A Business Case is a valuable tool. It’s the corporate world’s equivalent of the scales of justice. Like a mini adversarial system wrapped up as a document of record.
As a project manager, business cases are like mother’s milk to me. But they won’t be for everyone. So before I introduce yet another gratuitously clichéd metaphor, let’s explain what a business case is, and why you need it.
Continue reading Business Case: Investment Appraisal and More
Like many big ideas, the Internet of Things operates at many levels. It may sound frighteningly complex to you. But in fact, the core of the idea is very simple.
But, underlying a simple concept, the technology that makes the Internet of Things (IOT) possible is fiendishly complex. Indeed, it is really the convergence of many advanced technologies.
We shall not be taking a dive into the technology (you may be glad to hear). However, any well-informed manager needs to understand the big picture of:
- what it is
- what it can do
- where it is going, and
- the concerns we might have
So, in this article, we’ll give you your primer on the Internet of Things.
Continue reading The Internet of Things: IOT
What’s the biggest long-term competitive advantage an organisation can have? It’s the ability to adapt rapidly to changing circumstances. And for that, it needs to learn. That’s the Big Idea behind Peter Senge’s Learning Organisation.
The Learning Organisation sits at the confluence between two powerful forces for good:
- Individual learning, development, and personal growth
- Systems thinking that allows us to mentally connect up the network of parts into a complex whole
What it means is simple in concept, though fiendishly hard to achieve in practice. A learning organisation is one that continually develops and evolves so that everyone shares a consistent vision and collectively prepares themselves to meet the next challenge in achieving it.
Continue reading The Learning Organisation: Advantage through Adaptation
Time, cost, or quality. Choose one. They are the corners of the triple constraint. And this is the most basic, most important idea within Project Management.
Project Management itself is a Big Idea that we have already covered. But when you are leading a project, the triple constraint is your guiding compass. It gives you the bearing for every decision you need to make.
Continue reading Triple Constraint: Time, Cost, and Quality
Outsourcing feels like it’s been around forever. And doubtless, as an adjunct to business operations, it has. But, as a widely-used business strategy, it really only dates to the 1980s.
Since then, outsourcing has become a vital option for large and small business, and for many public services too.
So, what is outsourcing, why do organisations use it as much as they do, and what are the risks?
Continue reading Outsourcing: Outsiders Working for You
As a way of changing ownership of a business, a Management Buyout (MBO) can work well for all parties.
It’s a widely-used mechanism in many places. Management Buyouts have a lot to commend them, so it’s wise to understand the basic principles.
Continue reading Management Buyout: Same Team New Ownership
Peter Drucker is the originator of Management by Objectives. It’s a Big Idea that, in various forms, still dominates much of the corporate world.
It’s not sophisticated, nor very clever. It is the simplicity and directness that makes Management by Objectives a powerful tool for any manager. However, as a corporate culture, it may have passed its sell-by date.
So, let’s see what Management by Objectives is, how it works, and what its strengths and weaknesses are, in today’s world.
Continue reading Management By Objectives: Delegating Outcomes
How do some products achieve astonishing quality and functionality at affordable prices? The answer is in the discipline of Value Engineering.
Value Engineering is often tarred with the same brush as ‘cost-cutting‘. Although it has a similar role, it plays to a wholly different business strategy. So, let’s look at what it is and why it matters.
Continue reading Value Engineering: The Same for Less
If you grew up in a Christian country and you don’t know the Easter story… Well, you weren’t paying attention in primary school.
So, in this article, we are going to look back, beyond the Christian era, to the origins of Easter… Eostre.
And, along the way, we’ll learn what it symbolises and why it’s still a Big Idea for managers and business people.
Continue reading Easter-Eostre: Reincarnation, Rebirth, and Reinvention
Authenticity has been a recurring theme in philosophy for a long as there have been philosophers. So, it was inevitable that leadership thinkers would pick up on the idea, to give us Authentic Leadership.
What’s perhaps more surprising is that it took until 2003 for this Big Idea to emerge. But, emerge it did, from US business-person and later academic, Bill George.
His book, ‘Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value‘ tried to re-set the needle on leadership styles following the failures of the dot.com boom and scandals like the Enron collapse. He followed it in 2008 by the even more successful ‘Discover Your True North: Becoming an Authentic Leader‘.
In an earlier article, we looked at the broader topic of authenticity. Here, we return to it, but with a focus on its role in leadership.
Continue reading Authentic Leadership: Being Yourself, but with More Skill