Business leaders are often responsible for a variety of major initiatives – which all need to be aligned to their organisation’s strategic objectives if they are to successfully deliver on the business goals.
But when the deployment of a new product takes time and resources away from a number of different departments, coordinating and sequencing all of this and ensuring things run smoothly can be a real challenge.
Getting better at executing projects and initiatives that support the strategy is the solution to this. (And as we discussed in last week’s blog, project leaders are ultimately the ones who can turn good project management into great project leadership – providing the required skills are in place.)
More importantly though, having a repeatable, predictable process in place around new product launches, so that all of the stakeholders involved in the launch know what to expect and understand their roles in the process, helps ensure that everyone is on the same page, that people get involved early on and that there are clear expectations and accountability. All of which ties back to the organisation’s strategy and business objectives.
Fortunately, business leaders can begin executing projects and initiatives in a way that is predictable and repeatable by undertaking the following steps:
- Ensure that there is sufficient rigour around processes
This is essential to how you execute your project-based work and means creating a culture where process is appreciated and where you have the right organisational structures and governance in place to support those processes.
It also means making sure that your people feel empowered to tackle problems head-on and to be proactive about communication.
- Create a culture where people feel empowered
This needs to be developed and nurtured over time to ensure that your team members understand it and are committed to it.
As the focus shifts towards creating this culture, you may find that you have to upskill the people working on your projects and initiatives. (Even though they may be very good in their domains or areas of expertise, they might not have the relational skills necessary to executive initiatives successfully – skills such as good communication or the ability to lead and motivate others.)
The good news is that if the right culture and processes are in place – and the team has the skills needed – the successful outcomes of projects are more likely.
It allows you to anticipate what’s going to happen and work more efficiently as a result. And in turn, it becomes easier to repeat the process for every initiative you take on, which helps to ensure long-term success.
- Don’t compromise on your project’s chance of success
When repeatability and predictability are absent from projects, it forces you to constantly reinvent the wheel with everything you do.
As a result you may find you are not engaging with the right stakeholders at the right times, or that they are not delivering what you need when you need it – meaning your projects run much more haphazardly.
- Make sure your people are skilled
Being able to reliably and predictably execute your strategy is a vital business need that can be achieved by making sure your people have the skills to make the project to succeed.
More often than not, when considering project-based work, people default to KPIs that measure activity or the completion of tasks. A much more important barometer of success, however, is to make sure that initiatives are not only successful, but also predictable and repeatable.
Doing so will ensure that all of your initiatives run more smoothly, deliver the desired results and help support your corporate strategy.
For more on how you and your organisation can get better at executing projects and initiatives that support the strategy read our article: Transforming project teams from good to great.