Running a complex project successfully

A great piece of investigative reporting from Bob Lewis. He discovered the Loch Ness Monster a SAP implementation project that finished ahead of schedule by the Japanese company Daiwa House Industry.

The lessons are entirely relevant to any complex project implementation.

Without further comment, here is a summary of Bob's six principles:

1. Having staff wait for work is better than having work wait for staff. Adopt critical chain project management to ensure that projects are never delayed because staff are not available to work on the next task.
2. Discourage multitasking. Instead let employees finish what they start, even if they occasionally find themselves with nothing to do. Overall, they'll be far more effective and productive in the context of the project.
3. Eliminate "apple polishing". Provide clear exit criteria for every task and constantly communicate the need to just be "good enough".
4. Don't overdefine the tasks. Allow team members to use their experience and good judgment, and encourage prototyping to determine implementation details.
5. Don't focus on the technology. Implementing better business processes and practices should be the central implementation deliverable.
6. Provide a holistic view. Make sure everyone maintains a sense of the big picture while addressing their individual responsibilities.

Did you know...

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