Starting a new project is a bit like dating a new person. There is some prep, mutual interests, places and goals are assessed, there’s a bit of back and forth, and if everything goes well one of you moves in for the first kiss. Or in project lingo – the first to-do in the project gets actioned.


Or maybe it doesn’t. In most projects, as in dating, there is a stage where expectation and excitement is sky high and things either get off to a fantastic start or you hit a stumbling block. In the case of dating you nervously end up kissing the love interest in the eye instead of on the lips. On a project the client goes quiet after the project planning stage, just as the project is about to kick off. Both things are equally bad.

When it happens in a project it is usually down to a lack of clarity and expectation. And when a next (first!) step is not entirely clear, some clients just go missing in action, expecting you to take charge. And you will, but time will be lost and unnecessary frustration creeps in.

In my own experience this never, and I mean never, happens when a collaboration app or service is used. Not only can both parties see dates and milestones, update to-dos, and invite new collaborators and all that other goodness. But both parties are ready to get the project of to a flying start with a clear set of objectives.

And the parallel of that last bit to the dating game? There is none. There are no guarantees, just that tingling feeling in the tummy and a hope that maybe, just maybe…

More about Jaan

Web Strategist Jaan Orvet has a passion for good user experiences and improving the way people collaborate.

He believes the way we work and the tools we use all affect our final deliverables. He wants to cut out complexity, do away with ‘extras’ and turn a blind eye to ‘feature rich’ in favour of clarity and simplicity.

Jaan co-authored ‘Noded – The untouchable business’ with fellow Swede Andreas Carlsson. The Noded philosophy is based on logical and natural ways of interacting with people, nurturing ideas, and doing a better job without the constraints of traditional business life. Collaboration, especially among people who are geographically far apart, is at the heart of Noded.

In the Spring of 2009 Internetworld magazine listed Noded together with Twitter, Apple, Nintendo Wii, and Threadless as companies and ideas that “got it right” and are leading the way to the future.

Orvet blogs at and is @orvet on Twitter.

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