Creating a solid project plan to assign the work
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NASA engineers are developing the James Webb Telescope and are taking attention to detail to an unimaginable level. This new Cosmic telescope, the latest advance in space exploration, is made up of 18 segments. these segments form the mirror for the telescope. To assure operation in the harshest environment of outer space, the mirror’s segments must not warp in the -415 degree Fahrenheit temps. So how does the relate to effective management?
Think about this engineering phenomenon. The telescope’s critical mirror segments “must hold their shape against warping to within a 25 billionth of a meter!” If not, the telescope will not operate properly in the frigid conditions of outer space. It’s very hard to conceive of a 25 billionth, let alone resisting warping at those extremes.
In business, and in effective management, very few projects or assignments require this exacting a standard. Most well conceived project plans do require a very clear detailed layout covering all the important steps and actions. Effective delegation of project assignments and execution depend on this specific plan.
Few organizations today are achieving anywhere near their full potential. A limited number could be described as representing a high-productivity team. There are many skills and abilities that a manager requires to build and lead a high-performance team. One such core competency is project planning leading to execution management.
The best managers have something near a passion for building a truly high-performance Plan of Action.
From critical complex projects to the important day-to-day work of their business unit, assignments must be well conceived and tightly aligned to bring about the desired results.
What if managers approached their thinking around the Project Plans like NASA engineers designing and building the James Webb Telescope? Once the manager has completed the initial draft of their Project Plan, the manager would then challenge themselves and their key people with this question. “Suppose the execution of our business plan, in order to reach the objective and operate properly, had to meet tolerances withing a 25 billionth of a meter? What would our Project Plan have to look like and what would we need to do differently to execute at this level”?
Changing what a project plan looks like
Would this lead to more effective management and productive execution of plans and assignments? I think it would change the paradigm of what project plans looked like. It would advance execution management to a higher level. A manager who challenges themselves and their team with this criteria will release fresh creativity, new insights and better business plans. Managers need to raise the bar in order to achieve anything approaching high-performance excellence. a 25 billionth might just be the catalyst.
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