Get from A to B - without going via 1, 2, 3 and Outer Mongolia | DMA

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Get from A to B - without going via 1, 2, 3 and Outer Mongolia


You've heard, debunked and learned all the jargon, and could probably now come up with some of your own if needed! You’ve now reached the point where you’ve been able to identify the problem, the solution (whether Data, Tech, people or all three) and you’ve managed to pull together and get approval on your Business Case. The GO button has been pressed. How do you now execute successfully to realise the anticipated benefits you were promised, and in turn, promised your organisation and key stakeholders?

How do you cut through all of that jargon, keep stuff simple and just get things done? So many IT projects these days seem to be failing and there is no shortage of those who claim to have the solution and the ‘next big thing’ in answer to all of your prayers. How do you really just get from A to B - without going via 1, 2, 3 and Outer Mongolia?

In my honest opinion I would usually prefer not to necessarily ‘pin my colours’ to any particular execution/delivery method or model, be it Waterfall, Agile or any other as the ‘BEST’ option for a framework (they all seem to have positives and negatives). It should always be ‘horses for courses’, as they say, based around such things as your particular set of requirements, needs, and challenges, for example:

Organisational maturity, knowledge or previous experience in delivering this type of ‘thing’ (customer or supplier).

Resources available, competency and consistency of those resources (either in-house or otherwise).

Constraints around Time, Cost or Quality.

Levels of complexity or size of project

Number of Work Streams.

Number of Deliverables.

Number of external Dependencies.

Communication channels required (external 3rd parties or for general stakeholder management).

The degree of certainty around any anticipated change to requirements.

Likely influence of external factors/ forces and what they may be.

Levels of ‘other risk’ which may have also been identified

...and so on.

One common theme, however, is that everything has a start, middle and end. The trick, it seems, is to just use old-fashioned common sense approaches with a sprinkling of pragmatism and realism. Here are some suggestions:

Be realistic in what you can achieve and outcomes focused, but keep alignment to the initial challenges you originally set out to answer and whether or not they still hold true, or have in fact changed.

Break the work down into small chunks to realise value quickly and allow opportunity to re-prioritise and change direction (in reaction to changing requirements or external influence).

In and around this, manage the things needed to deliver (Dependencies and Assumptions) and those things which may threaten success (Risks and Issues).

Don’t be afraid to stop and take a breath, to step back and have a quick rethink if the ‘thing’ seems to be running away with you (my personal recommendation would be to even plan on doing this frequently at certain points!). Even if you feel you are already under pressure to deliver and you “can’t afford the time to”. Often you may find yourself saving a lot of heartache by doing this, even if it just validates everything you are already doing! Also, do this even if everything is feeling fine and seems to be on track – just to validate that is the case!

Oh, and don’t under-estimate the need to help provide the glue, governance, motivation and other bits required to keep the team on track. The most valuable resource you have are the people - you need to help them to produce their best.

We at Occam recognise that each organisation has its own unique blend of resources, time-hardened skills and experience, and internal challenges. We also know that any form of change will be difficult, no matter what people tell you, there will be issues!

To discuss your Marketing, Data, Technology or Delivery challenges with one of our certified experts, get in contact today.

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