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Do you have a recipe for success?

and is it the right recipe?

success recipe project management making change work getting it right

Have you found the right recipe for success?

11 April 2019

You might wonder what the connection is between Yorkshire Puddings and project management. Well other than both having two words to define them, it is the need for the right recipe to get them right that unites them.

So many people think that there is a secret to the perfect Yorkshire Pudding – particular type of fat or tin, two eggs, sieved flour etc – but in reality, its about getting the recipe, reading it before you start, making sure you have everything in place and then following it through.

And, so it is with Project Management. 

For Yorkshire Puddings you need 5 key ingredients: flour, eggs, milk, water and seasoning. These need to be mixed together and cooked according to the recipe.

For project management you need 5 key activities: planning & definition, organising, implementation, controlling and evaluation. These activities need to be undertaken and completed according to the plan.

By not following the plan (or recipe) will cause either to fail. This may be too much flour, milk or the wrong temperature or flour in the case of Yorkshire Puddings. Any one or all of the above, or any other variances can cause the expected to be beautifully risen, golden-brown crispy puddings to become solid flat discs resembling mini frisbees. Not quite what you want to accompany your Sunday roast!

And, so it is in the world of projects. The best planned project can fail simply by not following the plan. Or failing to assess risks and issues prior to the commencement of the project and so unable to quickly respond when things go awry. Similarly, failing to complete a project brief may result in the delivery changing from what was expected by the client (internal or external) into something completely different – or just growing as extras are added to the scope, taking it beyond the expected cost or delivery date. The result, a flat frisbee of a project, one which is not celebrated, but greeted with dismay and despondency… Not quite what you want when the eyes of the business are upon you.

The solution is simple.

Confirm your recipe:

• Planning & definition: define your project – scope and quality criteria, create the project plans;

• Organising: identify and select resources;

• Implementation: implement the activities to deliver the project;

• Controlling: track, monitor and control activities, using project documentation (plan, scope and quality criteria);

• Evaluation: after delivery evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the project, use outputs from this to feed into future project activities.

And once confirmed make sure you follow your recipe for success.

There may be variances, every good chef adapts recipes; but when changes are made, make sure that you document them and this becomes your new recipe for success!