Projects are fun only when everything about them goes well. Or after everything is done and all that is left are selfies and the sad hint of nothing to look forward to anymore. Otherwise, community projects can feel like a burden especially where time is limited and yet a lot of the plans are still pending if at all any exist. From experience, here are a few hacks to ‘saving a project’
Define the purpose and focus of the project more clearly based on what you have.
The main reason we find ourselves here is because we tried to do something. As such, even with the time left, let everything work with the simple goal of achieving accomplishing the purpose of the project. A simple attainable purpose is most preferred because it is easy to communicate to anyone. This is in addition to the fair balance of time, impact and a good experience. Simply answer the question ‘what challenge are we solving?’.
Develop a plan. Refine your plan. Stick to your plan.
While the first step makes clearer our destination, this part works on getting us a direct and workable path to the Promised Land. Having a plan makes the bigger picture clearer and attainable to the team. In addition to giving a process, it also provides action points that can be evaluated to monitor progress. A good plan attaches timelines and responsibility to each activity. Upon completion or the elapsing of a given duration for an activity, it is wise to review/report and proceed correspondingly.
Assign roles but do not let anyone work or feel alone.
Having consolidated into a team (the active members at least), each person to pick up what they can confidently do with or without hustle. Dividing roles is essential in beating time. In addition, it guarantees that everyone in the team is sharing in the project experience. No matter how simple or specialized a task is, team members should assist and check up on each other from time to time. A community project is more fun and less challenging when everyone in the team is working together. Teamwork makes the dream work they said.
Communicate frequently and effectively.
Communication is like the team’s heartbeat. It keeps the project alive in mind and in reality. Communication allows the free flow of information which is critical at this point. Quite interestingly, communication maintains a state of aliveness of the group and the project itself. This comes in handy in the modern and personal dynamics of schedules, timelines and distance among others.
Communication in a team is effective only when it is timely, accurate, clear and actionable. Furthermore, communication enables the team to spot internal and external obstacles that need some working around. Think of communication like insurance. One way or the other, at the end of it all, with communication something will always get done.
All factors considered, the conviction and determination to do a community project is a remarkable experience in itself. Challenge yourself and your group to take this opportunity to contribute to the goodness of the world with both hands and run with it as far as it goes. Feel grateful and appreciative of yourself and your team for the sacrifice and tremendous effort you have put in already and how much still needs to be done. More than feeling this, share it with your group. Most times we draw encouragement and inspiration from the people we are working with. Be assured the project shall come and the much we shall have done will be impactful.
By Emmanuel Marumbu Misiati
This blogpost is written in context of hit and run projects executed by members of the Taifa Teule Leadership Experience. I hope that it will be insightful ahead of Cohort 12 project day coming up on 27th. All the best to current TLXers. All the hundreds of you.
I also hope that it is helpful to anyone else who has or is working with a team and you’re hitting the final bend to the project D-day with a few or many things still hanging.
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