HAVE YOU EVER WISHED YOU COULD WAVE A MAGIC WAND AND CREATE THE PERFECT PLAN?
You don’t need to be a magician to get fantastic results, just follow a formula that works
There’s no such thing as magic, but there is a formula for organising and running project planning workshops that works like a charm.
How do I know? I created one based on my experiences running workshops for projects of all kinds over a
six-month period. That may not sound like much but it is more than some project managers will lead in their entire career.
Now I’ve written this book so that you can apply my formula to your projects.
“I especially loved the way I didn’t have to have all the answers.
Index Card Planning gave me the tools and the confidence to
let the team plan the project, with support from me”
– Tom Smith, Programme Transformation Manager, Hayden Aubrey
Convinced? Then head straight to the packages
THE CHALLENGE THAT EVERYONE WORKING ON PROJECTS FACES
If you are a manager or team leader and you’ve just been asked to lead a new project you should be feeling pretty happy. After all, someone has trusted you to deliver something of value to your organisation. They are putting their faith in you to successfully deliver this initiative, so that your organisation can reap the rewards that come with on-time, on budget delivery. So why is it that you are secretly dreading your new project? Could it be because experience tells you that the odds are against you delivering as you plan to?
It’s even worse if you have several projects on the go at once. If you are a department head, a programme manager, work in a project management office or are just a multi-tasking project manager, then your job is even tougher. You have the problem of having to support a large number of projects, all trying desperately to deliver. Knowing that many of them will fail must make your job a difficult one. Explaining why projects continue to fail on your watch, despite your good intentions and the resources you devote to them, is even harder.
It’s worst of all if you are responsible for all the projects in your organisation. When you are fighting to break into new markets, fighting to cut costs, fighting to improve sales and services to your customers, fighting to beat your competitors, knowing that you’re fighting a losing battle to deliver your business strategy must come as a crushing disappointment.
THERE ARE STILL TOO MANY FAILING PROJECTS
You probably don’t need me to tell you how often projects go wrong, but I am going to do it anyway just so that there’s no doubt how big a challenge you have ahead of you if you are about to start a new project.
For every ten projects that get the green light fewer than four of these will be completed on time, on or under budget and deliver the benefits expected at the start. The rest will come in late and/or over budget or get cancelled way before completion.
If you thought that was the end of your troubles, you’d be wrong. They haven’t even begun.
IT’S EASY TO COUNT THE COST OF POOR DELIVERY, BUT HARDE TO PREVENT IT
Since most of your investment in projects is aimed at achieving some kind of business benefit, this is not just a terrible waste of time and money. You are missing out on the very benefits that your projects are supposed to deliver.
You’ve probably already spent countless hours and more money than you would like to in an effort to get better at managing projects. You’ve enrolled people into project management training programmes, you’ve bought expensive project management software, you’ve created a project office, you’ve even invested in a project management methodology, or even two. But none of this has really worked for you. Your projects are still coming in later and at a higher cost than you can afford. That has got to hurt.
KNOWING THAT YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE IN THIS SITUATION IS NO CONSOLATION
The problem with too many projects nowadays is that everyone starts off with a different idea of what they need to do, why they need to do it and when they need to do it . This means they only focus on the one part of the project that they understand, which is their own. The rest of the project isn’t important to them until things start to go wrong. By this time it is too late. Then the blame game begins, as everyone fights to avoid being made the scapegoat for yet another project failure. If you’ve been around projects for any length of time you will have seen this before. And you will see it again.
Entire companies have gone under because they were overwhelmed by projects that they couldn’t deliver. Even companies that have survived a significant setback suffer for years, limping along when they should be racing forward. No matter that they have spent a fortune on professional certification, software tools and training. They are still not improving as quickly as they need to. That may not be your situation right now, but it may be after your very next project, unless you do something different.
THERE’S A SIMPLE SOLUTION TO THIS COMPLEX PROBLEM
The simple truth is that until you get everyone together to jointly plan your project, you will never have an accurate picture of what it will take to deliver it. Even worse, you won’t have a team that is committed to delivery. The solution is easier to put in place than you would think possible. That’s why I am confident that you can do what others have learned to do.
SEE FANTASTIC RESULTS ON YOUR VERY NEXT PROJECT
Overnight success may not be what you are looking for, but it is possible. One person learned this formula the night before an important kick-off meeting. They used it the very next day to plan a major programme. That’s when I decided to document my formula and make it available to others who are struggling under the weight of expectation of another failed project.
You’ll prevent time being wasted through poor attendance. You will get the right results every time by having the information that you need at your fingertips. Your people will become more knowledgeable and more confident themselves, as their project management skills grow. You’ll create proper project schedules, realistic resource profiles and build the consensus that you need to get stakeholders’ approval to proceed. Every step in the entire project planning process is laid out for you. All you need is the determination to follow this system. If you do you can achieve the success that comes from the creation of a team that has a single purpose, an effective plan and the desire to deliver.
FOLLOW A PROVEN FORMULA
Once you get people working together to plan your projects a whole new picture emerges. You start to see the pitfalls before you run into them. You learn to coordinate activities so that people don’t waste time. You start seeing real progress, tangible results and benefits delivered on time, more of the time.
Then it gets even better.
Projects that aren’t properly planned, that previously would have caused havoc in your organisation, don’t get off the launch pad anymore. In their place you have projects that have effective plans, backed up by resources forecasts, committed teams and a shared goal.
Teams start working together and not in silos. Groups start to communicate and collaborate. Projects avoid needless delays that used to be caused by a lack of resources. Delivery according to plan becomes a reality. You start seeing benefits being delivered, into your business and onto your bottom line.
Instead of cowering in a corner crying at the end of your planning process, you can be confident from the word go. Rather than dreading the day when you start a new project, you can look forward to new challenges and new successes. When others are struggling to stay on target, you can deliver with certainty because of your new skills. When the time comes for you to step forward and take on bigger challenges you will be ready for them.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi, I’m Bryan Barrow. I help organisations deliver their projects on time and within budget, so that they become more profitable.
I wrote this Handbook after spending six months facilitating project kickoff workshops for a client of mine. In that time I refined the process that would see them slash project costs, boost motivation and engagement, transform their ability to plan projects and slash the time it took for them to get projects started and delivered.
I live in the Wiltshire, England, but I’m only an hour away from London and work there a lot. You should follow me on twitter (@bryanbarrow) so that we can stay in touch.
THE COMPLETE DIGITAL EDITION
Everything that you need to become a master facilitator of project planning workshops, right now!
THE DIGITAL EDITION AND CHECKLISTS
If you want to go ahead with a reduced package, here’s the Handbook and the checklists
THE DIGITAL EDITION
The lower cost option (but still a good deal)
If funding is an issue for you I recommend you just get the Guide on its own. You won’t regret it.
Which version is right for you?
It may come down to how much you believe you can afford. Putting money to one side though, I would say the complete package. The Handbook itself contains over 120 pages, all focused on giving your project the best possible start.
What if I don’t like it?
If you don’t like it then just tell me within 30 days and I will give you a full refund.
Where can I find out more about you?
I don’t have hundreds of blog posts at my site bryanbarrow.com. That’s because I write full length articles, on topics like Project Management, Project Risk Management, Leadership and Change. I am a hands-on, practising consultant and I speak at conferences about these topics, going back year after year to the same conferences because people like my message, my tips and strategies and my down-to-earth style.
What if I need to know more about you?
Well you could look me up on LinkedIn. That would be a good place to start. Or you sign up for a webinar to that you can see and hear me in action. If you have other questions you can visit my FAQ Page, where you may find your question has already been answered.