Path To Red

Sabotage The Project – Eyes Off the Target

I was supposed to start this blog with a quote.  A really good one.  But I’ve somehow forgotten it.  I’ve spent all evening Googling variations, looking on quote websites.  It’s hopeless.  But it would have really impressed you, I’m sure!  So a prize to the first person to source it.  It’s the one about how people don’t buy vacuum cleaners (or brooms or mops depending how old the damn quote is), what they actually buy is clean floors (or carpets or houses).

A whole bunch of project managers are out there right now working hard and trying to land their projects.  They are focused on that delivery and counting down the deliverables or days until it lands.  And with all that focus on what they are delivering, so often they lose track of why they are delivering it.

Now, I know what you’re going to say…. “No idiot, they wrote the business case, so they know exactly why they’re doing this.”  But so often they only see the ‘why’ in relation to their small part of the big picture.  For example, the PM delivering a process change to improve the speed of a set of transactions.  The reason they’re doing it?  To make it faster.  And that’s it.  They don’t relate it back to the real benefit of things being faster mean you tend to spend less on them.  Or that the customer’s experience will improve and they will use your services more often and recommend you to others.

The more you are aware of your alignment to the corporate strategy and/or values, the better you are at delivering those objectives.  Keep in mind that most executives have personal objectives linked to achieving these strategic goals; they will be more willing to intervene to help out if they know your little complaints management system project is delivering a vital element of the goal to improve the customer experience.

Additionally, the more you understand the objective, the better placed you are to spot opportunities that present themselves in your project that would enhance the delivery of the strategic goals.

I know this may all sound a little obvious, but you’d really be surprised how many PMs think their business needs a hoover, rather than clean floors.



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