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Henry Ford was a formidable American industrialist who revolutionised the assembly-line; suddenly we could produce more than we’d ever dreamed of and in a fraction of the time. We took that concept and built enterprises around it. Ford gave us the sense that if we built it – they would come.
A lot of entrepreneurs still operate with this mentality, they sign off on huge projects and expect that great success will come. Unfortunately with most modern projects that is just not the case. The risk of failure is much higher and we see businesses spending a lot of money on projects which very often end in expensive failures.
Here’s where they’re all going wrong
Many businesses take on large projects to solve all their problems at once. These companies end up buying expensive software without the guarantee that it will work, and they do not have a defined set of end or success metrics. This results in an extremely expensive project that wastes time and is at high-risk for failure. A lot of corporates follow this ‘old’ approach to solving problems – but in their defense, they are often lead by external companies hoping to sell their software or bleed money from lengthy, creeping retainers.
Apply the 80/20 principle and boost your project’s success
We encourage businesses to apply the 80/20 principle when evaluating different projects. This rule helps them bear in mind that only 20% of their efforts will result in 80% of their profit – essentially showing them that 80% of their efforts will inevitably be wasted in the process. This is why businesses need to reduce each project into smaller projects to reveal the most important 20%. Once that has been done it will easily allow them to go a step further and prioritise the 20% of that number to expose the core of the problem.
This process reveals opportunities for optimisation in the parts of the project that were reduced. Businesses will save time and money as they will only be spending resources on the real problems.
Undertaking smaller projects can provide almost instant gratification
Segmenting projects into smaller deliveries means businesses will receive a portion of the completed solution almost immediately, compared to the development time of a much bigger project. There are multiple advantages to this; firstly businesses can test the solution in the environment in which it will be used by the users who will be using it every day. Secondly, users will be able to give valuable, ongoing feedback on the project before the business continues with other projects. This makes it easier to ensure that it stays in alignment with the agreed upon project success-metrics. Thirdly, if they integrate successful smaller projects into their current business process, they will be able to immediately profit from the optimisation it will bring to their business.
At e-magination we employ this process in all our projects. Our methodology involves building a segment of the project first so that those who consume the data can work with the tools to give us valuable feedback. This helps us to refine the solution before the client invests in a larger-scale project. It is possible to produce successful projects on a shoestring budget, as we’ve helped many clients build successful proof of concepts that have gone on to be valuable, contributing business tools enabling them to make better business decisions.
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