Why Project Management Sucks. In Blackboard Fridays Episode 47, Jacob talks about Productivity and Leadership. Need this implemented into your business? Talk to the international business advisor who can do exactly that – Contact Jacob, Learn More, or Subscribe for Updates.
If you’ve ever attempted to change something significant within your business, then like it or not you’ve been “a project manager”.
Now, some people LOVE project management. The idea of waterfall gantt charts, programming dependencies, and tracking budgets really gets their juices flowing. By and large, these people ARE NOT fast growth entrepreneurs.
Because for the rest of us, Project Management Sucks. And it’s for one obvious reason – the processes that work really well for large corporations simply do not profitably translate into SMEs.
Thankfully, there IS a project process that every SME we’ve worked with applies with ease. And that’s the topic of this week’s video.
PS: And if you do struggle to implement your great ideas, you might benefit from our free online course “Why Successful Businesses Fail and how you can Be The Exception” – http://offers.businessdepot.com.au/free-strategy-program
Who is Jacob Aldridge, Business Coach?
“The smart and quirky advisor who gets sh!t done in business.” Back independent since 2019.
Since April 2006, I’ve been an international business advisor providing bespoke solutions for privately-owned businesses with 12-96 employees.
At this stage you have proven your business model, but you’re struggling to turn aspirations into day-to-day reality. You are still responsible for all 28 areas of your business, but you don’t have the time or budget to hire 28 different experts.
You need 1 person you can trust who can show you how everything in your business is connected, and which areas to prioritise first.
Have you ever had a great idea for your business that hasn’t gone anywhere? Perhaps an initiative to help yourself, your team, your clients that you’ve not successfully managed to implement. Perhaps you as a business owner have discovered something that thousands of other business owners have also discovered.
Project management sucks. Why does it suck because project management, when you dive into it, it’s designed for massive corporations and thinking intellectual exercise. You will get sucked into the vortex of Gantt chart, waterfall diagrams, software processes, meetings, dependencies, but none of which take into account the number one thing that actually determines whether your idea will get implemented in your business and that is how your business feels about your idea.
In private enterprise, businesses that are owned by individuals and not some massive 10,000 staff conglomerate that’s sitting on the stock exchange, the feelings of the business leader (that’s you and your team) have a massive impact on day-to-day operations and especially creating sustainable change. So let’s say you’ve got a great idea. You’re down here and you’ve got an idea that you know will take your business somewhere special and different, take you to the next level, and create something meaningful for your clients and your team.
What’s that journey like? Because you can do all of the planning in your head but if you don’t know the emotional rollercoaster that you and your business are going to go on to create that change, you run the risk of failing completely or getting halfway through and deciding “Well, you know that’s close enough.”
So let me talk you through exactly the emotional journey you’re going to have to go on and you’re going to have to hold your team accountable to keep going on. We’ve got this diagram here, we’ve got up energy, and we’ve got down introverted energy where you start really dwelling on yourself. Now when you have a great idea, the immediate reaction is up energy and it’s going to be the same for your team.
What you often don’t realize is that you are embarking on a 12 to 18 month journey. Meaningful change takes time to design and it takes time to implement so that it becomes businesses usable within your business. So that initial inspiration begins to wear off two to three months into that process. Sometimes quicker, your initial energy will dissipate and you’ll fall down into that well. This is known as the inspiration phase of your idea.
Here’s the challenge most business owners who are attracted to bright, shiny, objects the very next squirrel, as soon as that energy dips, they go looking for the next bit of inspiration or the next little boost. The team begin to realize that they don’t actually need to implement any of your ideas because you never actually take them any further than that. You have a great idea one week and you can have another great idea next week and they never actually get implemented so why bother listening to you?
So the first thing you need to do is hold yourself accountable to shift from inspiration into design. Strategic design is the part in the project management journey where you work out what needs to change, why, and what are the steps to execution. You start planning it out. You start building a business case commercially, culturally, personally. What impact will this change have on the business?
The energy at this phase in the project starts to go through the roof. You start to feel really excited because you can see all of the change that’s forthcoming and all of the benefits that are going to come. You feel great but it doesn’t last and this is the main reason why projects fail is that when you shift from design into execution, the energy shifts from that up inspirational where “We can see where this is going” to “Actually I need to change right now”.
At about this point, which is often somewhere about six to nine months into a sizable change journey, you start to get real resistance and pushback from your team. Now pushback is positive. Pushback is telling you that the team are now engaged and that they now realize they need to change. This isn’t one of your squirrel ideas but this is actually going to happen. When they dive into that, they start to resist.
They start to ask do we really need to make this change. You need to hold them accountable because at first doing things differently is going to be harder. It’s going to hurt. People are not going to want to change that’s why you’ve painted the picture up here of the benefits of change but you need to hold them accountable all the way through that execution phase of the project.
It does get better. Eventually you reach a point where continuing to change is easier than going back to the old way of doing things. You start to get the uplift, the calm, the renewed benefit of that implementation. There’s one last part about project management that often gets overlooked and that’s this little bump at the end.
Right here, the change has occurred. You’ve taken your idea and successfully taken it all the way through to execution. It’s now business as usual. Now that means you’re on that middle line again. The team are calm and they don’t even necessarily remember. Some of them weren’t even there when this change started. So you need to take the time at the end of a change process to have a little bit of a celebration, a win to go this is where we came from.
This is the journey that we went on and this is where we’ve gotten to, pat ourselves on the back for a job well done, and then business as usual means it’s time to look again and what’s the next opportunity for change, what’s the next roller coaster that we’re ready to go on because we understand the feeling side of project management and creating sustainable change in our business.
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