Projects fail at an astonishing rate. Whether major technology installations, postmerger integrations, or new growth strategies, these efforts consume tremendous resources over months or even years. Yet as study after study has shown, they frequently deliver disappointing results…by some estimates, in fact, well over three quarter of the time. And the toll they take is not just financial. These failures demoralize employees who have labored diligently to complete their share of the work. One middle manager at a top pharmaceutical company told us, “I’ve been on dozens of task teams in my career, and I’ve never actually seen one that produced a result.”
Why Do Most Business Initiatives Fail?
How does one introduce a new business initiative as quickly and as successfully as possible? The secret, “ask and answer all the questions that need to be answered as early in the development process as possible and don’t move forward until they are answered. Not doing so will lead to failure.”
Another common reason why projects fail is related to visibility. All three tiers of the project or initiative team, executive management, intermediate managers, and team members, need access to the right level of information at the right time. Executives often complain that they do not have visibility into what is going on. It’s the old story of no input equals no buy-in. Since everyone is busy, getting the team focused and productive is key…and it must be done in a way that is time effective and stakeholder friendly. People need to be involved, regardless of where they are located.
In many instances, speed is critical and we are trained to look for ways to take shortcuts. We have made ourselves believe it is impossible to know all the questions to ask, let alone answer all of them. We think, trying to do so only slows things down and gives the competition the advantage. Besides, issues can be addressed as they come up. Nope…wrong! Utilizing tools and processes to ask and answer key questions early in the process is the solution and it is essential. This is why along with the templates, we also give you the tools to do effective collaboration, sharing of ideas, industry research, competitive analysis, and creative thinking. The difference between delivering ordinary results vs. extraordinary results is this little “extra”.
Critical Steps For Successs
The following process is proven over and over again to be successful. Follow it carefully, use the templates and tools, and you will have the discipline and rigor to ensure that your initiative is a success…guaranteed!
Build an initial draft of the initiative or plan that you believe will be successful. It must identify both the customer-focused or internal stakeholder actions critical for success as well as the company-focused or your responsibilities required for success. Use the tools to do some initial creative thinking and market intelligence to ensure your recommendations are fact-based and different from the usual uninspiring and boring suggestions.
Test the plan viability with key internal stakeholders and audiences. Be sure to include stakeholders in distant geographies or who speak a different language by making use of proper project management collaboration tools. Present the details and assumptions associated with the plan, including their intended outcomes. Pro-actively seek feedback. Identify and prioritize strengths and weaknesses with the plan. The goal of this step is to have those within your organization who will be responsible for plan success to provide honest feedback and offer suggestions to improve the plan at its earliest stage of development.
- Utilize the findings from this initial review to refine and strengthen the plan. As needed, re-present an updated plan to internal stakeholders to further refine and strengthen it. Again, use the provided creativity, market intelligence, and collaboration tools to bring additional fresh and fact-based ideas into the mix.
- Identify and prioritize the key elements of the plan that you believe will be most critical to achieve customer acceptance and demand. Conduct market research and/or test those key elements with important customer segments to gain insights to improve and strengthen it.
- Finalize the plan based on all internal stakeholder input, customer feedback, and industry competitive benchmarking.
- Develop metrics to measure plan success and to prioritize areas where the plan needs to be resourced for successful implementation.
- Implement the plan, track success, and pro-actively modify it as required.
Giving presentations is an important part of sharing your work and achieving recognition. The ability to do so effectively will make your project successful and contribute to a growing career. However, instead of engaging audiences and conveying enthusiasm, many presentations fall flat. Pitfalls include overly complicated content, lousy speaking delivery and focusing on what you want to say rather than what the audience is interested in hearing.
There are two major facets to a presentation: the content and how you present it. Let’s face it, no matter how great the content, no one will get it if they stop paying attention to a dysfunctional presentation. Go here for ways you can design your presentations and deliver your message in a dynamic way.
There are two types of expert help available to subscription members:
Live Help – This is direct personal help with you alone or with your team. It is similar to the type of assistance you would receive from a management consultant or a business coach. Normally, this type of help is delivered via telephone, skype, go-to-meeting, or some other similar platform. However, if the request is large enough, it can also be done in an office or conference room setting at your chosen location, again similar to the traditional consulting model. The scope of the work can be whatever you desire…we take on tasks or simply be a sounding board for your ideas.
Online Help – This is an online question and answer system. It functions 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and 365 days per year. So, no matter where you are in the world, or whatever your time zone, simply submit your question and upon receipt, one of our experts will get back to you promptly with an answer. We normally provide an answer within 1 to 2 business days, which you can also view on the system. But, if your question is complex or require investigative research, it can take longer. This is a totally private and confidential system and only you will be able to see our responses to your questions.
As a result of our exposure to many companies and multiple industries, we are fully in possession of the most up-to-date methods, procedures, and best practices. This means you will truly be getting the benefit of the best thinking available.