Let the magic happen

Written by Angel Araujo Herrera, Strategic Partner Manager – Expert in Strategy and Monetization at Google

In the digital era every aspect of a business needs to move faster than ever before as we are set to think on quarterly basis. Companies need to accelerate implementation of initiatives, eliminate costly delays and continually improve the customer experience. That been said, how does agility help us? How do we get out of that? Can we guarantee the quality of our product or service?
Companies, regardless the size, the business or the culture are forced to move their strategy on project basis, which on paper works perfectly but in reality have several  roadblocks to consider along the way.
First, we need to consider all different existing frameworks, which in collaboration make the project real. For more information please take a look at: Frame your mind and processes for getting better outcomes. Usually, different companies tend to interact according to different paradigms. Presentations, sheets or docs are different methods that help to kick off projects. However, there have been several methods, which have been proven to perform above others.
In a corporate ecosystem, where the workload is splitted in projects, it makes sense being able to manage a project or knowing the principles of it, before you jump to a new challenge. Completing a project is a challenge, which include several steps, countless hours, complications and even more important –  variety of stakeholders to think and deal with from the start until the end.
Think – Plan & Do → but how do we do it?
It is becoming crucial having the ability to structure your time, and at the same time being flexible enough to apply the accurate thinking framework for each situation. Around 85% of the time is dedicated to project management (Think, Plan and Execute) as well as the other 15% of the time is applied to solve problems where there is no right or wrong answer (Design Thinking). Obviously, there might be different time distribution as well as different frameworks to consider. The question is not what framework to use, The key is to realise which framework will add the most value – focusing on execution or delivering answers to open questions.

However, there are different frameworks, all of which have common attributes, as you can read in “Frame your mind before processes and then get unexpected outcomes”. 4 common points to consider before setting and structuring the next steps are:

  1. Satisfy someone else’s needs (Problem)
  2. Why and how (Funnel Focus)
  3. Improvements to be delivered (Goals – Targets)
  4. Communicate, Transition and or Close informing results achieved

With those 4 points in common, what is different? Or is there anything different at all? Well, there are certain differences, however the main challenge is framing the process according to what you expect to achieve.

As the majority of our time we dedicate to solve problems that require our empiric knowledge (85% of the time), it is paramount to excel in the ability to run and execute projects, what in the last 10 years these became the main role of project management.

This technique or framework is divided into 4 different verticals, as well as as one transversal and ongoing communication tasks:

  1. Define and assess the Problem – Opportunity
  2. Plan and Define – Strategies and Tactics
    • Set Objectives
    • Define Key Results
    • Create a Strategy Plan
    • Define a Tactic Plan
  3. Plan Execution
  4. Close the Project


Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 10.21.14 PM

While those different steps are widely open while designing and implementing, there are several points to consider in each step for making it smooth and easy.
→ While defining and assessing the problem or the opportunity make sure you tackle a problem, which is important for the user you are trying to solve it for. Besides that, don’t forget to measure the trade off between accurate assumption and time, as the final goal is not to waste time (avoid boiling the ocean).

For this specific is really useful assess your problem with the focus funnel, delivering results answering Why → Why → Why → Looking for a holistic picture (Strategy), as well as How → How → How → Looking for actionable items (Tactics).

→ While planning and defining there are key steps that would help you to anchor stakeholders, process and results.

  • Set Objectives → Not action oriented → Actions achieve Objectives
  • Define Key Results → Measurable → At the beginning of the project
  • Create Strategies →
    • Expansive Thinking → What could we do? → Research – Analysis – Fishbone
    • Reductive Thinking → What should we do? → Heat map – 2×2 Map, Strategies vs. Tactics

→ Executing is that stage where you need to measure, assess and decide.

Visualize Results

  • Let people digest and process information

Last but not least, close the project. In order to let people know what has been achieved and what they can expect in the future, it is important to wrap up and communicate results, impacts and handover.
“It is important to keep in mind that success does not come at launching but instead at landing”

About Angel Araujo

Angel loves getting his hands dirty helping people to make their dreams come true. Since he left Asset Management he has been helping startups getting their fantastic ideas down to the ground. How has he done that? He listens to ideas, explores, researches and analyses the options and provides realistic and constructive feedback. The truth is that being an entrepreneur is complicated, nobody has the answer you need but many can help you to get there. 

To read more interesting articles written by Angel Araujo Herrera go visit his blog.