19 Mar 4 Ways to Simplify your Project for Better Results
Simplicity is the most powerful and groundbreaking tool available, and everyone has the capability to use it. So why do we often abandon it in the attempt to do or make something meaningful?
The way we present things to one another is powerful. Think about it, all communication is a form of presentation. We present words, emotions, work, excitement; or we don’t present those which communicates just as loudly. But regardless of how good the quality of our thoughts, work, or intentions are, they will not be understood if we do not present them with clarity.
This is ever apparent with many of the corporate projects we observe. One of the biggest issues in project management is being able to get everyone on board working toward the same goal. Many times the actual vision for a project is miscommunicated while being “cascaded” throughout the organization, but this is actually not the fault the of project participants. The problem lies with management not being able to simplify the goal and vision so that everyone gets the picture of what is happening.
Here are 4 way to Simplify your projects for better results.
Eliminate fluff and jargon
“If you can’t explain it to a Six year old, then you don’t understand it yourself" - Albert Einstein
An experienced math teacher does not struggle to explain algebra to a 14 year old. In the same way, a successful project manager should be able to simply break down a project goal.
Part of being prepared to present a project to your team is understanding all the moving parts of the strategy yourself. Without insulting the intelligence of your team, use plain, simple language to communicate the project vision. There is acceptable jargon and lingo for each workplace and industry, but beyond that lies the underworld of fog, haze, and smoke. Don’t puff up the idea to make it sound richer and fuller than it actually is. If the project is worth doing, it’s validity will speak for itself.
Get rid of redundancies
“Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things" - Isaac Newton
Many of us have tendencies of talking around the idea but not actually explaining the idea. In our attempt to capture ever contingency, we create redundant thoughts that can even be understood by the team as contradictory. Trim down the vision or goal to it’s fundamental details first so that everyone can grasp the concept. Then, you can dive deeper into the details once everyone has bought into the purpose and direction of the project.
Hear it from different perspectives
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak" - Hans Hoffman
As we discussed, it is better in the large group setting to explain only the big, simple vision – only what is relevant to everyone. But there will be a time to get your hands dirty. Instead of analyzing the entire scope of the project from 10,000 feet, ask for a unique perspective from the individuals who are actually doing the work their respective areas. This will keep things simple from a management perspective, and will empower the team by allowing them to have a unique contribution to the project.
Define Measurable KPI’s
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo Da Vinci
Communicate to each department or participant what their role is in the project and what the important KPI’s are for their responsibilities . Simplifying the project hierarchy will help them understand whose tasks they are dependent on and who is dependent on them. This creates trickle-down big-picture thought and accountability across peer levels. This will make performance measurement easy later on in the project, so you will quickly know where to focus your attention.
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