October 5, 2005

News & Opinion: 100 Day Projects

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 12:08 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

In Rapid Results: How 100-Day Projects Build Capacity for Large-Scale Change, authors Robert Schaffer and Ronald Ashkensas say forget about "betting the company" and large-scale change. They say the key to success to small, quick projects that build over time into company-wide change. For this strategy to work, they are very specific about the qualities these projects need to have:
  1. Focus on an Important Goal - Everyone from the CEO to the front line worker recognize the need.
  2. Produce a Measurable Stretch Result - Pushing for what many consider impossible creates a buzz when it is acheived.
  3. Works in the Short Term - Short term focus completely changes the dynamics of the project
  4. Pinpoint Clear Accountability - One person needs to be responsible for the success or failure of the project
  5. Drives Experimentation - The message needs to be that this is not going to be business as usual.
  6. Is Planned and Disciplined - This may seem counterintuitive, but with speed, you need a good plan and good communications.
  7. Make Learning a Deliberate Outcome - The project should be a springboard for more projects and more change.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.