The human brain is an extremely complex thing – made up of many different areas, all performing different tasks, coming together to form a cohesive whole that can carry out the most demanding tasks.
Although the popular hypothesis about right and left brain functions has been dismissed by neuroscientists, it can still serve as a metaphor for making use of both logic and creativity when it comes to tackling problems involved in such activities as project development.
The best ideas can spin from the creative depths of the mind but without logic and structure, the idea would never become a concept, which would never become a plan, which would never be realised.
We can take this idea and, by understanding a little more about how our brains work, apply this concept to project development.
What is the brain good at?
Your brain is a problem-solving machine. Honed by millions of years of evolution, it is really good at coming up with solutions to problems but, left unchecked, it has a tendency to travel down pathways of abstraction. With training, you can use the right part of your brain at the right time.
For any project idea, a simple format and approach is proven to work. The key is to understand which part of the brain to engage and when.
Step by step guide:
What is the problem you are attempting to solve? What is the purpose of your project?
You have identified the problem and used logic to define the purpose.
This step is vital; what is the goal and end point of the project?
Logic will be useful to understand the outcomes of any project, your creative side to visualise the best result and benefits for client or user.
How can we create this project and in which directions can we go?
This is where creativity comes into its own – look at the purpose and vision. Engage your creative side to develop ideas and think outside the box!
Who needs to be involved? What skills do you need and when?
Back to logic – analyse the first three points to create a structure for the project. Understand what you need and why.
Basically the jobs list – what needs to be done and who needs to do it?
Decide on what needs to be done and the importance of each role and responsibility. Define the dependencies and create a priority-based action plan.
Make room for creativity
It is very easy to consider creativity unimportant in business. We get so tied up in daily work that creativity is put aside, with other tasks taking priority. However, some of the great entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson and Steve Jobs have been highly creative people, using that creativity to invent, develop and market great products and customer service experiences.
Take time: make space in your day for creativity.
Expand or restrict: choose a purpose and let your mind wander.
Brainstorming: team creativity can offer better results with a defined purpose.
Write down your ideas: keep a record of all your thoughts.
Change your environment: a different outlook can inspire creative thought.
This is where your brain organises and develops your business. The logical day-to-day running of your business is as important as the project concept.
Create a plan: simple and concise.
Business and user: consider both points of view.
Organisational structure: team, responsibilities and incentives.
Legal compliance: what laws apply to your project.
Finance: from development costs to taking user payments.
By using a simple flip-sided concept and making time for each facet of the task, you can split your project into easily manageable sections that your brain will understand.
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