a successful route anywhere, you have to have a clear picture of your destination. That's why we like to talk about the vital importance of defining your success. By laying out specific objectives, you can make sure everyone's on the same page about exactly what's expected. Once we all know what we're building, and what success looks like, we can work with you to figure out exactly the best way to get there.
2. TRUST THE PROCESS
We have a history of using a strong, reliable process to deliver projects that exceed expectations. One of the most common mistakes when working on a project is to begin doubting your process and going wildly off-target as a result. Midstream course correction, which often comes from a place of skepticism and anxiety, can often lead you down a dangerous rabbit hole of endless tweaks and arguments, often resulting in frustrating wastes of time and effort on everyone's part. And the worst part is: This painful mistake is totally avoidable. Trusting the path you're on will keep everyone on-track and focused on the objectives of your projects.
3. USE MEANINGFUL MILESTONES
We have another saying: No fake deadlines. A strong process doesn't just result in meeting deadlines; it relies on it. By establishing authentic, meaningful milestones to guide the project forward, you can make sure your project will enjoy a vibrant, collaborative evolution. If you know in advance that the deadlines you've established don't actually mean much, think about what happens if you introduce more transparency into your timeline. Everyone on your project team benefits from a frank dialogue about what's expected and when.
4. ALWAYS WORK FORWARD
Meaningful collaboration is built on collaboration. And trust means that everyone is committed to finding solutions and moving forward. That's why it's so important to avoid poisonous arguments. When a project ends up deep in the weeds over a trivial issue or unwillingness to collaborate or compromise, no one wins. You don't want to grind your project to a halt when you could be working to identify an issue and find a solution together.
When you trust your collaborators and follow a solid, tested process, you're setting up your project for success. Set a goal, follow the path, and find success. After all, in the words of the greatest wits of our time, the late Yogi Berra:
"If you don't know where you're going, you might wind up someplace else."
Ready to learn how you can collaborate the best? Check out our guide to finding the right custom e-learning vendor for your project.