Retrospective: Compass Definitions
The Compass Definitions project was successfully completed though with a shift in the goal. The product is a definition of the Ideal State of Cryptiquest complete with concrete and measurable statements.
The definition will illustrate the ideal state of Cryptiquest.
The definition will explain each term from the compass statements (vision, mission, values) in concrete and measurable terms.
This definition will be presented as its own thing on a separate page under “Strategy” on the company website.
*Changed: This objective shifted halfway through the project. After identifying and roughly defining the terms from the compass statements, it became clear that this was not going to lead to the goal of defining the ideal state. Instead, a narrative of the ideal state was written based on the compass statements and the ideal state was objectively defined from that narrative.
This project had a couple of scope shifts – one while defining the goal and another while producing the content. Luckily, the project management process has evolved to allow for controlled shifts in scope.
This project was sparked during Session 01 of the CQ Marketing Guide project since there was a need to define Compass statement terms like “novice creator” in order to measure the objectives of the project. What was also deduced during this session was that the desired outcome of that term use may vary widely from the current capabilities of Cryptiquest (e.g. the “novice creator” may shift by region, including those who read languages other than English and Cryptiquest is not equipped to handle that currently). The solution was to identify the terms that need to be defined from the compass statements then establish an ideal state from those terms.
The first session focused on explaining the need, limitations, solution and goal. It was realized that this project was the unexpected prerequisite of another project (which was actually an unexpected prerequisite of yet another project) and the idea that including “Limitations” during the first session would help identify barriers that may be required for each project. The goal of the project was identified as: to define a future state of Cryptiquest based on concrete and measurable terms from the compass statements. This would change over time.
The second session was dedicated to defining the objectives. This was fairly straight-forward though a chance for “project evolution” was recognized, as was the need for a section called “Project Notes” at the bottom of each session. Surprisingly enough it was the very next session that experienced the beginning of the evolution.
The third session focused on identifying the deliverables and it was here where the goal was subtly changed from “a future state” to “the ideal state” with the new version of the goal becoming: to define the ideal state of Cryptiquest based on concrete and measurable terms from the compass statements. Otherwise, this session was quick and the deliverables identified were followed pretty closely.
The fourth session was dedicated to identifying the compass terms. Efforts were dedicated to stripping the compass statements (vision, mission, and value statements) down to their basic elements and roughly defined those elements. While this work ultimately proved to be unused for this project, the resulting data should prove helpful when creating Cryptiquest guides and documents in the future. A learning lesson from this is the usage of tables; specifically to avoid them if the data is to be copy/pasted in the future as HTML tables are not conducive to such behavior.
The fifth session focused on defining the ideal state of Cryptiquest. This started as planned – by rewriting the compass statements with the new definitions from the previous session then trying to rewrite them so they were measurable. This proved to be an unworkable approach – or at least it seemed to be backwards: the vision statement should not fuel the ideal state, the ideal state should fuel the vision statement. With this revelation, a narrative of what the ideal state looked like was written inspired by the vision statement.
From there, measurable objectives for the ideal state were finally identified. The goal had essentially change to: to define the ideal state of Cryptiquest with concrete and measurable terms inspired by the compass statements. However, this was not discovered at the time. It may be beneficial to include a caveat that any time the project scope or direction shifts, that the goal and objectives need to be reassessed and that it’s okay if the goal and objectives update to reflect the new direction as long as they steer the project closer to solving the need. In order to solve the need for this project, the compass statements need to be assessed to see if they reflect the ideal state.
The sixth session was dedicated to drafting the strategy page. This was fairly straight forward: draft the strategy page > send out to confidant to review > edit. A step was missed however as this was not sent to the general public for review. It might be a good idea to set up a page specifically for general reviews that can be shared on social media outlets.
The seventh session focused on implementing and promoting the content. This was an easy session with no complications.
- A “Limitations” section should be added to the kick-off session to address any obstacles or concerns about the project.
- Data should not be organized into an HTML table if the data is going to be copied since it can not be done so easily.
- The “post for general feedback” step was skipped.
The first lesson is easy enough to implement and will be added to the Cryptiquest Guide to Project Management.
The second lesson is limited to web-only, specifically for the project logs which does not currently have a guideline and is outside the scope of Cryptiquest’s project management documents (since this is an internal issue). The solution, for now, is to note it for now and revisit if it becomes a reoccurring problem.
The third lesson can be mitigated if space is made to allow for posting general feedback, which would want to be filled with content.
- Add the following projects to the All Project Deliverables page
- Create space on social media for general public reviews.
- Reassess Compass Statements based on Ideal State
- Items to Add to the Cryptiquest Guide to Project Management
- Add “Limitations” section to each kick-off session.
- A step for “Assessing the Goal, Objectives and Deliverables” should be added any time the scope or direction of the project changes, noting that as long as the direction brings the project closer to solving the need, it is okay to update.