If there’s more than just you involved then this will require some serious workshop / brainstorm time. It’s not the sort of thing that can be done in an hour or two. It’s worth putting aside a few sessions to go over this. This is likely to be the start of a major piece of work and it would be a shame to put so much effort into something that’s heading off in the wrong direction to begin with. 

The workshop should cover the following points: 

Setting the Scene        It’s worth taking a few minutes to explain what the meeting is for. Before you get down to the hard work, everybody should know who’s who and be up to speed with the project so far. 

Picking the Goals What are the key, strategic objectives you want to achieve? Why do you want improvements? Be careful to define what relevant drivers are pushing you to act: national, local, bosses, work-group. Remember that the Goal has to have a purpose. The Goal is not to install some kit, it’s to use the kit to get some good out of it. 

Context / Limiting Factors This is where you start to test your Goals to see if they are actually possible. Where will the improvements occur? Who’s involved and how will they act? How do you do things now? What time, money, people and hardware do you have? What costs will you face? 

Consequences What benefits do you want or could you get? Brainstorm a list of consequences, “If I had X I could get…” Accept the features and outcomes that are bound to be listed as well as benefits. Put them on Post-its and shuffle them around. Then start to look for connections between them. 

Business Activity Analysis What changes are needed to obtain the benefits you’ve chosen? At this point you get to see how much effort is going to be needed and you may have to cut down the list of benefits so it’s more manageable. 

This will be enough for one workshop. If you can, let people go away and thing about it and then call them back a week later for a quick review session. Having had time to sleep on it, does it all still make sense? When you are happy with the decisions you then take the selected benefits on to planning, delivery and review. 

Success is hard


In the world of programmes and projects, success is hard to achieve and often hard to prove. Programmes struggle because we dive into the complexity without stepping back into the basic principles that show the key things they are meant to achieve. Modelling helps.

Here's one I did earlier.

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