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Managing the Halfway Point

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6th November is the halfway point between autumn and winter and as a middle or midpoint it reminded me that in many cases we plan the start of projects or business relationships and we review the end of projects, campaigns or change programmes but often the middle of these activities is neglected. In other words we don't review along the way and build in review or check points to monitor progress. And yet monitoring is a key activity in making sure what you intended to happen is happening in the way you intended it.

So what can you do to build in and use effective checkpoints to your projects and activities? Here are my top ten tips (not exhaustive I acknowledge but a start)

  1. Start with the end in mind - Define at the start, with absolute clarity, what you want to achieve. What will it look, feel and be like when it is complete and what will be different from the start state.
     
  2. At regular time intervals, between start and completion, build in milestones which are key points that will indicate you are on track for your completion date.
     
  3. Set a clear agenda for what needs to be achieved at each milestone.
     
  4. Have a clearly defined change process if you need to alter part of what the original plan defined.
     
  5. Be honest with yourself and your team about what success looks like at each milestone.
     
  6. Act before a problem escalates - don't hide!
     
  7. Communicate at each milestone and more if needed, to all key stakeholders, what is going well, what needs to be challenged or changed and what needs to be focused on.
     
  8. Learn through your reviews and act on what you learn - how can the way you do things be improved?
     
  9. Record learning for future projects and share this with all stakeholders. i.e don't lose valuable learning along the way.
     
  10. Acknowledge mistakes quickly, learn from them and act to rectify them so you can get back on track ASAP.

The middle of the road can sometimes be a woolly, undefined place where wandering and straying is prevalent. Don't let that happen to your projects, programmes or relationships. Build in effective reviews and checks so that the middle of the road is a good place to be and one to move on from to the successful achievement of your plan

"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive."C S Lewis


About the Author

Beverley Hamilton works with independent business consultants to help them grow a profitable consultancy and still have time for their life. You can get my Free Ecourse Discover the 5 Most Common Incorrect Assumptions Independent Business Consultants Make and a complimentary subscription to Quickstart, the newsletter specifically for consultants. Go to One Step Further for more instantly accessible resources. Your future Your choice!


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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-11-10 10:58:03 in Personal Articles

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