Good Reads: No. 2

Today’s read is from one of my favourite business books, “Think To Win” (TTW). I often look to this book for inspiration when I’m embarking on a new project or generally needing some guidance in strategic thinking and planning. The principles contained within the book can be applied both in business and in life, so I consider it to be a valuable resource and practical tool.

Scope the Issue

P18.

TTW requires clarity of thought and discipline even before the analytical process begins. If an issue or problem isn’t properly scoped out, everyone involved spins their wheels. While TTW can be applied at any level or scale, it is important to identify and agree upon the scope of application. Within  a company, is the cope of the issue departmental, divisional, or company wide? Agreeing on the appropriate scope helps align everyone to work from the same page.

One of the biggest caveats is the importance of avoiding “scope creep”. If an issue or problem isn’t properly scoped, then wasted time, energy and resources are sure to result.

Speaking from personal experience, “scope creep” can certainly be a challenge in digital marketing and website development projects. There are various reasons why it can happen, but a recurring one I’ve noticed, is that clients can become enthusiastic when results start to be seen and then want more of the good stuff.

Your strategy is succeeding, but then it becomes like a huge snowball rolling down a rather long hill gathering size and momentum as it goes. Momentum is great, but where is the snowball heading and will the landing be managed in a controlled manner?

Often resources like money and people are thrown at projects to get the big results, but when the project is over there’s no-one to support the monster that was created while everyone was on board.

So what can we do? TTW suggests we communicate goals and long-term commitments clearly. Rework the scope until everyone agrees and put it in writing.

Taken from Think To Win: Unleashing the Power of Strategic Thinking 2015 by Paul Butler, John Manfredi and Peter Klein. Get it at Amazon.

What are your thoughts? Post a comment, I’d love to hear from you.

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