Business Fundamentals: What are the tell-tale warning signs?
Could there be an issue regarding the business fundamentals of your project/ initiative? In other words a ‘chassis’ problem? Well, here are some of the giveaway symptoms – can you recognize any of them?
Challenges engaging the C suite and linking the project to the strategic agenda- the key priorities of the business.
Confidence in the success of the initiative is being undermined – it is below 75%. Perhaps there may be over-confidence or misplaced certainty.
The level of ambition around the initiative is in question. Should it aim for more, or is it being overly ambitious?
What is happening on the project seems divorced from what is going on in the rest of the business.
There is a continual fight for resources with many other initiatives vying for time and attention. The project is struggling to get the time and attention it needs. Short term priorities and the day to day running of the business leave little time for anything else.
Aligning stakeholders is difficult – people are pulling in different directions because of a lack of a clarity regarding the business need/impact of the initiative.
People blow hot and cold about the project or are sitting on the fence not yet ready to fully commit.
Business / stakeholder needs are unclear or in flux. Organizational commitment seems to wane with changing business priorities threatening to undermine the project.
Mixed or confusing messaging around the project & what it will deliver.
Lack of effective cross-functional collaboration – rallying people around a shared project goal is key opportunity or challenge.
There may have been too much ‘hype‘ around an initiative, resulting in skepticism.
It is rare that there is total clarity and alignment in respect of all the business fundamentals of a complex and ambitious project. Indeed, that may not even be desirable – especially if it stems from a false consensus or over-confidence.
So don’t beat yourself up if there is a lack of clarity on parts of your chassis. Your project may be well planned in a traditional sense. However, bridging the gap between strategy and execution places new demands on projects and initiatives. Delivering against the project plan is no longer a guarantee of success – not if it falls short of meeting the needs of the business.
Looking for tips on what to do if you suspect you have chassis problems? Click here.