One of the habits I have observed in management is the tendency, in trying to solve a problem, to focus in one area, when it is a different issue that lies at the bottom of the challenge being faced. A key reason for this is the questions that are asked.
When is it appropriate to say no to a piece of work? If you are in professional services, are a contractor or consultant there will be regular times when client work is in the offing. Then you need to think “should I do this piece of work”.
Does anyone care about job titles? I think the answer should be no, but it seems to me that lots of people still worry about their job title. Yet pretty much any job title is increasingly meaningless outside of a very specific context.
As a consultant I have worked in a lot of organizations. Those organizations have varied in terms of culture, location, scale and sector. During my time in all these organizations there is one phrase which I hear most often. I suspect it is one that every other consultant, business advisor or contractor hears. And that phrase is “we are different”.
One of the things we all spend a lot of time in business doing is reviewing other people’s documents. They may be text documents or slide decks. We can spend huge amounts of time trying to get our head around what the writer(s) meant. Sometimes, for example in responding to a tender, really understanding the document is critical to ongoing success.
Reporting is a central part of project delivery. There is a variety of reports to produce: status reports, budget updates, steering committee packs and so on. Reporting can take up a significant proportion of project resources, and is often a point of dissatisfaction for project managers, project sponsors and other stakeholders.
All business projects result in an outcome in the form of a change. In business it is important to be able to measure these outcomes. How should you approach this? The following article is extracted from a book I wrote recently, The Financial Times Briefing: Change Management, and provides some thoughts on measuring change.
A common point of tension for many organisations is the way strategy converts into projects. (I am assuming there is a meaningful strategy. This is obviously not true everywhere, but that is a whole different sort of problem which is not covered in this article).
Dealing with change in organisations is well recognised as a significant and ongoing issue. Change comes in many forms – from re-organisations, through all sorts of adaptations resulting from contextual and environmental pressures, as well as changes arising from opportunities that organisations identify.