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Focus on Efficiency Phase 4: Review your Impact

A previous post laid out the Focus on Efficiency Framework: Plan - Decide - Implement - Review - Repeat. In this post you'll learn the importance of Reviewing the impact you've had on your organizations efficiency.

You'll Review at a pre-determined time which you set in your Planning stage. When exactly that will be, is dependent on the project. You'll want to give sufficient time for change to materialize, but you don't want to things to languish if they're not going well.

When you Review, you'll ask three simple questions:

1. Where the planned-for benefits achieved?
2. Did benefits arise that weren't planned-for?
3. Did dis-benefits arise that weren't planned for?

This amazingly simple step can have a tremendous impact on your rate of success for realizing efficiency benefits from your current project, and for future projects, because the simple step of Review impacts each of the other stages of Focus on Efficiency framework: Plan – Decide – Implement – Review – Repeat.

Review's impact on Plan

In the Planning stage, you plan to become more efficient through achieving outlined benefits. Because in the Plan stage, you know you are going to Review:

- There is less exaggeration of expected achievements.
- There is less focus on cost and more focus on value.
- You will make holistic and realistic plans for implementation.

Review's impact on Decide

Because you know you'll Review project success, projects will be stopped at the Decide stage when there is no chance for success.

Review's impact on Implement

As you Implement, you'll measure your rate of success based on achievement of efficiency rather than the more limited measures of time, scope, and cost.

Measuring as you're implementing not only makes it possible to Review to see if benefits were achieved, but measuring also provides an opportunity for immediate corrective action. Measuring the success of change helps ensure change. It helps create place where the future is both here and evenly distributed (apologies to William Gibson).

Review's impact on Repeat

Because the next step is to Repeat the Focus on Efficiency process, Reviewing will give you a lot of information to carry-forward into your future.

If the outcome of your Review indicates you've been successful in Focusing on Efficiency that will help you in future projects. Your practices will have become best-practices and your success will breed success.

If the outcome of your Review indicates you've been unsuccessful, you'll try to determine why, and return to the Plan stage to figure out if additional resources or processes can be brought to bear to make the outcome successful.

An unsuccessful and unsalvageable project will at a minimum provide a cautionary tale and lead to better planning in future projects.

Although often skipped, the process of Reviewing your actions and analyzing your rate of success, can have an extremely beneficial impact at every step of your project, because knowing you'll review, reviewing, and having reviewed all have benefits that contribute to your success.

For more about efficiency visit focusonefficiency.com.

About

Focusing on Efficiency is based on Benefits Management research, processes, tools and techniques developed and presented by John Ward, et al. at Cranfield University School of Management (many of which can be found in the book Benefits Management: Delivering Value from IS & IT Investments by John L. Ward & Elizabeth Daniel); Lean Six Sigma; Project Management Techniques; a great many other readings; and my own thoughts and experiences.

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