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Filling Execution Gaps

Book Description

“I expected good, but this is great.” -Janet Pirus Phelps, Principle, Strategic CFO, Former CFO Papa Murphy's Pizza

Gaps are holes in your organization where tasks fall and failure breeds. They inhibit your ability to implement strategic plans, lead people, and run successful projects. Daily, executives, middle managers, and project managers wrestle with “the big six”:

  • Absence of common understanding
  • Disengaged executive sponsors
  • Misalignment with goals
  • Poor change management
  • Ineffective governance
  • Lackluster leadership

Ignoring any of these gaps endangers any strategy or project. They regularly destroy hundreds of companies’ ability to turn their corporate vision into business value—taking careers with them.

Filling Execution Gaps addresses the sources of these gaps, and how to fill them. Without any one of these important functions, projects fail. Without change management, adoption suffers. Without common understanding, there is confusion. Without goals, business units, and capabilities aligned, execution falters. Without executive sponsorship, decisions languish. Too little governance allows bad things to happen, while too much governance creates overburdening bureaucracy. Without leadership at all levels of the organization, people are directionless.

Using decades of experience, years of research, and interviews with hundreds of business leaders, author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller in Business Project Management, Rescue the Problem Project, Todd Williams illustrates how to fill these gaps, meet corporate goals, and increase value.

An excellent review of this book appears here:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/improving-project-execution-filling-gaps-murray-pmp-ms

Click below to read an interview with the author:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/filling-organization-gaps-successful-project-part-1-naomi/

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/filling-organization-gaps-successful-project-part-2-naomi/?published=t

Facebook users can access an interview on “Project Management Cafe” here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/projectmanagementcafe/permalink/1975750702698459/

Related blogs can be accessed here:

https://www.projectmanager.com/blog/project-execution

https://www.strategyex.co.uk/blog/pmoperspectives/strategy-from-the-bottom-up/

Check out his August 27, 2018 interview here:

https://www.yegor256.com/shift-m/2018/34.html

Click here for articles by the author on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/we-all-lead-todd-williams/

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/your-inner-leader-task-introspection-todd-williams/

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/leadership-actions-art-listening-todd-williams

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/leadership-actions-getting-people-talk-todd-williams/

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/eliminating-blame-todd-williams/

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/leadership-actions-dialog-discussion-todd-williams/

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/projects-fail-when-people-dont-know-where-going-todd-williams

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. GAP — 1: Common Understanding
    1. Chapter 1: Understanding the Problem
      1. Linear Thinking Causes the Problem
      2. The Role of Vernacular
      3. The Real Measure of Success: Value
        1. Hubble Space Telescope Deployment Project
        2. Measuring Value
      4. Accountability
      5. Goals, Objectives, and Priorities
      6. Tension versus Gaps
      7. Identifying the Major Gaps Causing Project Failure
      8. Common Understanding
      9. Problem Perspectives
      10. Filling the Gap with Governance
      11. Filling the Gap with Executive Sponsors
      12. What You Should Do
      13. Project and Middle Manager Takeaway
      14. Executive Takeaway
      15. Applying These Concepts
        1. Organization Wide Questions
        2. Project and Middle Manager Centric Questions
        3. Executive Centric Questions
  7. GAP 2: Alignment between Corporate Goals and Projects
    1. Chapter 2: Creating and Maintaining Corporate Alignment
      1. Alignment’s Three Dimensions
        1. The Relative Occurrence of Alignment Issues
      2. The Foundation for Building Alignment
        1. The Relationship between Vision, People, Strategy, Process, and Technology
          1. Understanding Strategy and Operational Efficiency
          2. The Sequence of Strategy and People
          3. The Fluidity of Strategy
          4. People and Strategy
          5. Process and Strategy
          6. People Versus Process
          7. Technology and Strategy
        2. Creating a Common Understanding
          1. Activity System Diagram
          2. Detailed Goal Tracking
          3. Strategy Maps
            1. Financial Perspective
            2. Customer Perspective
            3. Internal Perspective
            4. Learning and Growth Perspective
            5. Mission Based on the Strategy Map
            6. Departmental Strategy Maps
          4. Initiative and Project Prioritization
        3. Quantifying Goals
          1. Building a Balanced Scorecard
          2. Where Balanced Scorecard, and Many Other Tools, Struggle
          3. Audit/Health Check
          4. Risk Planning
        4. Project and Middle Manager Takeaway
        5. Executive Takeaway
        6. Applying These Concepts
          1. Organization Wide Questions
          2. Project and Middle Manager Centric Questions
          3. Executive Centric Questions
  8. GAP 3: Engaged Executive Sponsors
    1. Chapter 3: Challenges in Executive Sponsorship
      1. Investigation into Executive Sponsorship
        1. The Definition of Executive Sponsorship
        2. Lack of Engagement
        3. Organization Change Management
      2. Industry Specific Issues
        1. Healthcare Organizations
          1. Power Differential
        2. Product Companies
      3. Proposed Solutions
        1. Leadership
        2. Accountability for Project Success
        3. Communication of Priorities
        4. Defining the Sponsor’s Role
      4. Project and Middle Manager Takeaway
      5. Executive Takeaway
      6. Applying These Concepts
        1. Organization Wide Questions
        2. Project and Middle Manager Centric Questions
        3. Executive Centric Questions
    2. Chapter 4: A Model for Engaged Executive Sponsors
      1. The Foundation for a New Approach
        1. Core Improvements in the Sponsorship Role
        2. Scope of the Sponsor’s Commitment
        3. Executive Action Required
      2. Solutions for Executive Sponsorship
        1. The Executive Sponsor’s Accountability
          1. Project Value: The True Measure of Success
          2. Alignment with Corporate Goals
          3. The Project’s Fiduciary
        2. Proactively Monitoring Success Targets
          1. Monitoring Value
          2. Monitoring Alignment
          3. Monitoring the Business Case
        3. Responsibilities of the Executive Sponsor
          1. Project Vision
          2. Communication
          3. Decision Maker
          4. Engagement
        4. Characteristics of Effective Executive Sponsors
          1. Leadership
          2. Belief in the Initiative’s Vision
          3. The Value of Perceived Authority
          4. Respect and Trust
          5. Misconceptions about What Constitutes a Good Sponsor
        5. Educating People on the New Sponsor Role
          1. Job Description
          2. Sponsor Coaching
          3. Project Team Training
        6. Team Requirements
          1. Adoption/OCM Specialist
          2. Adoption Architect
          3. Evangelist or Project Champion
        7. Time Commitment
        8. Performance Expectations
      3. Conclusion
      4. Project and Middle Manager Takeaway
      5. Executive Takeaway
      6. Applying These Concepts
        1. Organization Wide Questions
        2. Project and Middle Manager Centric Questions
        3. Executive Centric Questions
  9. GAP 4: Adoption and Change Management
    1. Chapter 5: Understanding Business Change Management
      1. People Are Anchored in Their Beliefs
      2. What Is Change Management: The Critical History
      3. Changing Behavior in Businesses
        1. John Kotter’s Change Management Approach
        2. Implementation Methodologies
          1. Prosci’s ADKAR®
          2. General Electric’s CAP
        3. Change Management’s Connection Project Management
        4. Project and Middle Manager Takeaway
        5. Executive Takeaway
        6. Applying These Concepts
          1. Organization Wide Questions
          2. Project and Middle Manager Centric Questions
          3. Executive Centric Questions
    2. Chapter 6: Organization Change Management and Projects
      1. Organization Change Management
        1. Why We Need Change Management
        2. Survey on Change Management
      2. Introducing Change Management Concepts to the Organization
        1. Executive Sponsorship of the Change Initiative
        2. Sense of Urgency
        3. Change Management Teams
        4. Change Resistance
        5. Change Management Planning
        6. Merging Change Management and Project Management
      3. Project and Middle Manager Takeaway
      4. Executive Takeaway
      5. Applying These Concepts
        1. Organization Wide Questions
        2. Project and Middle Manager Centric Questions
        3. Executive Centric Questions
  10. GAP 5: Effective Governance
    1. Chapter 7: Lean Project Governance
      1. The Importance of Governance
