Last time I walked you through the first 5 of the 10 steps to delivering successful projects. If you haven’t read that blog yet, I’d encourage you to read it first. We’re now going to look at the second half of the list:
This is less of a step and more of a milestone. I find that it’s typically at this point of the approach that the project has begun: meetings are booked, content is created, wire frames are drawn. If there has been more than a month since any previous step, I’d recommend all getting together in the same room - or if not possible, at least on the same page – to review and reacquaint yourselves with the:
I think there’s an important distinction between defining deliverables and a brief. For me, a brief digs to an extra level of detail that simply isn’t possible before a project has begun. A good brief provides clarity and focus between those accountable and those responsible.
You’ve probably learnt by now that I love a good framework or methodology diagram. However, after too many failed Google searches, returning images of Bridget Jones and Calvin Klein underwear models; I’ve put the search for a commonly adopted approach on hold. However, in my experience the following helps keep briefs concise and clear:
What – what needs doing?
Why – why is this important to the project?
When – when does it need to be done by?
How – how will it be done?
Who – who can help or provide inspiration?
Briefs should continue throughout the project to help tune in individuals to the task at hand and place it within the bigger picture of the project outcomes and deliverables.
It seems strange to consider the amount of work and thinking that we’ve already covered; and yet without executing or delivering anything. But let’s think of this from a different perspective: your business is most likely already completing the steps above. However, most businesses I have experienced perform these on an ad-hoc, unstructured basis throughout the project.
The Success Worth Sharing approach lays strong and flexible foundations that help your team hit the ground sprinting, passing the baton to team members flawlessly with laser-like focus on the shared project goal. This approach delivers a finally tuned team that collaboratively:
- Briefs one another to provide clarity on the work required
- Supports each other to grow individual and team capability
- Delivers their work to the required standard and timeline
You as a leader have laid the foundations for your team to thrive, grow and succeed within the project.
Even as we’re busy executing, it’s important that the project team keeps their eyes on the prizes. I generally assign the person responsible for maintaining the progress to delivering or key performance indicator for each deliverable.
If you are a project lead, and most likely the person responsible for maintaining the link between the individual deliverables and the outcome and documented value; you should frequently ask yourself: “If I deliver A, B and C; will we achieve X, Y and Z?”
Ask yourself this question weekly; whilst you and your team brief, execute and measure until the answer is “Yes, because we’ve achieved it”.
There’s a lot of talk about how we now live in a sharing economy. The likes of Airbnb make it easier than ever to share our possessions, whilst the likes of Facebook make it easier than ever to share our lives. The social media 'feed' has become the of the most effective information distribution tools in human history.
However, what isn’t spoken about as much is the value of leveraging these same tools to share success within organisations. Every project completed holds a dozen lessons learnt and successes to celebrate. And by sharing these lessons and successes your entire business can benefit through engagement-boosted loyalty and best-practice driven continuous improvement.
Think about your own Facebook or Twitter feedback. Consider the posts, videos and stories that are shared. How could you leverage these mediums to share your team’s success through mediums like your company’s intranet, enterprise social media or company publication?
- Get a free Adobe Spark or Canva account to create some graphical summaries of what you achieved and learnt
- Grab a smart phone and using a tool like Adobe Clip create a video summary of the project deliverables and outcomes
- Open PowerPoint and use an inbuilt PowerPoint template to create a one-page summary of the improvement in business metric
- Create a Google Photo Story with your project photos
Keep your content short, simple and shareable. But above all, make sure you delivered Success Worth Sharing.
I could not end a piece on Success Worth Sharing without referencing 'One Team'. It's no secret that at S4RB we champion this way of working. We’re confident that success is about supplier engagement, retail own brand teams and their suppliers working as 'One Team', with shared objectives resulting in a shared success.
Now, go and do likewise
I hope you’ve found this mini-series helpful as you think about current and future projects you’re involved with (here’s a link to Part 1, in case you missed it).