Getting Familiar with the Business Fundamentals

Explore the importance of the 9 Business Fundamentals of a project or initiative in bridging the gap between strategy and execution.  

Why do the Business Fundamentals matter?

Traditionally project success was measured in terms of the project plan and Gantt chart.  But that is no longer enough. 

Just because a project deliver to scope, on time & to budget, does not mean it is a success.  Too many projects suffer from ‘project myopia‘ – where they lose sight of the business needs.

How do they bridge the strategy-execution gap?

The project chassis is key to bridging the gap between strategy and execution – between the C-suite and the project team.  It connects project success to business success and the project plan to business strategy. 

What are the Business Fundamentals?

Whether it is an IT project, HR initiative or anything else, the needs of the business and a range of related business fundamentals are key to success.

Even the most meticulously planned project can have unresolved business issues at its foundation. The result is a gap between strategy & execution, the project team & the C-suite.

Why is it called ‘the chassis’ of a strategic initiative?

A strategic initiative may look good on the outside, but how likely is it to succeed? To find out, you need to look under the surface – to see if there is a solid foundation for success.

Why is this important for ambitious initiatives?

Ambitious initiatives will often be met with a degree of caution, even cynicism. Here we look at engaging cynicism on 3 levels – highlighting the need to go deeper in assessing any initiative

FAQs About the Business Fundamentals

Why address 'the chassis' of your initiative?

To ensure the success of your initiative from a c-suite or business perspective.

It will help you ensure that your initiative has a solid foundation for success.

Specifically, that there is clarity and alignment in respect of the 9 key business fundamentals, including business need, business impact market reality and so on.

When to address your project's chassis?

Use this tool anytime you:

  • Want to check clarity and alignment in respect of the key business fundamentals of your initiative.
  • Are curious or concerned about the possibility of a gap emerging between strategy and execution or between the project team and the c-suite.
Who should work on 'the chassis'?

As a project sponsor or leader you can use ‘the chassis’ as a powerful a tool of analysis – allowing you to explore, plan or define the 9 fundamentals for your project/initiative.

The chassis is important for executives who want to be seen as business enablers, rather than project managers.

However, it is at its most powerful when used to generate a strategic conversation within a project team and a particular with its C-suite stakeholders. These strategic conversations are the means of generating engagement, buy-in or support.

What type of project to apply it to?

Apply the tools to any strategic initiative or critical project. That is a project that is too important to fail. Whether it is an IT, HR or any other project, the needs of the business (and other fundamental factors) must come first.

What stage of a project to use the chassis?

The chassis can be used at different stages of a project / initiative, for example:

A project seeking approval – to help ensure that it gets support / funding.

A project that is in the planning phase – to help ensure that the business fundamentals are put in place

A project that is up and running – use the chassis to check as the project progresses for continued alignment with business needs and the other fundamentals. Also, as the means to engage stakeholders especially at C-suite.

What's new about this approach?

It is about bridging the gap between strategy and execution and between the C-suite and the project team.

An initiative can be successful in terms of delivering against the project plan and yet fail to address the needs of the organizations.

The chassis is about ensuing clarity and alignment in respect of business needs and other commercial aspects of a project or initiative.

Even the most meticulously planned project may not have 100% clarity of alignment on all 9 business fundamentals.

Is this needed if there is already a project plan?

Even the most meticulously planned project may not have 100% clarity or alignment on all 9 business fundamentals.

Indeed, caught up in the date today business of a project it is easy to lose sight of changing business needs and priorities for example. This, rather than any aspect of project management, emerges as the number one reason for project failure.

Explore the 9 Fundamentals – navigate below: