Communication is Good, Collaboration is Better

I often hear that the key to better project performance is better communication. While I can appreciate this philosophical perspective, I have worked on a number of “troubled” projects where there was no shortage of communication. One might even describe it as quite effective communication in that messages were being delivered loud and clear. However, I believe that the more important enabler of improved performance is effective collaboration – working relationships that result in the desired output or product. Effective collaboration yields strategies that are aimed at providing holistic value to the project. It results in actionable and executable plans. It is the source operational improvements that increase efficiency. Read more

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Value Alignment – It’s All About the Ladder

When I think about Value Alignment I am often reminded of the observations that Steven Covey makes in his book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People; specifically, around Habit Two: Start with the End in Mind. Value is all about starting with (and keeping!) the end in mind as project objectives are established, as decisions are made and as work is executed. Dr. Covey uses the analogy of climbing a ladder to make the distinction between efficiency and effectiveness. He says that moving up the ladder quickly with a minimum of wasted energy is efficiency, but ensuring that the ladder is leaning against the right wall is effectiveness. Read more