Our point of view articles are based on insights from the marketplace considered through the lens of our experience and our study.  

Management Tools: A 10 Year Overview

We overview 10 years of Bain’s periodic Management Tools survey (2011) through several lenses including stable, aggregated or moderately enhanced, economically cyclical, and emerging social. The top management tools like strategic planning and benchmarking did not significantly change during the first decade of the millennium.

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Alignment- The concept of one

When taking on complex projects, you can drive alignment by applying the Concept of One to a number of critical elements including by way of example: one mission; one integrated strategy (e.g., business & tech); one decision making structure and process; one economic model; one roadmap; one team; one organizing concept; one set of common methods & tools

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Can Social Media Drive Enterprise Change?

We explore social media inside-the-organization’s impact on the enterprise through its ability to drive business outcomes. “Adoption requires business relevance” Our research considers its importance from multiple perspectives and sources.

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Rapid Assessment Tool

“This multi-level assessment tool can very rapidly provide a picture for leadership from different perspectives, including any misalignment between positional and/or functional groups. Results can be viewed in the aggregate or from any combination of demographic splits.”

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Why hire consultants?

We share a set of practices on “Why hire consultants?” Topics include staff augmentation, perspective, roles, and internal barriers. The article also touches on traditional concerns about consultants, including over-reliance on third-parties to manage mission-critical activities.

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Over-Reliance on Outside Resources

Large organizations are more capable at dealing with change than ever before, and they are able to do more of the “work” required of a change program. Yet dependency on outside consultants continues, in part, because of: organizational skill/experience gaps, leadership disengagement, and the expanding role of the consultant

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Swift Teams

Swift-Teams(sm) exemplify the fusion of proven traditional change- and program-management techniques enabled by agile, collaborative tools and methodologies. Characteristics include: client led; collaborative; solutions driven; visible and transparent; and iterative and adaptive

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Change Leadership

Our approach to change is focused on delivering business outcomes and is steeped in practical experience of designing and managing hundreds of initiatives. While implementing change to achieve objectives with speed, predictability and control is complex, the elements summarized in this article are common to most strategic improvement efforts.

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Risk Management

As risk is endemic to business, we can never eliminate risk, but we can identify and manage risk through 5 generic approaches to quantified risk: avoid, transfer, mitigate, manage and accept. For project management a convenient frame is to consider the “iron triangle” dimensions (e.g., scope, schedule, cost) as drivers of project risk.

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Pareto’s Lesson on “How”

“While strategic and tactical projects need to be managed with regard for their size and potential impact, both need to incorporate a common, rigorous process for performance improvement that is endorsed by the entire organization…We recognize that the business benefits when it can effectively address both strategic and tactical opportunities within a common framework for change”

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Executive Alignment

Executive teams must provide both the vision for change and “active management” throughout execution. But there must be more. With the explosion of information and the accelerated pace of change in the business environment, decisions must be pushed down in the organization. Noted tools include Execution Roadmap and Decision Map

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Responsibility Mapping

This article is a perennial favorite of our site’s visitors. Crisply defined and reinforced roles and responsibilities increase focus, integration and performance. The article defines generic roles for projects, processes, decisions, etc. RACI Framework of: Responsible (the doers); Accountable (the buck stops here); Consult before (see me first); and Inform after (keep me in the loop).

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Process Management 101

In simple terms all the work, tasks, activity, etc. we accomplish at work, at home, at school, on-line- anywhere- can be thought of as process. A process transforms an input (idea, raw material, information, decision, etc. from a supplier) into an output (good or service for a customer). Beyond definitions, we explore why a process approach is superior to an organizational focus.

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Stakeholder Analysis- A Swiss Army Knife for Managers

Stakeholder analysis is a great tool to ensure a comprehensive review of those with a stake (e.g., why they care) in those things ranging from the the simple to the complex. We advocate you look for ways to group those with similar-enough needs and preferences, or as the marketers would say segmenting the stakeholders.

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Form, Instructions and an Example

After spending days creating an elegant survey instrument, very few people seem to have given much thought to those receiving the request for some of their time. This concept seems to apply to all sorts of data collection, certain types of analysis, or anything which relies on others to complete. Consider including 1) the form, 2) instructions, and 3) an example.

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Enterprise View: Collaboration & The Directed Community

During a dicusssion on “how to” best represent collaboration, one of my colleagues simplified the problem as “It’s not about the direction of the information flow, it’s about the number of contributors and the number of information consumers.” So, we began to analyze collaboration as writers (contributors) and readers (information consumers).

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Creating better business outcomes through collaboration

You can create better business solutions and outcomes less expensively by tapping into your company’s collective intelligence through a blended use of traditional and collaborative tools to more easily generate, amend and access information. We show a point-in-time view of collaborative tools, and we consider directed communities in lieu of top down (strategic initiative) project teams

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