Tuesday, March 12, 2024

*Always* Begin with the End in Mind

Really, always. 

A simple tactic for better ops, growth, and strategic outcomes.

The Basics

Beginning with the end in mind creates team alignment and grounds a project in a shared reality. 

Starting with a clear end-vision also sets you up for higher-leverage conversations when the project inevitably changes. 

Instead of spending time on conversations about why an action was taken or what the rationale for XYZ decision was 3 weeks ago, you'll jump immediately to high-energy questions like:

  • What changed since we created the plan?
  • What did we learn?
  • What do we need to do now?

Finally, by beginning with the end in mind you'll...wait for it...actually know when you reach the end! That psychological sense of "done" is meaningful even when you know that you'll be iterating or maintaining well into the future.

Tactics Time

Your first step of any project should be to get clear on the outcomes, outputs, and the rough path to reach those. 

There is nothing magic about making this happen. It takes intentionality and a team that sees the value in doing this work upfront. 

Here's the basic process:

  • Write it down - async, clear, unambiguous, forced clarity of thought
  • Share for comments - get the little stuff out of the way async 
  • Meet - address big/outstanding items, run the ceremony of "i see your face, we agree to this reality"
  • Act - With the shared reality in place, you can start executing knowing that things will change and your team will be prepared to address those changes quickly

This is the basic template I use to begin with the end in mind 👇

Project Template - Begin with the End in Mind