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How do you map your milestones and goals?

There are different approaches to startegic planning for startups, especially since things are always up in the air and filled with "if this then this" statements. How does your startup rack milestones and represent milestones? I am not the best at charts and I am not a visual person (prefer narratives) is there a resource you can point to that has helped you chart goals and progress to goals? Any samples (without any sensitive info of course) from the FD community would be awesome!

Thanks!

13 Replies

Skip Weeks
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Skip Weeks Entrepreneur
President & COO at InTouch, LLC
Hi Helen: I would recommend that you check out a couple of online tools that I have found helpful: TRELLO: trello.com BASECAMP: basecamp.com Also, from a practical standpoint, I really like looking at progress in week-sized chunks. So having a weekly status check at the same time and on the same day with each member of the team really helps to keep things moving and provides an opportunity for course corrections, as needed, for everyone. This also assumes that you also have a business plan that everything should ultimately tie to. Hope this helps.
Stephen Campbell, PMP
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Project Management Professional
Trello and basecamp are useful. Good ole Excel can still get the job done too. I personally use MS Project as laborious as it is, it's really efficient.

There are TONS of other PM-type tools however. Asana is also very good. Let me know if you need more.
Karl Schulmeisters
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Karl Schulmeisters Entrepreneur
CTO ClearRoadmap
It really depends on the complexity of what you are doing and who the tracking is for.

We tracked in Visual Studio Online for the dev work, on separate whiteboards as well as SharePoint Office 365 for other tasks, and for tactical stuff where I had to track incremental progress within the tasks I was doing I did it in Excel.

So it really matters who the consumer is, what the level of complexity is and what type of thing it is that you are tracking
Tom Jeffries
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Tom Jeffries Advisor
CEO and Founder at Safe-Xchange
Calendars!
Stephen Lynch
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Stephen Lynch Advisor
Head of Strategy & Consulting at RESULTS.com, Award Winning Author, Speaker, Strategic Planning Facilitator
Disclosure - I work for RESULTS.com

Our tool helps SMB to track their strategic projects, tasks and KPIs and align the team through running more effective meetings.

Feel free to request a demo via the website

Regards
Stephen
Stephen Campbell, PMP
1
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Project Management Professional
Wow, with the glut of resources that accomplish the same thing, I can't fathom a true startup paying the prices from Results.com. Seems more geared towards MBs, not SMBs.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, it just blows me away to see SalesForce and constituents ripping a new one in unsuspecting entrepreneurs who think they're paying top dollar and getting the best solution FOR THEM. Yikes.
Eric Lannert
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Eric Lannert Entrepreneur
Program Director at Digital Youth Network, DePaul University
We have used lean startup canvas - both with post-its on butcher paper as well as trying the online versions - leanlaunchlab.com was pretty good. this method is designed for the if-then type decision making and management we face during the product-market fit stage. for running projects of all sizes we use smartsheet.com and for running the operations we use trello.

and on a total tangent, i cannot recommend enough to track your time and team time in great detail with an easy tool like timetag.it you will be amazed at how different your actual use of time is from what you think you spend time on. its your most valuable asset at the start. monitor it to manage it well.
Tom Jeffries
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Tom Jeffries Advisor
CEO and Founder at Safe-Xchange
Sorry if my earlier message seemed over-simplified- I was on my way to a meeting. But, over the course of more than 30 years of running businesses, that's how I approach strategic planning. There are many different calendars, and a number of people have mentioned some good ones here. In my opinion, though, you really have to track time in terms of engineering, marketing, sales, and administration, and you need to have a very good sense of priorities.

The tool matters less than your planning.
JC Duarte
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JC Duarte Advisor
Co-founder & COO @ Distribu.td
WhileTRELLO:trello.com&BASECAMP:basecamp.comare great tools, if you want something that helps you set better goals & then helps you with accountability & communication on the execution front, Results.com is my prefered solution for a collaborative tool. Results.com is based on a One Page Plan methodology, and if you're too early stage for the tools, I have also gotten by with the templates. Here is a quick reference guide for how I use a manual approach. Private message me & I'd be happy to send you a One Page Plan with some sample data already filled out.

Disclaimer: I find from experience that the process is more important than the tool itself.
Joe Monastiero
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Joe Monastiero Advisor
CEO, Founder nFlate
We use Wrike for out planning and milestones and like it a lot, simple to get started, free and paid versions.

Joe
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