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Sep 04
2008

Executing Your Projects

Posted by: Steve Marr

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Every business leader has projects to accomplish — some large, others small. Several key principles will help us get them done, rather than made dragged out or left unfinished. Enthusiasm is common at the start, but King Solomon wrote, “The end of a matter is better than the beginning” (Proverbs 7:8 NIV), confirming results are achieved when completed, not when started.  

  First, keep in mind what you are trying to accomplish. Ask yourself, “If we can accomplish one thing as a result of this project, what would that be?” A software development company wanted to roll out a new product designed to reduce operating costs for medical practices. At times, the project team got diverted into starting to develop extra bells and whistles, and fortunately the project leader brought the group back to the fundamental purpose: create a low cost, efficient product.  Paul said, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize” (Philippians 3:14 NIV), and keeping the main goal in focus at all times is key.

 

Next, we need to flush out and understand the details of the work.  King David wrote, “All this I have in writing from the hand of the LORD upon me, and he gave me understanding in all the details of the plan" (1 Chronicles 28:19 NIV).  Identifying the details and then committing those details to writing requires clear thinking.  The plan details, written out, will give you and your team the needed clarity to move forward. Next, identify who will help you execute the work. Most projects will require more than one person. Some will use an integrated team over a long period of time, while others may just require us to use one or more advisers to obtain the best result. Moses was told to “Choose some wise, understanding and respected men…” (Deuteronomy 1:13 NIV). Lining up your team in advance will ensure they are ready when needed.

 

After that, communicate to each team member what and how you want the project done. King Solomon wrote, “Every prudent man acts out of knowledge…” (Proverbs 13:16 NIV).  As a leader, the key goal and action plan may be obvious to you, but your team may require your clear communication to get them focused and to stay focused on your key target. Ensure each colleague understands who will do what, by when, and the expected result.

 

Then, motivate your team, as King David was advised, “Now go out and encourage your men…” (2 Samuel 19:7 NIV).  Inspiration will come from your leadership as you clearly communicate the reason for the project and the necessity of doing it. A medical supply company assigned a project team focused on improving quality. The team leader repeatedly reminded each person of the need to quickly improve quality or face losing major customers. Finally, good follow up is needed so “…you do not loose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully” (2 John 1:8 NIV). A great, completed project with no implementation is useless. The medical supply company developed a six-step process designed to impact product quality.  At first, several manufacturing managers were inconsistent in applying the new procedures. Consistent, regular follow-up was needed to achieve the needed improvement.  

 

We have an example in King Solomon who “…had finished the temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had a mind to do in the temple of the Lord and in his own palace” (2 Chronicles 7:11 NIV).  Following a simple yet complete process will assist you in getting those projects from the things–to-do list to the completed list. Then you and your business will start receiving the benefits and dividends of your hard work.  

Steve Marr, Your Christian Business Coach

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