Behind the Scenes @ Wild Apricot: Goals, Milestones, and Webinars, oh my!

Lori Halley 12 April 2010 0 comments

It seems almost redundant to start off the Behind the Scenes at Wild Apricot post by saying that it was yet another busy week, but the truth is that it was a busy week.

We're starting working on our next version and it's also the start of a new quarter. It's great from a project planning perspective when these two events sync up. It gives us a great chance to look back at what worked and what didn't and make necessary adjustments, both for Wild Apricot and our own personal goals.

I integrate this as part of an ongoing process: Above my desk every week is a spreadsheet where I identify all my milestones for the week and break them down on a day by day basis. So, for example on Monday I have listed that I want to work on some analysis for new features coming up, and also that I want to check the list of suggestions that our support team has gathered. On Tuesday I want to work on some planning tasks and also prepare for a webinar I am giving later in the week. I also have sections on my sheet where I list what my goals are for the week, the month, and the quarter.

I've been using this system for about a year, and it's been a great benefit. By doing it at the end of the week I'm able to take to plan what I'm going to do in the next week. Categorizing it day by day means that I set myself a reasonable set of milestones as the week progresses. I like this much better than a general "To do" list, which doesn't really have any priorities associated with it. Most importantly, I avoid what I used to call "Friday panic" where I would spent the last day or two of the week frantically rushing around trying to catch up with all the things I was SUPPOSED to do during the week and get them where I THOUGHT they would be. As I make my list I can get a sense if my milestones are realistic, and by checking with the list every day I can make sure I am hitting those targets. If not, then I can start making adjustments. If I am on target...well then I treat myself! (Yes, yes I know hard work should be its own reward, but sometimes I really like a Diet Dr Pepper). Since I have my monthly and quarterly goals on the sheet also, I can always make sure I'm working on those things that I deemed as important, and thus spend less time chasing my tail.

As I said, it's been a great success for me and most other people at Wild Apricot use it or something similar. The important thing is that it doesn't really matter how you track your goals, but that you do track them. When you do track them, make sure that they are well defined and that you know when they are complete. It's why we have things like the Forum and Roadmap - to make sure that we don't just have a good idea, but that we know where that idea comes from, what parts of it are important and necessary, and at what point we can say "Yes, this is what we want it to do, and this is how it does it." Otherwise, well, we'd get nothing done and look busy doing it!

Having said that, here are some of the conversations that have been going on in our forums this week:

I imagine that most of you reading this already have Wild Apricot accounts. However, you may have some friends or peers who are interested in an online membership management service for their own organizations. First of all, you can give them a referral from the dashboard of your administrative site. Also, you can tell them that we have a What is Wild Apricot? webinar this Wednesday April 14th at 2 PM ET. It's a great chance for people who aren't familiar with Wild Apricot to get a good look at how the whole system works together. And if they can't make this one, they shouldn't despair. We run them a couple of times a month. They can register and get information on past or upcoming webinars at  /webinars

Next week I'm going to start going over some of the features that our development team is hard at work on for the next version, which right now is expected in July. However, we do have a little way to be able to sneak some new features in from time to time. I'll be telling you more about that and just who is responsible.

Until then, have fun!

 

Originally posted by gvalentino 

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Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Monday, 12 April 2010 at 2:12 PM

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