WCOC WordPress

Taming the Whirlwind

An expert is a person who has found out, by his own painful experience, all the mistakes that one can make in a very narrow field.

Dr. Niels ….

You are not alone

We face common challenges. In five years of coaching conversations, I’ve found very few unique issues.

  • Common struggle
  • understanding the problem

The Common Struggle

  • Strategy vs. Execution
  • Execution is what we do
  • Strategy is why we do it
  • Both are critical
  • We understand the need for strategy
  • More efficient, more productive, more profitable

How’s your strategy?

  • Why is it so hard to keep our strategy in focus?
  • emergencies, life, other important stuff

Understanding the Whirlwind?

  • The energy and attention needed to run your business.
  • Whirlwind is the urgent!

The Problem with the Whirlwind

  • Goals and strategy are important … see slides
  • Delaying strategy… see slides
  • it’s not bad; it just is what it is

The Plan

  • You need a plan to accomplish your goals in the middle of the whirlwind.
  • Without a plan the Whirlwind always wins — always plan for your week at the beginning
  • initial planning
  • weekly planning
  • … see slides

Initial Planning

  • two hours unplugged, schedule it as an appointment
  • id the issues
    • what changes do ineed to make?
    • which bring the most immediate impact?
    • top two action items
  • pick the top 3 issues

Weekly Planning

  • 30 minutes
  • Before you start your week
    • Friday evening?
    • Sunday evening?
    • Early Monday morning?
  • Plan that time to execute at least one action

Nathan’s Weekly Planning

  • Daily columns
  • one whirlwind block
  • one family block
  • one project block
  • family always gets one block. others can be mixed

Weekly Execution

  • 2-4 hours
  • schedule the time and don’t compromise it
  • okay, maybe for a real emergency but if you plan well, there are few emergencies

Quarterly Planning

  • 4 hours
  • every quarterish repeat the process


  • prioritize. you will always have more goals than time.
  • sometimes good idea have to be put on the shelf.
  • separate your roles
    • you are the CEO and the employee who executes the plan.
  • taming the whirlwind takes time, give yourself a break.

Anything worth doing is worth doing badly at first.

G.K. Chesteron — or somebody

In six months…

  • how would life, business improve
  • more work in less time means more free time


  • if you don’t have a lot of client work spend more time with the other items. strategy, family etc.

WCOC WordPress

How to Leverage Your Project Management Methodoloy to Set Yourself Apart from Your Competition: Version 2

Beth Livingston – Project Management coaching

  • First you must have a project management methodology
    • Set of guiding principles and processes
    • Random processes almost always result in project overruns
    • Repeatable Processes help increase efficiency, expectations are clear

Triple Threat

  • Design
  • Code
  • Project Management

Project Management

  • guiding principles and processes that define how to work…



Six Productivity Principles for WordPress Project Management Success

  • Define the job in detail with content first approach
  • Get the right resources involved
  • Estimate the time and cost often
  • Break the job down
  • Establish and stick to a change procedure
  • Establish Interim and final acceptance criteria

Elements of a Good Project Management Methodology

  • Proper estimating
  • Resource management
  • Work Breakdown structure
    • Activities
    • Phases
    • Tasks
  • Approach to content collection
    • advice — content first: no content / stop working on website
  • Acceptance management

Proper Estimating

  • Abandon the crystal ball approach
  • Don’t to and estimate what you don’t know
  • Get rid of the “pad” as “charge control”
  • Never provide a precise estimate

Resource Management

  • People, plugins, hosting, blocks, other…

Work Breakdown Structure

  • Phases, activities, tasks
  • milestones
  • 80 hour rule (what is this rule?)
  • incremental approvals

Approach to Content Collection

  • Content first?
  • Define how you will determine content requirements
    • estimate content
    • set client expectations regarding …

Change Management

  • Acknoldege change as inevitable
  • Plan for it
  • Manage it
  • Use a change budget
  • Implement change control without exception
  • change at next payment interval — invoice tip

PM Methodology as a UVP

  • detailed two step approach saves money
  • cheaper to make changes early before its in production

designing around content increases efficiency

to do items

  • Research 80 hour rule — project sprint deliverable at 80 hours… it can be flexible to your needs.
  • Look up “Change Budget” (what is this?)
  • Estimating gets better with experience
  • don’t penalize clients for change
  • Get slides form Rock High Development
  • visit
  • advice — 20-30% of full budget for change budget
WCOC WordPress

Fun with Forms

Kari Sletten@KariSletten on Twitter –

Conditional Logic!
Passing Variables!
Dynamic Surveys!
Custom PDFs!

  • Have you ever filled out a form? — heck yah.
  • A lot of this talk references Gravity Forms but can be reflected in other similar services

Conditional Logic

  • Ask questions that contain different results depending on the results
  • Customer example
    • shipping company
    • does your company use a factoring company
      • yes / no — related questions dependent on answers
  • customer example
    • What do you want help with today
    • four tiles leading to related questions
  • Passing variables to forms
    • School
      • Schedule a visit
        • Pre-populate form with data already captured in an earlier form to reduce the need to input it again.
  • Police activities league
    • one very long form that covers everything (seasonal sports)
    • drop down select of sport — open or closed
      • If open, you can register
      • if closed, no option to do anything
  • passing variables in a url
    • select who it is you want to email
      • you don’t see her email but she’ll get it
      • ? variable
      • assign variable to “elen’s email address”
  • Survey
    • Weighted survey from multiple domains
      • How do they compare — are they worth targeting as customers?
      • IE how much money does your business make?
      • what industry are you in?
      • Weighted values for each answer to a larger number — this reminds me of a buzzfeed survey
      • Gravity Forms has filter hooks that can be manipulated
        • add numbers, do math
      • Display the results — see how you measure up to your industry peers
  • Confirmations
    • add score to notification email or screen
    • set score value — show total
    • send to a custom destination

Gravity Forms PDF

  • Create a digital certificate PDF that’s downloaded from a password protected page