Getting Serious about Speed

Projects often run late for various reasons. NASA addressed this issue with FBC Mode, standing for Faster, Better and Cheaper. It’s principles included:

  • Focus on smaller missions
  • Incorporate advanced technology
  • Reduce headquarter management and move to programs
  • Construct exciting visions and roadmaps
  • “It’s okay to fail” mentality

One of the major problem solving innovations, in light of fuel and landing challenges, they put the rover in a blow up balloon and bounced it on the surface. If you’d like the read, it is available used on Amazon: If a government agency can accomplish these improvements so should you.

We need to slow down some … and move away from fixations on cost and near term gain

Outcomes based scoping

It is best to not overly develop the scope document as a task list. That’s what the project schedule is for. Keep to expected outcomes with definable measurement and SMART goals. The teams job is to take that vision and turn it into individual goals and get to work. In massive change project we learn by doing not planning

I scoped a project Web implementation for a $13B company. They wanted the developers to quote detailed individual tasks. It took months and labor wasn’t contributing to anything but a plan. The implementation costs rivaled the development costs, which is just inane and really not accurate. People lost jobs. Including me. And I will never succumb to the whims of things that I don’t personally believe in.  I believe in delegating outcomes to people on the team, but financials can become tricky. Stick with some tried methodologies that get you to a number quickly so that management can approve or not. There are official bottom-up estimating, but be careful. Some examples:

  • Expert Judgement
  • Analogous Estimating
  • Parametric Estimating
  • Three-Point Estimates
  • Reserve Analysis
  • Cost of Quality (COQ)
  • Software for Estimation
  • Cost and Value of Information

Outcome based scoping needs to clearly state the end result, the people who are gaining the benefit and the impact the project team is contributing – it is a focus on results, not effort

Not Enough or Too Much Information adds Cost

In todays world of Big Data, the ability to capture it and the inability to process it with traditional processing applications, it is easy to fall into the trap of more is better. If you develop outcomes in the levels of the project plan, it can become clearer. Basically, the early information is easier to obtain, costs less, and delivers more value. Big Data and loads of info can be a great advantage to many business activities. If you need it to meet you outcomes and associated metrics, then go for it. To little information is dangerous to reaching goals as well. I became owner of a paperless billing project as the business owner. So one day after a seamless implementation and some great management. I asked what are uptake rate was with customers moving to paperless. Well… we don’t have a report for that – Whoops!

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Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for twenty-two minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after thirty seconds — Malcolm Gladwell

So theres a few ideas for you to contemplate.

Contact: Changing Change HQ