Charlie Gilkey on Start Finishing, Part 6

In his book, Start Finishing: How to go from idea to done, Charlie Gilkey discusses how we can follow a nine-step method to convert an idea into a project and get the project done via a reality-based schedule.

These are some of my favorite concepts and takeaways from reading the book.

Chapter 6, Build Your Project Road Map

In this chapter, Charlie discusses the approach for developing a project roadmap that will place chunks of a project on a timeline. He offers the following recommendations for us to think about:

  • Rather than start our project on hard mode, we should consider building it by playing to our strengths. For example, consider using our GATES elements from the beginning to make it easier to get the project done.
    • Genius: What seems to be an expression of an inner creative force.
    • Affinities: What we are drawn to do.
    • Talents: What seems to be our native skills or capabilities.
    • Expertise: What we have learned through experience and practice.
    • Strengths: What seems to come easy for us.
  • Creating a budget for our project even when a project does not require money. Making budget is like making plans in that it is an awareness-generating process.
  • Use deadlines to guide our project, but it is our capacity that drives our project. Employ both forward-planning and backward planning approaches. Use backward planning to limit the size of the project and to set hard milestones. However, be cautious of using backward planning exclusively because most projects do not get our dedicated focus and attention all the time.
  • When we are working with outside collaborators, be sure to build relay time into our road map.
  • Build our road map with flexibility in mind and embrace the mistakes we are going to make. The seven recommended steps are:
    • Start your chunk list
    • Sort and link your chunks
    • Sequence your chunks
    • Clump your chunks
    • Upgrade your clumps
    • Overlay your chunks on a timeline
    • Schedule your chunks