One of the most important elements when it comes to having a successful project would be planning it well. Even the smallest projects should be carefully considered and its milestones should be carefully listed down, because planning a project actually has various benefits that you would not want to miss. Planning a project can help in organizing your work as well as determining which things that need to be focused on more with regards to the project’s objective. It also helps improving communication with clients because you are really clear and well-informed about the things that you are going to do in making the project a success, whereas as an added bonus it also provides you with the transparency of your upcoming tasks.
Planning a project is usually done by listing down the things that need to be down in the beginning down to the end, and not the other way around. In various situations, planning sometimes also occur continuously throughout the whole project. One reason why this happens is due to mismanagement of time, because a lot of time the early steps are done too slowly, leaving more and more things to be done near the deadline and this can be a really exhausting process. As an alternative to this, planning your project backward can actually help you to finish your projects on time with a greater quality, because it allows a more realistic work structure as well as freedom in doing the tasks.
Backwards planning, or also sometimes known as backwards design or backwards goal-setting, is done by listing down things from your deadline down to the beginning. It is commonly used by teachers and educators, but it turns out to be as effective when it comes to planning projects. The detailed process would be as follows:
Write Down the Ultimate Goal
First and foremost, you need to write down the ultimate goal that becomes the central focus of your project. Your ultimate goal should perhaps be the end product, with every description of how you want the product to be finished. This should not be hastily done, because being very specific and detailed will help you to complete the next process better. You need to also take into account that you are setting up a realistic goal, because expecting too high without any possibility of making it happen will only waste your time. Once the objective has been clearly written down, you need to decide the due date for such objective to be achieved. For example, if your end product would be a website then you need to write down all its features as well as other things that are attached to it as your ultimate goal. This may entail its domain, writing down all its contents as well as perhaps getting the required photos or videos from your client.
Make a To-Do List
The next thing to do once you have determined and written down the ultimate goal, you will need to list down things that need to be done in order to accomplish the ultimate goal. This will include specifying in details the step by step procedures that you would need to do prior to the deadline, but you should do so in a reverse timeline. List down things that need to be done a day before the deadline, two days, a week, two weeks and so on. Even though planning is not equal to the project timeline, but a timeline is also an important element of the planning itself.
Change When Necessary
Last but not least, you are also allowed to make changes to your planning whenever something does not work within the specified to do list timeline. Once you realize that the deadline for something is just not possible or far from being reasonable, you will have to adjust it. The good thing about planning something backwards is that you will not realize that you are running out of time at the beginning, because you will be able to adjust things while the work is still on progress. Backwards planning ensure that you will have enough time to accomplish whatever goal it is that you set from the beginning since you have a clearer picture in mind of how much things you will need to finish in a certain time period.