In my last post, we looked at clarifying individual and team responsibilities in order to deliver on schedule. Today we will take a look at the controversial topic of streamlining processes. As often is the case, this may sound like a familiar concept. However, there are critical subtleties that make the difference in producing the intended results.
Tip 4 – Streamline Processes
Wait a minute. If we are working to deliver a project on time, do we really have time to analyze, re-engineer, and streamline business or project management processes? Of course not silly rabbit. This trick is only for the brave champions of “Git R Done,” not the business analysts, management consultants, or the like. What I mean is, our goal is to complete the project on time with the appropriate level of quality. We will temporarily not be focused on the betterment of the organization as a whole. For now, we need to be focused on delivering on time only. With that perspective in mind, I would suggest it is critical to put a ruthless focus on doing the following:
Suggestions for streamlining processes:
- Question anything and everything that takes up time and doesn’t make sense.
- Determine what can be eliminated without adverse affects.
- Notice where is time getting wasted.
- Are you or your team getting caught up in tools or templates instead of focusing on the content the tools or templates are intended to capture and organize.
Be forewarned! It will require you to have sufficient tolerance for risk to take meaningful action, based on my advice above. In most corporate or government environments, you should expect to be met with obvious resistance. Your job will be to be stay professional, avoid bureaucratic road blocks, and keep driving the project over the speed limit to completion
For some related reading on distinguishing between good and bad complexity, you may want to check out some of IBM’s research on The many facets of complexity. Here is an short excerpt:
“If a company’s employees can’t provide a reason for each task that they do; the value it brings to the business or customers; or how it connects with their jobs, then the organization is probably beset with needless complexity. And there’s no doubt that the business will suffer because of it.”
Continue on to Delivering Projects on Schedule – Part 5, which may be the most useful, but underutilized technique in this series.