Here’s your scenario as a church communicator. Your church has a website that you want to not only redesign but also switch to a different platform. How do you pitch your idea to leadership? What are the steps coming out of your proposal to carry out the project? I’d like to share a simple template that our Support Ministries team uses in Asana. This is a practical and effective strategy that you can apply to any number of projects and could be implemented in other similar project management tools like Trello or Monday. Below I’ll provide the details of the template our team designed and why it is a valuable tool.
Support Ministries Project Template
I’m going to break down each section of our project template with a brief description. One of the great benefits of this approach and using Asana is that you can save a template and just choose to use the template for a new project with the click of a button. Consistency is key here.
Concept to Vetting
You initial project needs to start somewhere, so the first major section of the project template is the Version 1 Proposal. This asks the following questions that you simply fill in:
- Vision: What gain will be celebrated when we accomplish this thing?
- Outline: Broad sketch of the project needing input; time spent developing should represent both general nature but also any pre-established non-negotiables. Here you are asking the what, how, when, whom, how much?
- What initial challenges do you see? Put these in question form [no more than three]
- Suggest/Define Circle 1: Who should be a part of the first conversation?
Vetting to Plan (up to 2 Circles/3 Versions)
In Vetting to Plan you are seeking greater buy-in, refinement, and a green light. The following steps (tasks in Asana) are pre-built with some guiding questions:
- Circle 1 Input and Refinement: Here you are attempting to meet with the key stakeholders and go over the first version of the proposal and work closer to plan and implementation.
- Who is involved in project and/or directly affected.
- What are the testing questions? What are we trying to accomplish and why? How will we measure success? What other conditions must exist? How do we get there?
- Version 2 Complete: This task is completed by project lead and others involved and brought into…
- Circle 2 Input and Refinement: Who is indirectly affected and/or interested in the project or outcomes?
- Version 3 Complete and Project Green light: This last version is the final phase that moves the project into Planning and Implementation broken down by the individual tasks.
Plan to Implementation
Our template has ten slots for individual tasks ready to be filled in by the project team. This number can be less or more depending on the scope of the project. Essentially, once you move through the first few phases described above, here is the heart of the project management that guides the process toward completion.
Celebrate and Adjust
This final phase of the Support Ministries Project Template is all about recognizing the completion of the project. We have four final steps in this section:
- Team Celebration Moment: Defined by the team, this celebration can be what you want it to be. Have a pizza party, bring in some pies to share, post your team celebration pose on Facebook or Instagram, you can make the celebration as big or small as you like. The important thing is to seriously take time to celebrate! You accomplished something for the Lord!
- Quick digital survey to affected staff or volunteers: Send out a four question survey (Survey Monkey, Cognito Forms, Google Forms, or other survey tool) to all those involved or affected by the project to make sure you are honoring the team collaboration aspect of any project. You can ask questions specific to your context, but we as these four questions:
Did you feel informed/involved at the level of your responsibilities? (Not enough, Some but needs improvement, or Nailed it)
- Do you feel the outcome(s) matched our desires/mission? (Not enough, Some but needs improvement, or Nailed it)
- How did the project wrap for you personally? (Not so great, Meh, Really happy)
- Any missteps you’d like addressed/noted? (open-ended comment)
For all of the project leads and those closely involved in the completion of the tasks, make sure to set aside time as a team to evaluate what you did, how you accomplished it, and based on the feedback what can you adjust for the next project. Simply put, don’t forget to talk about what happened.
Mid-term check-in with affected staff/volunteers
In the same way you talk with your team about the project, casually check in with everyone involved in the project to see how the actual thing completed is working for everyone.
This proposal and project template works for us in Asana, but the same strategy can be used in other project management tools or even just on paper. I recently used this template to pitch a new website design. Following the simple Concept to Vetting phase, all I had to do was answer those questions listed above. Being prepared for my meeting, I ran through a proposal prepared to answer every question, ultimately leading to the project being being accepted. If you have a project, make a plan, hold yourself and your team to it, and follow through all the way to celebration. A strong plan helps build a strong and healthy team.