Blog by Annalinde Singh:
A McDonald’s burger wrapper is crumpled up and thrown into a bin, politely pattering down the sides of the trash can like the faint memory of the footsteps of an old friend. Someone coughs repeatedly, further away in the open plan office.
Welcome to Corporate.
There is a disease spreading; an epidemic rushing through the corporate corridors…
Over-planning (well, that’s what I’ve termed it): the practice of locking people in a cave for months at a time in order to plan a project effectively. Have you ever noticed how many projects go belly-up even though they were planned, planned, planned; for anything from 6-36 months? If planning is assumed to be the key, then I suppose it’s fair to assume that there is merit in the thinking that a longer planning phase equates to a lower risk of failure. However, what proof exists, in today’s ever-fluctuating environment, that planning is, indeed, key?
Over-planning is a symptom of a much bigger problematic thinking-pattern that I’ve often come across.
Any of these sound familiar?
The fact of the matter – and I’ve seen it with my own eyes, on countless occasions – many projects fail despite being perfectly planned, by capable, qualified professionals.
Why is that?
One word – humans! We are complex and unpredictable beings, and we do not act in any planned fashion without a certain degree of (often unforeseeable) deviation. I propose that planning (and planners) cannot forecast every conceivable action, reaction or consequence relating to human behaviour.
Don’t be concerned – the canvas I paint isn’t all doom and gloom.
When working according to the Rapid Results process, you’ll learn (and experience, which I view as unimaginably more valuable) that implementation is crucial. Amazing results can be achieved within short time periods. This includes major results that truly affect the bottom line, for example, reduction of equipment damage, reduction of absenteeism, and increased production levels.
Once results become visible, teams are energised for the next implementation cycle. Each project is packaged as a bite-sized chunk of the overall desired end-result. Projects are scoped to a basic level, and then implemented. After implementation has begun, issues can be addressed and the scope adjusted en route.
Keeping deadlines to 100 days keeps team members focused, and fosters an element of urgency that has repeatedly been seen to propel people to operate at immensely elevated levels
So, why bother trying this methodology?
The risk is substantially low – by keeping projects to chunks of the bigger scope, obstacles faced or failures translate to short-term learnings, affecting the long-term success positively.
Hmm… sounds like a good plan to me!
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