        1. Why Project Governance?
        2. Problems Due to Lack of Project Governance
          1. Right-Sizing Project Governance
          2. What Project Governance Covers
        3. What to Govern
          1. People Create the Need for Governance
          2. Executive Sponsorship
          3. Monitoring Corporate Alignment
          4. Risk Governance
          5. Governance over Methodology
          6. Financial Governance
        4. Problems Governance Tries to Solve
          1. Governance Is Not a Replacement for Leadership or Engagement
        5. Lean Approach
          1. Value Principle Applied to Governance
          2. Reducing Overhead
          3. Value Stream Principle
          4. Flow Principle
          5. Pull Principle
        6. Project Governance Examples
          1. Slow Project Execution
        7. Conclusion
        8. Project and Middle Manager Takeaway
        9. Executive Takeaway
        10. Applying These Concepts
          1. Organization Wide Questions
          2. Project and Middle Manager Centric Questions
          3. Executive Centric Questions
    2. Chapter 8: Value Driven PMOs
      1. Types of PMOs
        1. What the Acronym “PMO” Means
        2. Departmental and Enterprise PMOs
        3. Lack of Meaning Contributes to the Problem
      2. Problems with PMOs
        1. The PMO’s Identity
        2. The PMO’s Effectiveness
        3. PMOs Are Perceived as Bureaucratic by Nature
        4. PMOs Tend to Outlive Their Usefulness
        5. PMOs That Fill Gaps
      3. Alternatives to PMOs
        1. The Value Aspect of Project Oversight and Management
        2. Temporary Project Oversight and Management
        3. Non-Governance Groups
        4. Accountability of Oversight and Management Roles
        5. Executive Sponsors as Oversight and Management
      4. Best Practices for Addressing Problems Common to Groups of Projects
      5. Project and Middle Manager Takeaway
      6. Executive Takeaway
      7. Applying These Concepts
        1. Organization Wide Questions
        2. Project and Middle Manager Centric Questions
        3. Executive Centric Questions
  11. GAP 6: Project Leadership
    1. Chapter 9: Leadership’s Relationship to Projects
      1. Leadership Basics
        1. Leadership Strategies
        2. The Dearth of Leadership
          1. Middle Management Culture
          2. Leadership is all About People
          3. A Note on Technology
        3. Management versus Leadership
        4. Leadership Is Not About a Title
        5. Factors Affecting a Project Manager’s Leadership Style
          1. Project Report Structure
          2. Temporariness of Project Teams
          3. Project Managers Are Outside the Core Business
        6. Women as Leaders
        7. Project and Middle Manager Takeaway
        8. Executive Takeaway
        9. Applying These Concepts
          1. Organization Wide Questions
          2. Project and Middle Manager Centric Questions
          3. Executive Centric Questions
    2. Chapter 10: The Project’s Leadership Structure
      1. Sources of Leadership
      2. A Role’s Leadership Responsibilities
      3. Executive Leadership Attributes
        1. Executive Engagement
        2. Projects That Change Culture
        3. Executive Responsibilities That Require Leadership
      4. Middle Management Leadership Attributes
        1. The Lack of Leadership—Overusing Process
        2. Innovation and Process
        3. Process and Competency
        4. PMOs as Pseudo-Leadership
        5. Middle Manager Responsibilities That Require Leadership
      5. Project Manager Leadership Attributes
        1. The Changing Role of the Project Manager
          1. Stage One: The Coordinator
          2. Stage Two: The Negotiator
          3. Stage Three: The Leader
        2. Project Management Responsibilities That Require Leadership
      6. Project Team Leadership Attributes
        1. Project Team Responsibilities That Require Leadership
      7. Leadership throughout the Organization
        1. Everyone Agrees, People before Plan
        2. Identifying the Appropriate Structure
        3. Filling the Void
      8. Project and Middle Manager Takeaway
      9. Executive Takeaway
      10. Applying These Concepts
        1. Organization Wide Questions
        2. Project and Middle Manager Centric Questions
        3. Executive Centric Questions
    3. Chapter 11: Leadership Traits and Actions
      1. The Components of a Leader
      2. Making Leadership a Priority
      3. Leadership Traits
        1. Accountable
        2. Ethical
        3. Inspirational
        4. Decisive
        5. Aware
        6. Empathetic
        7. Confident
        8. Focused
        9. Humble
        10. Poor Traits Challenging Leaders
        11. Interviewing Suggestions
      4. Actions of Successful Leaders
        1. Listening
        2. Establishing Ownership
        3. Selling Your Vision
        4. Discovering Direction through Dialog and Discussion
        5. Elimination of Blame and Tolerance for Failure
      5. Organization Wide Conceptual Changes
        1. Redirecting the Focus Away from Process
        2. Project Leadership
        3. Leading without Authority
      6. Project and Middle Manager Takeaway
      7. Executive Takeaway
      8. Applying These Concepts
        1. Organization Wide Questions
        2. Project and Middle Manager Centric Questions
        3. Executive Centric Questions
  12. PART 7: Pulling it all Together
    1. Chapter 12: Filling the Six Gaps
      1. Initiating a Change
        1. Your Role in Initiating Change
        2. A Non-Executive’s First Actions
        3. A CEO’s First Actions
        4. A Shared Services Group’s First Actions
      2. The Strategy for Long-Term Change
        1. Improving Leadership and Business Skills
        2. Creating an Atmosphere for Learning
        3. Organizational Assessment
        4. Opposition to Filling the Six Gaps
      3. Order of Filling the Six Gaps
      4. Method of Execution
        1. Create a Sense of Urgency
          1. Making the Visual
        2. Get the Right People
        3. Develop a Vision
        4. Deliver Short Term Wins
      5. Best Practices
      6. Project and Middle Manager Takeaway
      7. Executive Takeaway
      8. Applying These Concepts
        1. Organization Wide Questions
        2. Project and Middle Manager Centric Questions
        3. Executive Centric Questions
  13. Appendix A: Endnotes
  14. Index