The ability to chunk projects into the lowest common denominator is not new. In fact, several articles exist explaining how chunking projects can save time, money, and resources. There are several ways to portion projects down to manageable components. To do this, a project manager must have three views consistently in the project.
- Tactical – the projects day to day activities need to be clearly understood by all stakeholders. The ability to state ‘x or y needs to be done’ is crucial to short-term deliverables within the project.
- Operational – the ongoing performance management of the project deliverables over the short-term is paramount to understanding when either a tactical or strategic change needs to be made.
- Strategic – Long-term foresight to who, what, where, when, why, and how a project will be delivered is a project manager’s near telepathic ability to see course change and direction within a project’s lifecycle.
Over the past 18 months implementing a Chunking Approach at one our major clients, Management Outsourcing LLC has managed to help streamline a crucial business decision modeling project. The effort was simple – develop and maintain the company’s strategic initiative and implement the business rules standards using The Decision Model by Knowledge Partners International LLC, and the “STEP” approach developed by Barbara von Halle and Larry Goldberg. Working with KPI and the clients’ management team, we adopted a rolling 3-month project plan, chunking the project into manageable components. Together, we revolutionized and streamlined how the client managed this effort.
Starting with a Proof of Concept, the team developed a 3-week initiative to test if The Decision Model and the KPI STEP approach would work within the client. After the success of the 3-week initiative, the team developed a 3-month Target project to determine if The Decision Model and the STEP approach were viable for clients’ strategic needs. The success of the 3-month Target project allowed for two additional 3-month initiatives to permit the company to adopt and maintain a Decision Modeling practice within the corporation. To date, these initiatives have generated follow-on projects as well as the continuation of the original strategic outline of the original proof of concept.
Specific milestones were developed for measuring the success of both the long-term and short-term project’s deliverables. However, the approach to chunking the project into 3-month cycles kept the project team focused on clear manageable deliverables while keeping the strategic focus of the project intact.
My advice for successfully measuring any project’s success is to know the strategy and execute in chunks. We have seen too many projects fail because organizations try to deliver strategic initiatives in one deliverable. Strategy is outlined from the top; implementation it is not. Projects need to be done in an effective way. Chunking projects brings straightforward solutions to a wide variety of initiatives.