the word 'performance' printed on paper; planning is essential for the performance of a business project transformation

Blog Series: Before the Transformation, Enough or Too Much Information?

By Dale Lawrence

The traditional model for transformation projects is to plan, build the business case, go through financial gates, estimate benefits, project plan, go through more approvals, stakeholder analysis, more approvals, assemble the team, launch project, seek more funding, start strong but then things start happening. Delays, impacts to areas of the business that were not expected, funding issues, more delays, resistance is building, watch out! Many major projects start with different project team members than they end with because the project takes too long. The perception is the business world moves fast but your business moves too slow. In reality, most businesses are exactly the same.

A Different Way to Transform, but Is It Better?

Recently, a number of disrupter companies have been changing the internal project process. Rather than taking too long to initiate and implement projects, they have cut out almost all of the up-front planning. Instead of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time-bound), this new approach is more like, No Approval, Go Solve (invented acronym time… how about NAGS?). Gone are the major approvals, gating or project budgets. These, often high-tech companies, are giving the keys to their software engineers and allowing a See a Problem, Solve a Problem approach. It sounds wonderful, right?

Unshackled. Unapproved. Unorganized. The trouble is everything is seen as broken and endless mini-projects are always in-flight without alignment or big-picture thought.

As this series progresses, I will share more details about both approaches to transformation and my thoughts on a better way.

To learn more, read about Operational Performance and Organizational Culture at Propulo Consulting


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