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Projects

Organisations invest in technology or business transformation projects to improve business efficiency and results. Directors have recognised that an investment or change can potentially raise sales, decrease production cost, allow them to break into new markets, or to address problems in their business processes. But, why do so many projects of this type hit difficulties? McKinsey, a leading management consulting firm advising companies on issues of strategy, organisation, technology, and operations, researched over a thousand companies that were introducing change. They found that thirty-two per cent of employees left because of projects of this nature, plus many individuals actively resisted the change. Gartner discovered that 75% of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) installations don’t achieve their objectives with regards to cost, time, and quality. Alarmingly, these numbers are actually on the increase (in 2000 Gartner’s statistic was 40%), even though there are now many sophisticated planning and collaboration tools available to help manage such projects. There is also much more information available on the web on how to succeed. So, why do such a high proportion of these projects fail? 

From the statistics above, one could conclude that humans repel change or resist alteration to their daily routines.
But, is this actually true? Why do people save all year round to enjoy a holiday; many constantly buy new clothes to stay in-line with fashion; all replace cars with such delight; listen to the very latest music; or visit a new restaurant? Even more of a contrast to this possible human distain for change is the excitement individuals have towards a new job or a promotion that delivers absolute ‘total change’ to their duties. Could it therefore be the approached used in these types of project? 

Once a project of this type has been given executive approval to be undertaken, most deployment strategies very quickly allow the project team to become orientated towards the technical aspects of the project rather than retaining a focus on the business requirements that gave rise to the project. A task list is regurgitated by the project manger that is very similar to every other similar project which is based upon ‘the best practice model’. Normally little account is taken of the organisation’s uniques, the customer profile, the market they operate within, their product type or product life, the
ethos or culture of the company, the individuals affected that need to be trained or educated, or the skill set of the team responsible for the project. If external consultants are used, the plan is based upon the same plan used with every other customer – just with a different start and finish date. The objective of the project then becomes the satisfaction or completion of standard task list. Team members are given a detailed specification of the tasks they are expected to complete with the emphasis changing to the control and governance of the project – rather than delivering the business objectives and treating people as human beings with the necessary consideration for their training and coaching needs that matches their individual requirements. 

Unlike other management approaches, a key tenet of the Theory of Human Excellence(THE) is the concept that the majority of humans actually thrive during change and enjoy it. This is integrated with another key principle of THE in that every human is an individual. Yes, they have can have certain traits in common – but they can’t be treated all in the same way. Alternative approaches must be used with different types of individuals. One message or approach does not fit all, even if they perform the same role. The project must take consideration that individuals need to be trained, coached, managed, and motivated differently as defined by the Universal Profiling Model. Some may adapt very quickly to learning new processes or procedures whilst others may need more time to undergo the knowledge transfer, or extra information in a different format needs to be provided to enable them to acquire the new skill. Additional focus is therefore placed alongside the more traditional control aspects of project management upon the human aspects of the implementation project. 

THE identifies and categorise the personal attributes that make individuals who they are and how they integrate into a team. This permits any project to be tailored to incorporate the correct style for learning or change introduction program that corresponds with all the individuals within the scope of the project. THE ensures that humans are treated as humans and not as numbers or as if they are a clone or robot. Tasks can be assigned to correct individuals and if employees are designated to perform tasks and a mis-match is identified then extra control or care can be taken. Teams can therefore be formed with the correct balance of skills and attitudes ensuring that a correct mix is formulated of different types to achieve the relevant goal. As team members also recognise their colleague’s style, strengths and weakness through the Universal Profiling Model and interaction is greatly improved from the use of the Nature of Teams framework. THE therefore provides Code of Collaboration to build an organisational culture or a project upon, producing maximum performance. 

The Theory of Human Excellence incorporates the very latest neuro research on human behaviour and cognitive thought. It provides a complete framework to identify, manage and cultivate these natural human aspects in all areas of business, especially managing change orientated projects. THE is therefore perfectly suited to help manage IT and change projects successfully or to incorporate change into the fabric of the business making it a constant.