Need some help with slicing "projects"

I’ve been using a J.D. inspired structure in outlook for work and tried to mirror it to the file system with limited success.
Link here

Reading the new website I see a lot of mistakes I’ve made:

  • I should have a folder be 70-79 HR and have 70 within that
  • I should leave 00-09 for meta things
  • I have a lot of areas without categories

I want to create a better structure that conforms better to the J.D. system so I can have it in a notes app (probably apple notes), outlook, and the file system.

I’m doing the exercise [14.01] to group things and come up with a better sorting but I am struggling with how to sort the bulk of my work.

Outlook folders (as-is)
00 projects/
├── 01 business line 1
├── 02 business line 2
└── 03 business line 3 /
    ├── 03.00 demand shaping
    ├── 03.01 demand 1/
    │   ├── NFRs non-functional requirements
    │   ├── workstream 1
    │   └── workstream 2
    ├── 03.02 demand 2
    ├── 03.03 demand 3
    ├── ...
    └── 03.16 demand 16

As a business analyst I work with “business demands” and do 3 things:

  1. demand shaping: get a demand ready for a business case
  2. business case (BC): do the business case for a demand
  3. project:
    a. non-functional requirements gathering and approval
    b. functional requirements gathering and approval
    b. create RFP questions

more context:

  • I don’t always work on a demand end to end
  • demands can have phases
    • they are sent to us as a new demand (NAMEX phase2) but the information from NAMEX phase 1 is relevant and usually referenced
    • demand that ends in an RFP will need a new business case to implement the solution and requirements in the implementation project after that
  • demands come from different (6) business lines, I have worked with 3 in the past but for the last 2 years I have been assigned to one of them for at least 6 months at a time.
    • this means that right now all my work is done in business line 3. I don’t know if I should archive past work or leave it but I have been asked about it and had to reference emails
    • when assigned to a business line I also need to keep track of the pipeline of demands
  • when it gets to the project phase, demands can have multiple workstreams which has lead me to make multiple folders (shame)
    • the stakeholders for these workstreams are distinct and in meetings with them I want to have the relevant emails or files at hand, having these in a separate folder helps
    • this also raises the issue that when a project starts, I don’t know what streams we might have so every email goes on the main folder, as they start to shape, I create new folders but I’m not currently moving old emails to these new folders
    • sometimes projects are small enough that all emails can just go in the main folder
  • sometimes I’m in the loop of a demand that might happen but there is nothing for me to do so I just create a folder for it and put all emails there
file system folders (as-is)
00 projects/
├── ...
└── 03 business line 3 /
    ├── 03.00 demand shaping
    └── 03.01 demand 1/
        ├── NFRs non-functional requirements
        ├── workstream 1
        ├── workstream 2
        ├── workstream 3
        ├── previous BC documents
        └── previous phase documents/
            ├── as is data flow capture
            └── to be requirements

any thoughts?

Hey. Quick note, I’ve seen this, needs deeper thought. Lemme get this website update out of the way and I should be able to have a proper look at this over the weekend.

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Okay I don’t think I’ve solved this but hopefully this helps.

So first here’s what I sketched out from your notes.

That’s me trying to wrap my head around your structure. Now let’s assume your ‘business lines’ are LAND, AIR, SEA, etc., just to make the diagram easier to follow. That has to be your first-level grouping, the PRO in JD’s PRO.AC.ID.

Let’s talk pipeline first. That’s per-business-line, and there’s probably other stuff that you might want to manage per-business-line, so I’d use 00 for that, as it’s kinda meta. If we’re doing LAND, let’s go with L00 as our project code.

I’ll note here that it can feel wasteful to create a whole project just to store perhaps one or two categories. But of course it isn’t really, all we’re doing is creating a folder L00. Who cares if there’s really not much in it?

Now I’m less clear on the structure of each of your projects. Is it project > phase > workstream? So you might want to play with this but here’s what I had as a start.

The trick here is to standardise your categories across phases/workstreams where possible. If you’re always doing similar things, make them look the same.

This will help your brain, and it lends itself to creating standard folder structures that you can just copy/paste.

In this example your full JD ID for the NFRs for this project would be L01.13.01.

I think your magic sauce here is getting this template right: once you’ve got it for one project, just replicate it out to the others.

What I’ve also got here, at the bottom, is a ‘project’ for all of your non-job-specific stuff. Everything you’ve currently got in 10-19, 70, 80, 90. Yank that out to its own project. It doesn’t relate to any specific demand.


thanks for having such a thorough look!

I think this would work. I’m going to move things around and try it. I’ll update the post with my new set up :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

1 Like