Now for the hard bit. I need to decide how I am going to manage this spa range project. There are a couple of restraints – the most important being that it doesn’t have an immediate client so I need to work in such a way that I can pick it up and drop it to fit in with more urgent tasks as they arise.
I also need to make sure that it doesn’t drift along and gradually fade away like projects often do. So I need to do at least 15 minutes every day on it to keep the momentum going. Equally I need to make sure I don’t do too much on it because I need to be getting billable hours lodged or I will run out of cash. So I will put a maximum of 1 hour a day on it. That sounds like a reasonable approach.
The implications of those constraints are important. I need to break down all the tasks on the project into small enough chunks that I can fit them into other work efficiently. So basically I need to plan on the basis of 15 minute sessions.
Of course one of the motivations of this project is to have stuff ready to provide to customers who might make enquiries along the lines of products I am developing in this range. This is the most interesting constraint of all because it forces me to work in a way backwards. Normally you start with an idea, work up a prototype, get some studies going, and then start working on regulatory compliance and promotional material. So you start small and gradually build up This is both logical, but also has the other advantage that you steadily increase the resources you have committed as you go along. Any project can get cancelled at any time for any number of reasons. So it makes sense not to commit too much in the early stages when you are not sure it is going to go ahead.
This project turns this on its head. I want to be able to get as much done up front as possible so that I decide to launch it then I can get it out of the dock as quickly as possible. So I will start by getting as much of the paperwork done as possible and work back from there to create the samples.