Chapter 12. Implementation Secrets


It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end.

 --Ursula K. Le Guin

Given the preponderance of project work in today's organizations combined with the almost constant merger and acquisition activity, it is disturbing to see that most studies estimate that between 40 and 60 percent of projects fail to deliver the expected benefits and that two-thirds of all mergers are deemed failures. Michael Hammer and James Champy estimated that "as many as 50 percent to 70 percent of the organizations that undertake a reengineering effort do not achieve the dramatic results they intended."[89] Clearly, successful projects are the exception rather than the norm. How do you increase your chances of success?


There is a distinct evolution in how companies approach best practice deployment. There are four phases (see Exhibit 12.1).

Phase 1 is the desire of organizations to understand how they stack up relative to the best performers. Until recently, the relative paucity of any credible benchmark measures made it virtually impossible to know whether an organization was spending too much or too little on a particular process. Today many benchmarks are available. Cost reduction is the number-one objective of most organizations.

Phase 2 is focused on working smarter, not harder, and was triggered by the reengineering wave of the mid-1990s following the 1993 publication of Hammer and Champy's ...

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