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Accelerating your business growth

Driving accelerationYou’ve generated some great growth ideas, stripped out the ones that didn’t fit your business, prioritised a few of the very best opportunities and given them to the top people in your team. So, how do you make sure they deliver the dramatic changes that you’re hoping for? Last week I talked about the importance of giving clarity, accountability and visibility. This week it’s all about driving the delivery.

Roadmap: Start by building a high-level plan. Get all of the people who are likely to be involved in a room, and ask four questions.

  1. What do we aim to achieve (what will success look like)?
  2. What will we need to do (big tasks we need to deliver)?
  3. What will we need to decide (when do we narrow options)?
  4. What will we need to know (what must we research or test)?

Ask the project owner to use post-its on a big timeline to help the group decide which needs to happen first, how long each might take, how quickly you can prototype and test and where you can accelerate the project. This exercise is priceless. It gives everyone a shared view of the phases, milestones and main activities, and most importantly, where they fit in.

Navigation: Once the roadmap is planned out, your job is to manage the owner around the milestones, not the details: to help them navigate the obstacles, get hold of tight resources, make the big decisions and ensure they stay true to the vision. Transparency is key: you need to spend your time tackling the issues, not uncovering them, so always insist on a clear, objective progress report prior to every meeting.

Acceleration: Projects over-run. It’s a fact. Your job is to minimise that tendency by managing the project owner. Never let milestones move backwards. It’s better to reduce the objectives for a phase and add another phase into the project than it is to let a deadline slide. The single most important factor determining when a project will be delivered is your determination to see it happen on time.

BOTTOM LINE: Every big project is a journey into the unknown. A map is an essential tool, but if you want to reach your destination your people will need to adjust the route as they go, and you can only help them if you’re there, in the front seat, with a clear view of the road. 

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