Investing in Preparation

At Jonah, we manage many projects all at once. It takes a great amount of focus. However, one of the most important things we do as a team is set time aside, at the beginning of each project, to prepare. We invest during the early stages of each project, to look ahead and create a strategy for next steps.

Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with Erik Uunila, who is one of our amazing Front End Developers here at Jonah. If you’ve ever interacted with our websites, he’s been a part of making the experience great. If you haven’t interacted with any of our websites, let us know, we can help you with that! We asked Erik a few questions, specifically relating to this topic. Our goal is to help you discover what works best for you so you can continue making the impact you’re making!

Interview with Erik Uunila, Front End Developer at Jonah Digital Agency


Why do you feel pre-planning is essential for productivity?
Have you ever worked on a project that seems like you’re always adjusting or reacting? You almost feel like you're spinning your wheels. I believe it’s because projects begin with little or no preparation. Time is not taken in the beginning to think about what’s about to happen before it actually happens. So much time is wasted trying to “figure it out” as the work is being done.

A quote shared with me a few years back said this,

“One minute of pre-planning can save you up to three minutes of work.”

Understanding that this could potentially save time in the long run will make that time spent in preparation worth every dollar.

As a leader, how does pre-planning impact the rest of the team?
I find that pre-planning helps set the team up for success. Which is our goal. As a leader, our job is to ensure the team is positioned to make the greatest impact and succeed. Taking the time to map out the journey your team will take provides the resources they can use if they have any questions during the project.

What’s the largest challenge to planning ahead?
Finding the balance between the right amount of detail in your planning versus too much detail. Typically, people try to plan out every potential scenario down to the smallest detail. I wish we could predict the future, but we just can’t. Overloading ourselves trying to predict everything is counterproductive. There will be times the plan will need to be adjusted. That’s okay! At least there is something to adjust!

If you could share two things that can help leaders prepare for productivity, what would those be?

1. Add pre-planning to the calendar. Make it a priority, it’s worth it!
2. You may not be the strongest administratively, that’s okay! Find someone who is and leverage their expertise. Getting the right people on board is critical.

Do you use any apps or software to help you plan ahead? If so, which ones? If not, what do you do and why?
Even though we live in a digital world (especially here at Jonah!) it's hard to completely leave simple pen & paper. I use a mix of a basic note-taking apps and good ol’ pen & paper. The best thing is to find a process that works best for you. Everyone is different in how they process information and organize their projects.

A huge thanks to Erik for taking the time to share these incredible leadership/productivity tips. At Jonah, we continually challenge “good enough” and strive to go above and beyond in service to our fellow team members and customers. If there’s anything we can do to serve you, LET US KNOW.