If It Ain’t Broke, Fix It Anyway

The mentality of, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is an outdated philosophy that has proven to have catastrophic effects on project investments. Our projects are volatile endeavors filled with numerous uncertainties, dependencies, contingencies, and risks — not to mention the personalities and competing interests; they require a lot of attention and enhancement! Projects that just limp along without the required adjustments and improvements are sucking the lifeblood out of too many companies. In this ludicrously competitive new world economy, our project management mantra needs to shift from “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” to:

“If It Ain’t Broke, Fix It Anyway!”

Effective project management that utilizes the most optimal business improvement tools is paramount to ensuring that our strategic investments are generating their intended results. There is always room for improvement. Our projects are constantly ripe for fixing, adjusting, and enhancing along the entire life cycle. We must never become complacent just because we feel our projects are rolling along smoothly. We can always get better. We must get better to remain competitive and to consistently achieve optimal and enduring business results from our project investments.

At the end of each chapter, you will find a section titled: Chapter Recap: Choose the Right Tool for the Job at Hand. The intent of these sections is to summarize the key business tools at our disposal that we can use to improve our projects and propel our businesses forward. We must be careful not to pigeonhole ourselves into a certain methodology, but leverage and deploy those tools and approaches that best satisfy our most stringent business goals and objectives. Adapt to the situation and business climate, because chances are they won’t adapt to you or your approach. You utilize the right tool for the job at hand (i.e., each project task) to build indestructible projects with enduring results.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Time for a New Project Mindset

Current State of Affairs

If It Ain’t Broke

Project Management Is #%&@#% Hard!

It’s About the Business, Not the Methodology

Chapter Recap: Choose the Right Tool for the Job at Hand

 

Chapter 2: Project Alignment to Corporate Strategy

It All Begins with the Mission

Strategic Alignment to the Mission

Business Objectives Outrank All Other Objectives

The Pareto Principle

But, the Cost of Doing Business

Chapter Recap: Choose the Right Tool for the Job at Hand

 

Chapter 3: Relentless Engagement

Mission First, People Always

Delegating Is Not Abdicating Responsibility

Manage Up, Not Just Down

Mobilize and Remobilize Commitment

Escalate but Never Cry Wolf

Chapter Recap: Choose the Right Tool for the Job at Hand

 

Chapter 4: Plan, Adapt, and if Necessary, Change

Plans Are Useless but Planning Is Indispensable

The Bunny and the Berry—Case Studies

Don’t Change for the Sake of Change

BAU Process Improvement May Be the Required Fix

Assess the Cultural Appetite for Change and Act Accordingly

Chapter Recap: Choose the Right Tool for the Job at Hand

 

Chapter 5: The Business Case—Your Most Important Tool

It’s the North Star of Project Investments

It Calculates Hard Cash

It Calculates Yearly Rates of Return

It Calculates Your Project’s Black Friday

It Calculates ROI

It’s a Living Document that Drives Value

Uh Oh, There’s No Business Case!

Chapter Recap: Choose the Right Tool for the Job at Hand

 

Chapter 6: Have an Insatiable Thirst for Feedback

Check Your Ego at the Door

Perform Voice of the Customer

Specify Value from the Perspective of the Customer

Perform Lessons Learned Throughout the Project

Chapter Recap: Choose the Right Tool for the Job at Hand

 

Chapter 7: Strengthen the Foundation of Your Project

Establish (and Reestablish) Laser Focus

Identify and Fix Root Causes

Don’t Just Communicate, Communicate with Substance

Evaluate and Enhance Project Artifacts

Perform a SWOT Analysis

Chapter Recap: Choose the Right Tool for the Job at Hand

 

Chapter 8: Establish and Enhance the Benefits Realization

Plan and Processes

Where We’re Falling Short

The Value-Driven Life Cycle

Constructing the Benefits Realization Plan

Example Benefits Realization Plan

Chapter Recap: Choose the Right Tool for the Job at Hand

 

Chapter 9: Strategically Transform Your Project

Make Strategic Decisions Based upon Changing Circumstances

Start with the End Goal and Plan Backward

Revitalize the Plan

Rebuild the Team with the Power of RASCI

Chapter Recap: Choose the Right Tool for the Job at Hand

 

Chapter 10: Possess an Incessant Focus on the Business

Know More than Anybody Else—You’re in Charge

Standardize and Optimize Future State Business Processes

Focus on Business Quality, Not Arbitrary Quantity

Implement Mistake Proofing Throughout the Business

Reduce Interruptions and Context Switches

Be a Positive Force for Business Change

Chapter Recap: Choose the Right Tool for the Job at Hand

 

Appendix A: Strategic Project Management Checklist

Index

©2018 Resch Group