Even the best teams start to slow down
My colleagues and I have been in the world of project delivery for quite some time.
And our observation is that even the best of teams who are super clear on what it is that they're setting out to achieve, sometimes find ... that they start to slow down.
Now, ideally, they come to CMC BEFORE they start to slow down dramatically or hit a really big problem: they’ll usually come to have a chat with us about how we can help get a little bit more ‘umph’ into their change, and we start to identify what might be holding the team, the project, the change back, and what might propel it forward, or rather, accelerate its progress.
It’s very refreshing when a new or existing client asks us to get involved to accelerate their change, because it tells us that this is a client who has recognized that ‘we could be doing even better’. It’s exciting to get involved in that moment in time with a team who are ready to create new momentum.
A 3 Step Process: Engage, Accelerate and Act
As a result of many organisations asking for our expertise to help them accelerate their changes, we have developed a tried-and-tested 3-step process to help them to achieve their goals: ENGAGE, ACCELERATE and ACT. We have found that the most effective element in this process is a workshop. The length and frequency of the workshop is dependent on the scale of the challenge and is determined in the ENGAGE phase.
Typically, we recommend a workshop duration of two days for any change situation, knowing that we can extend or hold a further workshop if needed. Sometimes two consecutive days will be the best way for the change to accelerate, sometimes it would be preferable to have a half day each week for four weeks - and of course, there are plenty of other possibilities. The workshop is facilitated to provide a safe space for everyone to use their voice and find a way forward that has collective support.
This is where we’re looking to set up the workshop for success. So typically – for both new and existing clients - we do that by asking for a brief document outlining the nature and purpose of the project and we carry out a couple of interviews to assess who should be there. In other words, we identify with you the team of people who are going to be able to help influence and decide on what can get this project and this change moving faster.
Ideally, we want to have everyone present who can make a difference to getting some pace into this change. That said, we’ll get diminishing returns if we involve too many people in one workshop. We will also 'contract' with the Sponsor and participants to establish that safe space needed for open sharing.
This phase is really the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the Project Accelerator: this is where we really dig deep, understand and process our thinking on things that might be holding us back and things that might help us move forward more quickly. As a result of the ACCELERATE phase we will make sure that your team leaves clear on the actions each and every one of them now want to take in order to get to the goal.
And so, the final phases ACT is really about follow up actions and accountability. In this phase the workshop participants will use what they discovered during the workshop, informed by the workshop outputs to follow through on the actions they committed to. They will also make sure that there’s a check-in with one another to keep that great momentum moving forward.
If you’re delivering a change within a team and have started to slow down or hit a problem, please contact us for a chat. It could be that a Project Accelerator workshop will help.
And do join us for a quick taster of a workshop on Friday November 12th at 5pm SGT to find out more about how it all works. Register here and I look forward to meeting you there.