My Secret to Project Planning

Creating a course or group program is an awesome way to scale 1-on-1 services, but it's a big project. And planning out how to complete a big project is hard. It just is - especially when you’re the one creating it and keeping track of all the details, all while managing the other aspects of your business.

Creating the timeline to launch new (or existing) products is easily one of the biggest challenges for most of my clients. We want to set deadlines to keep ourselves accountable, but so often forget about all those little details. And forget about building in enough time for the unexpected!

Thus, we either set a completely unrealistic launch date, or completely forgo sleep in the weeks leading up to it in order to stay on track. If there’s one thing I just don’t compromise on, it’s sleep. But more on that another day.

So, what's an up-leveling coach to do?

The first thing I do with each of my clients, no matter the project, is break it down into phases. There are larger phases like Content Creation and Add-Ons/Bonuses. As needed, each gets broken down from there. Trying to plan out your process while only looking at is as your complete project does not work. Trust me!

The key to planning by phases successfully, though, is to make sure you actually include every phase and aspect of your product. Duh. So how are we supposed to do that?!

Two Words: user Experience.

I find the most effective way to plan out phases is to, in excruciating detail, outline the client experience and interaction with your program. This would include:

  • What the purchasing experience is like
  • What they get after they enroll - are they able to access the entire program, or is it a course that drips out information over time? 
  • What does the product actually look like and include? (videos, downloadable PDFs, live components, or access to a Facebook group that will be managed and updated)
  • Any post-purchase follow up, such as a satisfaction survey

It’s ok to not have exact answers to some or many of these questions. This phase is just as much about figuring out what you don’t know yet.

For example, if you haven’t decided on an ecommerce platform yet, make sure you’re building in time to research, choose, and learn one. And probably a little extra time for unforeseen hiccups that come with using a new tool.

This step usually opens our eyes to all of the things we don’t have figured out yet and helps us identify the low-hanging fruit. From there we can map out priorities, and determine what should be passed off to a VA, designer, or other team member.

The last part of my planning secret? When you get too knotted up in details and things start to get blurry, put it away. Go for a walk or have a glass of wine, and come back to it tomorrow. 

 

Get my exact process for breaking down course & group program with the Quick Guide to Creating a Course: