Project Launch Team Prep
You assigned your best-and-brightest “A” players, set up basic team building, and held an elaborate kick-off session with senior leaders, yet it’s not enough. Why is your project falling short? Your people are ill-equipped to deliver a project!
- SMEs are expert in operating today’s business, but ill-equipped to create the future, which demands different skill sets and mindsets.
- Current orthodoxies of how to lead, manage, and execute projects are insufficient for increasingly complex project challenges.
- Project leaders do not understand critical skill sets and mindsets necessary for teams to deal with “routine problems” and the vexing challenges of “wicked” and “enigmatic” problems.
With Orbit’s signature “Project-as-a-Workshop,” learning happens in the process of doing, not just in training sessions or lectures. Orbit mindfully designs Project-as-a-Workshop with your project objectives and unique team needs at the forefront.
- Personal Knowledge System. Knowledge and innovations are advancing faster than ever, but most project teams learn new ideas and concepts via buzzwords or hype marketing. To design strategically and effectively, we developed a “whole-parts” approach to map the entire domain based upon strategic objectives. This knowledge is taught in theory and in practice over time, within the flow of the project, to formulate the right analyses, insights, vision, and designs. We define each individual team member’s personal knowledge system needs and collectively build a Team Knowledge System to enable an integrated, collaborative, generative design process. For example, in designing supply chains, we seed over time the latest concepts in end-to-end supply chain management and functional management. This approach also clarifies when the project needs specific deep expertise, often a critical cost driver.
- Design-and-Align Disciplines. Orbit designs everything on a project – framing the problem statement, setting objectives, imagining solution alternatives, defining criteria and constraints, analyzing consequences, making trade-offs, and making solution strategy decisions. Every aspect of this design process requires “alignment” – ensuring shared goals, collaborating to develop the best ideas, coordinating trade-offs, and committing to the direction. Without these disciplines in place, under solution and social complexities, project teams flounder in a two-step forward, two-step back dance. Get this right, and recover almost half of the time spent on projects.
- High Performance Teaming. With a basic foundation of knowledge and process in place, Orbit’s “special sauce” moves teams into the “zone” to innovate and build the strength to do great things. Teams are cultivated to ensure competence, autonomy, responsiveness, and connectedness.
You’ve launched your project, but schedules and budgets are in jeopardy, and a gravitational force pulls the team in a “downward spiral.” Standard project audits refer back to so-called best practices that led to this quagmire. As long as problems remain unaddressed, they accumulate and eventually cause projects to implode. Common project challenges include:
- Leadership teams misaligned on strategy
- Leadership pursuing the wrong strategy
- Leadership (lazily) obsessed with technologies
- Directionless architecture phases
- Design phases with teams that don’t know how to design
- Test phases with incoherent test strategies
- Training phases destined to be rejected
Orbit works with your teams to pinpoint the true root causes of project failures, then creates an inflection point to redirect the project back on course. Whether root causes are related to strategy, operations, technology, organizational, or a complex combination of all of the above, they can be solved.
- R-State Thermometer: Orbit starts by working with team members to understand their current state and to identify the problems they believe are impeding the project. We unravel these perceptions into real, actionable issues that are “fixable” with new commitments. In addition, this process activates team members personally and collectively as a team.
- Focused Design-and-Align: Orbit eliminates project bottlenecks and strengthens the team’s capabilities, confidence, and connection. In many cases, finding the right lever can redirect project teams back on track quickly. We accelerate the Project-as-a-Workshop approach into a turnaround model.
Mission Strategy Review
40% of projects are cancelled because its strategic purpose is unclear. If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t get there. This happens so frequently because the strategy process and outputs are broken.
Strategy is more complex than ever, as organizations navigate expanding competitive landscapes and game changing digital upheavals. VUCA overwhelms current strategy practices and complicates mission-critical work in defining and aligning an agenda.
Regardless of the dollar amount spent on strategy consulting, outcomes are often:
- Unclear strategy
- Copy-and-paste best practice strategy that doesn’t fit
- Misalignment around strategy
Orbit’s Strategic Model deals with complexity to create adaptive enterprises, and ensures the right strategies and deliverables to drive projects. There are three major themes with six distinct types of strategy work:
- Strategy as Possibilities and Creating the Future. Everything is possible! How do you find new possibilities? This work encompasses “Strategic Identity” and “Strategic Architecture” to envision with clarity and to set the intent.
- Strategy as Dialogue and Commitment. Communication is critical to strategic alignment and to generate better possibilities. The “Strategy Process” and “Strategic Options” are powerful tools to bring the future into being.
- Strategy as Action and Journey. It’s time to act and learn! “Strategic Engineering” and “Strategic Agility” build competencies and expand management’s capacity to learn and adapt.
Orbit’s Strategic Model addresses strategic, solution, and social complexities to create shared goals and strategic alignment that elude so many organizations and their projects. If you need to redirect your strategy back on track, a static plan will not get you there. Your strategy journey starts with a new model.