In today’s world where everything is evaluate and assess in a quarterly basis according to short term results, it is difficult not to rush and jump in execution mode instantly. We have different frameworks and processes implemented and working, yet we end up assuming that the problem given is the right one, leading us to jump to execution mode, missing the planning phase.
No matter if we speak about operations, finance or sales, the added value of those activities is captured in the execution phase, therefore its importance. However, can we reduce the risk while ensuring a quick and accurate execution.
“Sometimes more is less”, sentence that we can complete in this case in the following way. “Sometimes more time is less unexpected situations, therefore quicker execution.”
Let’s switch our way of thinking, let’s consider a project as a sequences of task where investments are needed, of course investments have a cost. Yet those investments are creating more value and increasing the final ROI. In doing so, you have taken a fantastic step. Your mind now is thinking in Returns rather than cost, you’ve become to strategist instead of being an account (not that is better, it is just different way of thinking)
So why when companies, no matter the size, are spending huge budgets in being more productive, we continue “failing” in the same recurrent steps. Here many points of view would be right, in view, it is because we do not have enough time to analyse activities once they become past. Companies are well-known for their ability to execute quickly, accurately and precisely. It does not mean that everyone within the company, startup or project have been as productive as they could have been.
Again, here it is matter that while things are executed and delivered, no one wonder whether resources were effectively applied.
If you review general material and documentation, it is easy to find best practices or recommendations running project management practices, design thinking initiatives or excellent execution rules. As a matter of fact, the reality is, there are many sources and methodologies for making things worse. All of them were or are true, yet not necessarily will be in the future or under different circumstances.
Bottom line, read and analyze different cases and big home runs, and suit the learnings on your context and under your conditions. But don’t be naive. Don’t think that replicating what Airbnb did you will hit the market with the same results, neither replicating Salesforce sales process and structure you will have $100M ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) in 24 months.
With those ideas bear in mind, that certain kind of processes before jumping on execution mode would help us to save time and headaches while running initiatives that capture the value. In tise regarding let’s think about common objectives we want to achieve regardless if we, our company, startup or our project is running design thinking, project management or creatives methods.
- Satisfy someone else’s needs (Problem) → User, Inhouse department, another business. In general, you have a stakeholder whose needs, ideally, have to be satisfied.
- Why and how (Funnel Focus) → Help us to design a set of strategies and tactics to cope with our mission. Why are we doing this? (bottom up approach) – How are we doing this? (top down approach)
- Improvements to be delivered (Goals – Targets) → Different economics units or metrics that allow to compare before and after t. By having metrics, we can assess our goals and more important, the results, whether they were the expected ones or not.
- Communicate, Transition and or Close informing results achieved → It is important been transparent within the whole process, letting stakeholders know what are the results coming from the work and collaboration of all of them. While being important having an ongoing communication, It is more important being able to close or transition accurately. This will allow you to analyze, assess and present results within an accurate time frame.
All of those points are common not matter which is the thinking framework you would use to hit the problem. Let’s review them: In every single situation you have one problem to sort out (1), different ways to handle but all of them should explain why and how (2). If you have a complication you ultimate goal is being better off after applying you resources, therefore you must set goals (3). Last but not least, you need to communicate results to those affected, and let someone else to continue the processes if needed.
To sum up, even when there are several ways to handle projects or complications, no matter which methods you apply don’t skip the planning phase. Setting the right complication challenge will require you to “invest” in order to get better intangible solutions. In this post other posts have been linked which post mentioned different ways of handling complications (design thinking, project management coming soon), but all of those have the same foundation for sorting out the situation.
Problem – Focus Funnel – Targets – Communication