Three weeks ago, I introduced the idea of healthy projects.
- contain team members and stakeholders that are happy.
- have clients that are satisfied.
- deliver value to the “business”.
- provide a learning environment for everyone and everything involved, including the project itself
Week one, we talked about healthy team members. Last week: satisfied customers. This week: delivering value to the business.
I started my first entrepreneurial business in 1985, a software development company delivering software solutions to small businesses (DOS, IBM Clones and dBase II!!).
I learned a big lesson back then that has been a part of my journey ever since: we produce for the customer – not to satisfy our own desire to be creative and/or profitable. And, more importantly, we never ask the client to change their process just because the tools we are using can’t handle it.
Both of these pitfalls got me into a lot of trouble back in the day. It took me a few years to realize that our job is to deliver value to the client and their business and nothing else.
Our projects exist for the benefit of our clients. Ideally, they are designed well, with input and sign off from our client, to deliver a product or service that is required and that will benefit the business in the end.
So, when does this go wrong?
- When the end user or client is not involved in the design and details right from the beginning
- When the developer or builder sees an opportunity to inject their own ideas, bias or creativity
- When the major stakeholders see fit to create something new without the appropriate consultation, research and testing
This list could be a lot longer, but you get the idea.
Here are three levels of project involvement that could easily steer us away from a healthy project delivering value to the client or business.
We need to continuously ask ourselves these three key questions:
- Why are we doing this?
- Who will be using it?
- What value does it bring to the business?
Healthy projects deliver value to the business.