What’s the purpose of the project?

March 26th, 2017

Some time ago, I asked about “Why?” the context then being about the tone of questions and that this one often seems to be accusatory. This article addresses the “Why?” of a project – its purpose. When approaching a project, the impetus is sometimes a negative force – to get away from something, usually an old system or set of processes. The positive – what are we going towards?” – may come later.

This is sometimes the best way to approach things. If the existing processes and systems are old and out of date, whether that’s the technology itself, or the ways people do things, then an initial set of questions around what do we need to change, is a sensible way to start. However, from this point onwards, it is far more helpful to focus on what you are moving towards. Questions such as

  • What do we want to be able to do in the future?
  • How do we want to do it?
  • What is best for the business as a whole?

From these questions, you will drill down into the details you need as you build up the business needs for the “end product”. By way of example, your office lease is coming to an end and the landlord does not want to renew it. So, you need to move; you start with some questions:

  • Where you want to be – possibly within x miles of where you are now
  • Whether parking needs be considered for staff (yes) and customers (a few spaces)
  • How much office space you will need – this moves into a round of different discussions:
    • How many staff currently work away from the office for some of their time?
    • Will this go up? Or even, should you be encouraging more staff to visit customers, or suppliers, so this will go up?
    • Is the technology the best it can be to support the growing needs of the flexible, virtual workforce? If not, do we want to look at this now as well, before we move, or shortly afterwards?
    • What non-desk facilities do we need for our staff – reception area, meeting rooms, breakout areas

And many more things to consider, before you really define the office space you are seeking, with essential and ideal elements. At that point, you start looking for the offices and address all the related issues from these, and other, questions building a detailed project plan which has to be managed.

Whilst many firms move offices, some more than once, they frequently do not spend enough time in planning the move and considering all the different elements. They often lose sight of why they are doing this and the positive side of the move, as all the detailed tasks need dealing with. Staff communication somehow gets reduced, instead of increased and the grapevine takes over.

How we can help

We can provide you with a tailored package, whether that is running a project on a short-term, full-time basis, or tailored coaching sessions for the relevant partner / manager through the process of setting up the project, addressing the “why?”, identifying all the different tasks and the processes to manage the project through to its conclusion. Contact Sue – phone or email as you prefer, to discuss the options.

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