Our way of working is Check – Think – Plan – Do – Learn -
Check: ensure that we understand the context, the vision, the goals and the reasons for the next iteration, stage or project
Think: choose the right options for the agreed challenges
Plan: plan the project, stage or iteration around the critical success criteria
Do: deliver, knowing the risks and showing early evidence of achievement
Learn: use the experience to improve for next time
This is a project and decision-making cycle, as opposed to the usual 'production' cycle of PDCA.
See also OODA: Observe - Orient - Decide - Act
Horizontal and Vertical Communication
Horizontal communication or “transversality” entails working across functional boundaries, which means respecting each other’s perspectives, priorities and constraints, and understanding how to achieve synergies and to synchronise work.
Vertical communication requirs transparency and governance in order that actors at different levels refrain as much as possible from hiding information from each other, and instead seek the trust that allow information to flow from source to outlet fluently and fluidly.
The T Skills
Your career skills develop in the form of a T. The bar of the T represents the general skills that you need in order to flourish as a member of a team. The root of the T represents the expert skills that you need to feed your credibility and understanding.
The “Unknown Known”
Usually, we know less than we think we do, individually; and more than we realize, collectively.
Often, information known to someone else - that we don't know - makes the difference between success or failure.
Know and Show
Understand and demonstrate how success is being achieved (or else No Show)
Strong Vision, Flexible Execution
The most successful organisations have a clear idea of their purpose and the value, results and outcomes that they need to achieve; meanwhile they provide a great deal of flexibility with regard to how to go about attaining the vision. Unsuccessful companies do the opposite.
Stoke Energy, Reduce Stress
A project leader ensures that the team works in conditions that stoke energy and reduce stress. The team wants a manager that practices “kick up and kiss down” and not the reverse.
Ask Why, Explain Why
Always clarify and verify the purpose. Explaining why provides motivation and ensures that we know we’re doing the right thing and doing it right.
See also the 5 Whys that help you to get to the heart of a problem.
Say what you’ll do, Do what you said, Say what you did
Whichever method you choose, say what you will do, do what you said and be able to prove what you did. That way you will be irreproachable for an audit; you also have to satisfy the customer, of course.
Quality is in the eye of the Beholder
Quality depends upon the public and the stakeholders for whom you are providing the product or the service. It needs to be measured, planned and built in to the solution with good faith and integrity.
Our Values in Action
1) Familiarity with project management and change management
Project management is an approach with important strategic implications for organisations. Actions are most effective where the deciaion makers are implicated and motivated, not just informed.
2) Experience of managing projects
It is important to apply a pragmatic and operational project or development framework. Managing projects using a goal oriented, team-based and cooperative approach delivers advantages both to the contracting organization and to the client.
3) Experience of competitive, international and high technology industries
Innovation in product development and process improvement can offer significant competitive advantage. Consequently, products, processes and even organizations should be distinctive, fit for purpose and change tolerant.
4) Understanding of the most influential contemporary trends in technology development, business processes and team facilitation
Management methods are evolving quickly and constantly. Knowledge of best practice is more widely diffused than ever from a variety of sources, but special effort and flair is requird to encapsulate this information in a form that can be used in each situation.
5) Emphasis on innovation, imagination and quality of the work environment
Technology can be used to enhance the quality of work. Improving the project management process and speeding up the introduction of technologies develops the skills of each individual as well as building the capabilities of the organization.
6) Service view of quality
When providing a service in a highly competitive business it is not enough to satisfy. Contacts must be customized as well as being positive, productive, and rewarding to all parties. This requirs a flexible and pro-reactive way of working.
7) Creative approach to training
Learning is most effective when it is involves participation and when it appeals to different learning preferences. Activities, simulations, case studies and role-plays engage the participants in different ways and enhance the learning experience.
8) Knowledge of tools and methodologies
Modern project management and systems development processes have adapted to the latest technologies, and vice versa. The tools and methodologies should be accessible and helpful to the teams that are responsible for achieving results on the project.
Two Vital Rules for Business
1) Don't run out of cash; cash is like oxygen to a business and in its absence a business will choke.
2) Satisfy your customers. If you fail in rule one, you’ll fail rule two.
Cost ≤ Price, and Price ≤ Value
It’s easy to forget, but although cost can be greater than price for strategic reasons, price greater than value (to the customer) is not sustainable.
Uncertainty is Costly
Time, complexity and uncertainty generate cost. When uncertainty persists, then the business has to provision contingency that increases the cost of investments and reduces the return on investment.
Measure what is Important
In business as in life the easy measures are not necessarily the most important and the most important not often easy to measure. Nevertheless, unless we are doing art or poetry what is important has to be measured in order to be attainable.
Theory of Constraints
Look for the biggest obstacle, roadblock, show-stopper or constraint. That’s what you have to cure, remove or overcome in order to reach your next business goal.
Business Models and Process
The smallest difference to the way that business is carried out with customers, suppliers, processes or systems can make all of the difference to a business surviving and thriving.
Unique Selling Proposition
There’s something that you do that justifies your business, makes it distinctive and makes it worthwhile to customers, to employees and to other stakeholders. The art of your craft is to know what it is and keep making it better
Commitments, Experiments, Improvements
Committed staff members feel ownership and have a transformational rather than a transactional relationship with their work. Although experiments are necessary and do not always work out, constant improvement and the ability to share learning is a critical contribution.