the mud and the blood to the green fields beyond. - Brigadier General Hugh Elles (1880-1945)
On 20 November 1917, Hugh Elles led some 300 British tanks 'over the top' in a attempt to break the German Hindenburg Line. The Battle of Cambrai was so successful an
action, that the church bells were rung throughout Great Britain.
Picking your People
As you prepare to
go over the top yourself, you will need to ensure that you have the right people by your side and that you have them well-positioned for success.
My advice is to seek a multi-disciplinary
team that represents a microcosm of your organisation itself. A strong mix of business and technical resource helps, as does co-location of dedicated resources.
Project Manager (PM)
Your Project Manager should be someone who has an
almost masochistic love of accountability; who relishes being in the limelight, thrives under pressure and draws on adversity to focus delivery.
Someone - in brief - like Hugh Elles!
The project will not be technically difficult to
deliver (particularly if you are using one of the established vendor's products). But the propensity for scope-creep and the large number of potential stakeholders
(all with their own power-bases and agendas) will stretch your PM's skills to the limit. Get someone good. Get someone strong. Give them a bayonnet!
Business Readiness Manager (BRM)
The Business Change Management challenge demands that you select a trusty lieutenant to help you get the best for your brands, functions and business units.
This person should have some stature and experience, ideally having worked in a number of diferent areas of your business and built up
effective networks. He or she will have a good understanding of the company culture and of major change projects.
Team Building Models
Any effective team needs to have a blend of skills
and work styles. As you work with your PM and BRM to build the team, there are a number of useful models out there that you may want to consider using.
I have included
guide sheets to the two best known models in the panel right and links to popular books by their authors:
The 'Belbin Model' developed by the British psychologist Dr
Meredith Belbin (over years of research).
The 'Myers-Briggs' typology test, based on Jungian psychology, as improved by Isabel
Not as trivial a matter as it might seem! Most projects can be
sited based simply on the supply-side considerations (e.g. where there is sufficient property space). However, your project will need to touch every part of your business, both in terms of
organisation and geography.
My advice, simply. it not to ignore the demand-side; try and ensure that you maintain small 'implants' in your HQ and all significant office buildings
across the real-estate. Whether or not the team spend much time in them, these implants are very valuable for staying continually in the 'line of sight' of your whole business.
Useful team resources
I have listed below (in no particular order) some key assets you
may wish to ensure that the team possess (as part of your mobilisation process):
- An A3 Colour Printer (for mock-ups) - 3-4 Display stands (for showcasing) - Laptops for the team (to aid mobility) - A Collaborative Teamroom online - Project Team Intranet Site - White-boards (for workshops) - Branded teamspace (for visibility) - Hotdesking (to live new ways of working) - Project Brochure & Comms Materials
Intranet Project Names
I have included in the panel right some ideas for naming your
project (greek gods leading the pack). The name should sum up what the project is all about and build on your vision.
You should take time to explain the name to others (particularly stakeholders).