Mar 22

Following are steps to solve any problem.

  • Fact Gather
    • Interview
      • Internal
      • External
    • Gather Data
      • Company
      • Competitors
      • Customers
    • Market Research
    • Internet Research
    • Facilitated Group Sessions
  • Analyze
    • Process Analysis
    • Financial Analysis
    • Value Drivers
      • Simulate/Model
      • Value Chain Analysis
      • Benchmarking
      • Business Ecosystem
        • <value net>
        • <5 Forces>
  • Interpret
    • Team Brainstorming
    • Client/Consultant Brainstorming
    • Progress Reviews
    • Use of Firm Methodologies
  • Motivate
    • One-On-One Feedback
    • Progress Reporting
    • Coaching/Training
    • Graphic Feedback
  • Confirm
    • Final Presentation
    • Report
  • Launch
    • Action Plan
    • Coaching
Mar 22

Following is a problem solving framework.

Mar 22

Defining Goals is first step to solving problems. Following is a framework to define goals.

S1

è

S2

è

B

(current

 

(Desired

 

(Benefits)

situation)

 

Result)

   

 

S1    something you want to change

Should be one statement or max 1 para.. Should focus on current state of problem. What problem are we solving?

S2    will be produced at the end of support

Where will we end… This is easy implementation or objective…

B    what you will gain at S2

Mar 16
  • Evidence of Differing Consultant/Client “visions” of project
  • Client Executive Turnover
  • Consulting Team Turnover
  • Missing Deliverables Dates
  • Intrusion of New Influencer
  • Change in Client Economics
  • Diminished Stature/Authority of Client
  • Diminished Access/Attention by Client Executive
  • Identification of Improper assumptions
  • Significant consultant time overruns
Feb 18

Corporations can grow new businesses by performing three kinds of balancing acts:

  • Balancing trial and error strategy formulation with rigor and discipline
    • Narrow the range of choices before diving deep
    • Closely observe small groups of consumers to identify their needs
    • Use prototypes to test assumptions about products, services and business models
    • Use nonfinancial milestones to measure progress
    • Know when and on what basis to pull the plug on infant businesses
  • Balance operational experience with invention
    • Appoint “mature turks” as leaders of emerging businesses
    • Win veterans over by asking them to serve on new businesses oversight bodies
    • Consider acquiring select capabilities instead of developing everything from scratch
    • Force old and new businesses to share operational responsibilities
  • Balance new business identity with integration
    • Assign both corporate executives and managers from divisions as sponsors of new ventures
    • Stipulate criteria for handling new businesses over to existing businesses
    • Mix formal oversight with informal support of creatively combining dotted and solid line reporting relationships

Source: Meeting the challenge of corporate Entrepreneurship by David A Garvin and Lynne C. Levesque (HBR:R0610G)

Feb 18

I have worked around 4+ years in implementation consulting every time I had to meet a customer first time; I was not sure what information to gather before the first meeting. I acquired my information from customer’s website. I normally knew everything about their products and locations etc. Here is an exhaustive list I got from my professor of consulting who has worked for more than 20years in strategy consulting. This is more relevant to strategy consulting but a great list for everyone.

  • Industry
    • Legislation
    • Profitability/drivers and trends
    • Cross Industry Issues
    • Key Terms
    • Effects of wider issues
      • Demographic shifts
  • Key Competitor comparison
    • Profitability
    • Growth
    • Geographic Reach
    • Product Range
    • Terms of Competition
  • Company
    • Industry Rank
    • Profitability /Trends
    • Recent Events(Acquisitions, Product Changes, Organization Changes, ETC)
    • Vision and Aspirations
    • Chairman’s Priorities
    • Terminology particular to the company
  • The Executive
    • Work History
    • Education/Family/Hobbies
    • Business Priorities
    • Current Responsibilities
    • Organization chart if available
  • Implications
    • What does the client want
    • How do the researched issues affect that request
    • What are the executives “Hot Buttons”
  • Style Points
    • Diversity of sources(Internet, Industry publications, News papers, Company Documents)
    • Graphics of Exhibits synthesizing information
    • Article outlining(Highlighting)
Jan 28

Aggregate project plan enables management to improve the way it manages the development function.

Following are eight steps of an aggregate project plan

  1. Define project types as either breakthrough, platform, derivative, R&D or partnered projects
  2. Identify existing projects and classify them by project type
  3. Estimate average time and resources for each project type based on earlier experience
  4. Identify existing resource capacity
  5. Determine the desired mix of projects
  6. Estimate the number or projects that existing resources can support
  7. Decide which specific projects to pursue
  8. Work to improve development capabilities

Source: Creating project plans to focus Product Development by Steve C. Wheelwright and Kim B. Clark (HBR: 92210)

Dec 19

So today morning before going to office I wrote a post on 3R’s of Project Management being Requirements, Resources and Required Time. In office I started talking about project management with my colleague Chris. Chris works in QA team. He started explaining me his 3R’s of Project management being Quality, Resources and Required Time. It was amazing because he did not know about my post or my perspective on the topic.  I guess that is what differentiates the role of PM from QA.

This difference in perspective is very important for a successful team.

Note: Very soon I want to blog about Scrum which is an Agile method of project management.

Dec 18

Managing projects is a very simple process. There are basically 3 parameters in every project

  1. Requirements
  2. Resources
  3. Required Time

Project management is just juggling these 3 parameters. If any one of these changes at least one of the other two will change. For e.g you cannot reduce time by not increasing resources or reducing requirements.

Then why is project management so difficult and why do so many project get in trouble? I guess because finally juggling these 3 R’s is just an ART and not a SCIENCE. J