or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy
We have all come across them, I certainly have.
I speak of course of those projects that seem to be endlessly dragging on, with badly defined outcomes and worst of all, no definition of what actual problem the project might be setting out to solve.
Now forgive me, as all good project managers and transformation gurus are at this point saying or muttering WTAF.
This clearly goes against even the most simple of project rules or plain common sense. Well I agree, but I still see far too much of it. Usually this is when I am engaged to find out ‘Why a certain project is taking far too long’?
Fact is, most projects take too long. That is often down to 50% supplier over optimistic sales promises and likely 50% user intransigence or lack of adequate mobilisation. I have seen plenty of projects too, that had not been preceded by a sensible business case or a decent problem to be solved.
I have got to hand it to them, many charismatic sales people, can actually 'sell sand to the Arabs', coals to Newcastle etc. Often many seed some mis-matched projects, that for some reason clients take up, that are not solving a particular issue or problem.
There are many ways to initiate projects. A short targeted trial with a control group, a robust business case, evaluated against a governance framework, before a procurement, OJEU or otherwise.
Often the solution to heading these off at the pass, is that robust governance framework. That is a silver bullet to cut through the possibility of the wrong projects being pursued, or ones that are not solving actual priority problems. I have worked with many clients to create a sensible and workable framework to ensure the right projects go forward (and for the right reasons.
Of course, you might be reading this and thinking, I think we already have a project ticking along, with no problem to solve, or is trying to solve the wrong problem. Well you are actually in pretty good company, so no need for embarrassment. Many of these can feel like a poker game. If you have been in one or not, it is a feeling that you need to continue shovelling cash in, or fold and lose.
In some of my assignments, I have advised organisations to ‘fold’ and take a very different path. This has often led to finding a more proven solution or solving the right problem, much faster. Some face may be lost, but it often means that we make better use of residents money and take the right leaps in what our systems can do and help transform the experience (or lives) of our residents.
If you recognise this situation in your organisation, do contact me. I would love to chat about it.
Related Post: If you are a supplier, do your USP's fit on a page or less? Should they?
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The Sex Pistols – Problem.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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