Phase 1 was going from being a Level 1 player to being a Level 8 player. I did it pretty much solo. Agent slomar advised me to get an external battery, and that was the best piece of advice I got along the way. I was a L4 at the time. Enemy agent derp gave me two tips that really increased the velocity of the game for me: (1) Go to the Financial District, and (2) Attack clusters of portals, not solo portals. Then there was no stopping me. I was around L4, I believe.
Phase 2 was about having beer with about a dozen blue L8 agents in the city. That phase has concluded with me saying Fuck Beer and I am near four million in Action Points.
Phase 3 has now begun. It starts out by maximizing AP while minimizing time spent playing the game. Over time I hope to build an elite squad of blue agents in the city. I have a basic framework in place.