Most important 1 hour you can spend on any project!

By Andrew Woodward posted 01-16-2013 19:16



For many year I have been advising people to ensure that anything they are doing technically should be aligned to a company vision or goal. It is essential for any project to be able to clearly demonstrate why they are doing something and how it supports the company vision. It helps to engage with senior stakeholders and opens the door to the business support needed to make the project a business success, not just a technical success.

I do however see far too many projects that quickly gets bogged down in the details. Dealing with project management issues, trying to define requirements, struggling with the technology and forgetting to regularly check back to see if they are still on track.  Being a consultant I get to see lots of companies’ large and small, public sector and commercial and will always ask what goal or vision does the outcomes of the project support. Too often the response is too specific and detailed or just focused on the technology delivery; rarely do I get shown how the project objectives map back to and support the wider company vision.  I’m not saying the projects are wrong, I just find that people on the project, including the stakeholders, lose sight of these wider aspirations.

The most important 1 hour you can spend on any project is to spend 30 minutes exploring the company intranet and internet. You will, especially in larger organisations, find a very well defined vision and strategy and sometimes a clearly defined ethos for the company. Give yourself 20 minutes to read these and highlight relevant keywords and statements like ‘Continuous Improvement’, ‘Knowledge Sharing’ and ‘connecting people’.

Other places you may look are the Quality Manual or sales literature – somewhere the executives on the board will have spent time defining their vision for the organisation.

Once you have these vision statements or aspirational goals spend 10 minutes and take each of the high level deliverables from the project and map them back to the vision. For example: implementing My Sites in SharePoint aligns back to ‘connecting people’, giving the ability to easily find and link to people and discover new people outside of my place of work.  My Sites could also link to ‘Knowledge Sharing’ where people are sharing information about their interests, skills and past projects.

Having spent only 1 hour you now have a well define alignment, are able to include the alignment in key emails and presentations ensuring that people see you take the company seriously, take notice of the executive and support their vision and goals.

You will win more friends and influence form this small 1 hour investment in time than any technical heroics ever will.  

Go ahead, search out the vision and goals, align them to the project, but please take some time to post back any of these alignments find useful so that we can all benefit and ensure more projects exceed expectations.

#InformationGovernance #SharePoint #strategy #project #Vision