Make a project plan


Why a Plan is Needed-A plan is like a roadmap which is handy to follow while proceeding through a project. A friend of mine often used the phrase "coulda shoulda woulda". This applies quite frequently when working through a process. How about "if only" is often said after finding that a plan at the beginning would have prevented wrong directions and frustration. Making a plan requires you to think through the project organizing how you will proceed identifying the steps to be taken and the order by which they are to be accomplished. A plan is not perfect but it is a beginning and causes you to think through the process and identify the steps to be taken. The first cut is most likely not the final plan, changes and additions can be made along the way.

Record it- Life is a continual information flow either to you or from you. Information received should be recorded before it disappears.  It's a good idea to carry a note pad, note book, day timer or personal assistant such as an i-phone with you so you can record thoughts as they come to you. Also relevant items from conversations, things you read, events you attend etc. can be recorded.

Plan Structure -When planning a process like the restoration  of a vehicle, first think of it's major procedures such as  taking photos, making measurements, disassembly, inspection, restoration and or modification, assembly, wiring and painting. Once the major processes have been determined, assign where they will take place.                                     Examples are: 1) Take photos of the body, hood, trunk lid and fenders showing all gaps and edges. 2) Measure and record all gaps. 3) Remove the bumpers, brackets and fenders making sure that all pieces including fasteners are  marked as to where they came from. Also store small items in bags or containers marked as to what they are and where they came from (see Tools-> Indentification and Storage). 

Use the Plan-Once the plan has been completed it's time to put it to use, not to be put away for future reference.  Begin by taking photos (if that is the first procedure in your plan) or whatever the first procedure is in your plan. As you progress through the project following your plan you will discover things you left out, additions and corrections can be made as you proceed.