Continuing from my post on basic rules. Here’s something I have found people forget.

Most of us have either worked on strategies or have been presented them. I am willing to bet that in the vast majority of cases, the strategy set out what and how something was going to be done. I’d challenge that. Yes, a strategy needs to cover how one would accomplish the objective. However, it is also a fact that time and resources are limited. As with mass, you cannot create these out of nothing. So, when you set out a strategy to do something, make sure you take the time and effort to understand what it will mean giving up. Because there definitely is something. The most common failure I have seen is when a team or person keeps trying to add on to the stuff they are doing. It may be because they want to prove themselves or it is a reluctance to give up something. In Singapore, they call this Kiasuism – loosely meaning “the fear of losing”.

I am sure you have seen companies do a vast multitude of products which do not necessarily differ too much from each other. Goes under the guise of portfolio management. Something I talked about in an earlier post. It is one result of not being willing to give up something.

But the one I love was in a project I was involved in. As more requirements came in, the possibility of deadlines slipping became real. And I watched in amazement as the project team came up with a solution – split up the project into multiple projects. So we had more project managers, the teams were divided and it was expected that it would help deliver all of the projects in time. No reward for guessing where that eventually landed up.

What’s your experience been ?