Saturday, April 13, 2024

True judge of success

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NO MATTER HOW SOUND the plan, with a well thought out, ambitious and anticipated vision, a strong, clear, measurable and attainable mission, and executive directives tracking projected, stated and promised improvement in standards of living, it is the enactment and resulting performance which judges success.

It is the permanently employed personnel who are charged to implement such change policies. It is a well-designed process that instructs and maintains order. It is efficient communication to transmit work orders and receive prudent progress reports.

It is the original strategic plan or the initial scope of work, with limited changes, which starts and controls progress. Recognising, however, that numerous examples of failed implementation exist, as repeatedly mentioned in executive summaries and budget statements year after year after year.

The choice of personnel needed to execute each and every stage of the plan is a most serious matter and will be the difference between success and failure. Personal loyalties, ambition and the required skill set must be examined, in and out of the work environment, using performance and formal education records, to judge commitment to the job. Such personnel should be motivated via a system of rewards and penalties to achieve positive results, rather than employment promotions based on a system of seniority. Sabotage can only be avoided with tight timelines, close monitoring and supervised reporting back along the chain of command.

The process, with set measurement periods; percentage of completion, stage of implementation timelines, financial disbursements points, audit or review reporting times, must be designed using project management skills to improve effectiveness and efficiency.

Such processes must utilise the best available state-of-the-art technology for data gathering, procurement analysis with strong security and internal checks and balances, to keep focus on the stated mission straight through to the finish lines. Noting that, identifying known and suspected weak points in the process is to avoid delays and over-budgeting issues.

The communication chain, with skilled personnel engaged in the processes, becomes the essential key and most current aspect driving success or failure, especially when one stage must wait on others to end, with breaks and errors in the chain, awaiting notification of financial releases, delays in testing certification on the previous stage or verification of material codes and on site deliveries. Such communication must address all necessary approvals from the appropriate regulators and written agreements with all associates, or will be hindered by internal personnel or suppliers with their own agenda, but also by protesters, who were not satisfactorily engaged regarding disruptions to their daily lives.

The original strategic plan or initial scope of work drives all decisions; the requisite skill sets and personnel, the design of the work process and project plan, the method and timing of communication and, of course, the cost. Errors, omissions, unforeseen events, or stopping and restarting will increase cost and fuel failures; missing skilled operators, flawed process stages, or late reporting. Hence, with any change to the original strategic plan or initial scope of work, the decision to implement can change from good to bad.

– TERRANCE A. JENNINGS

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