As part of the TechWomen series on innovation and entrepreneurship, this post covers an easy way to put all of your work together into a phased, project development plan. Start by sketching out an image like below to plot all of your project components on.
You can now start to plot your project components onto this chart. Using sticky notes or a whiteboard can be helpful as you may want to move the components around. The horizontal axis covers the importance or impact of each project component. Questions to help determine the importance or impact include:
On the vertical axis, you want to consider the effort or difficulty to complete this component. Questions include:
With these questions in mind, you can start plotting your project components as shown below.
An important part of this exercise is to spend the time and really think about the parts and their value. Take notes if this raises questions or generates new ideas. Write them directly onto the graph if you like. As much as this is a tool to help you develop a plan, it's also a tool to think about the whole project and continually test it and make it better.
Note: When plotting your project components, avoid overlapping them. Make the hard choice and decide which one will have a greater impact or which one will take more effort to complete. Imagine you are working on a grid.
With all of your pieces plotted, you can then split the chart into halves.
Splitting the chart like this helps you to make sure that you've avoided overlap and sets you up for the next step. In this example, the splitting process works like this:
With the grid created, add three arcs like below.
The arcs can go from corner to corner (approximately) as shown above. Label the arcs phase 1, phase 2 and phase 3 and you have a decent approach for your development plan. One thing I like to do with this, as mentioned earlier, is to write notes on the plan. It can be helpful to draw the connections or dependencies between components like below.
Now with writing up the development plan, you're just telling the story that goes with the picture you've created.
Stay tuned for more tips from the Innovation Workshop and happy innovating!