Julian’s Business Tips: For Success, Do Less

I was in a meeting today with some senior directors talking about future digital strategies.

One of the directors surprised the whole room, when they said, ‘We need to do less…’

Well, that was unusual! I’ve always understood that if you’re not moving forward, then you’re actually going backwards in a digital world.

But then she finished her sentence, ‘…and finish more.’

Ah, now it made sense – rather than starting lots of projects, ‘look at us, we’re doing this and we’re doing that…’ she was advocating a task-and-finish mentality: having relatively few projects, but completing every one well, and in good time.

What do YOU do? If you’re anything like me, you love starting new exciting things, but often lose interest later, preferring to leave it to others to finish the job and tidy up the paperwork.

It is so much better to start something, deliver it, and THEN move onto something else.

And if you are talking about change, about new ways of working, then delivery includes embedding the necessary behaviours as business as usual. So many project teams’ plans finish with the implementation, with only scant regard given to the education, training and support required to properly ‘finish the job’.

In fact, the success of the implementation begins at the planning stage – have you discussed the plan with your stakeholders? Have you explained why there is a need to change and why it needs to be now? And is there united, visible support from the management team?

And if you really want to do the job right, make sure your system delivers the metrics that you need, in order to prove that the project is succeeding (you are using SMART goals, aren’t you?).

Who realised that doing less was so hard?