The thought of what I’m about to bring up brings dread to the chairs of many committees.
You’re in a meeting and someone comes up with a great idea. In the beginning, you’re excited, you see the potential and you can’t wait for it all to fall into place.
Then you step back. You realize it will never just “fall” into place. You realize you’re the one in charge of making it happen and that there are countless steps between where you are now and where you want to be – the exciting place you just imagined.
You slink down in your chair and you think about the massive amount of work that lies ahead, the confused communication between committee members, the group emails, the attempt to assign tasks only to have them fall flat back onto your lap.
I can hear – and understand – your “sigh” from here.
But I’ve got good news to stop that “sigh” in its tracks. Your next committee project doesn’t have to be a nightmare. It doesn’t have to be like all the others. It can be simple, it can be hassle free and it can come together faster than you could hope.
How? Keep reading!
Start with the right platform
You knew I’d have to go there….right? I promise this isn’t a giant sales pitch – instead, it’s a fact based on experience-based evidence.
Here’s the thing. No matter what amazing intentions you have, and how carefully you follow the next few things on the list, you’re going to be limited by the same things you’ve always been limited by if the right platform isn’t in place from the start.
We designed Social HubSite to be a member community products that works with and for committees and member groups. Therefore, for your dream committee project scenario to come to life, you’ve got to start with the right foundation.
We’ve talked a lot in the past about how to increase usage rates within your community and so on, so I won’t drag on this point for long.
But, for any project to be a success, your committee members have to be on board. They’ve got to understand the potential that comes with completion…they have to buy in.
So, before you go any further, think about how the project proposal process went. Was everyone excited? Was there resentment or underlying frustration? Address those issues before going any further.
Think it Through from Start to Finish
Sounds a little obvious…right? Unfortunately, it’s easy to skip.
We think about immediate needs – it’s how we’re wired. Because of this, considering all outcomes sometimes gets pushed to the back of our minds until there’s trouble.
To prevent this with your next committee project, make a little map – it can be on a post-it, it doesn’t have to be detailed – about what needs to happen in step 1, before step 2 can happen. Who needs to be involved? Think of your sketch as a project map of sorts.
Commit to Keeping it Simple
Don’t listen to the naysayers out there that say committee projects have to be cluttered, confusing or complicated.
Stick to your project map. Stick to what really matters. Avoid anything that leads you into confusion or complication. Remember, the goal is simplicity and time-savings…there’s no room for complications.
Make it your mantra and consider everything that comes up in the future against this objective. Is it necessary? Yes? Great. No? Eliminate it.
Create Your Project and Start Assigning
Assuming you’ve followed step one, your Social HubSite is set up and your members are invited.
At this point, it’s time to create your project. Give it a name and put it out there. Just like most project management systems (except on a much simpler level!), you can use Social HubSite to create and assign individual tasks that members can mark off as completed as the project progresses. Think about your timeline, set benchmarks and proceed as normal.
The fact that you can assign projects to committee members means that there is some accountability built in. If something falls through, it doesn’t reflect on you, it reflects on the member that didn’t step up. This means that everyone should be more willing to do what needs to be done to accomplish the final goal!
Keep the Communication Internal
Group emails can be a nightmare (don’t understand? Start here). One person responds. Another misses the changes made by the original respondent and makes other changes. Soon everyone’s talking and there’s no semblance of order. What should have been easy has become a mess in need of serious time to sort it out.
Inside your Social HubSite project, your committee members can comment on tasks, communicating as the project goes, openly, without confusion.
Provide Incentives Along the Way
No matter how great your community is, and how excited everyone is to reach the final goal, it’s always fun to have a few incentives along the way.
Think about what you could do to motivate your group – dessert party? Simple thank-you notes as tasks are accomplished? When you’re not stuck decluttering the project, you’ll have more time to get creative. Think about how you could incentivize your committee members during the project phase.
Remember, just because you have it all mapped up doesn’t mean unexpected situations won’t arise. But, as long as you’ve followed steps 1-8, you’ll be better prepared to adjust your course to work toward your desired outcome. Be open, be flexible and stay positive.
Get started today. Your next committee project can be a headache-free success with a little planning on your end.
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