0844 259 6210 
Specialists in Fractional IT Director Services for SME organisations 
enquiries@greengiantconsulting.co.uk 
Strategic IT Consultant
I previously wrote an article on my website and LinkedIn entitled ‘Be surprised at what you do‘ which is all about understanding what you or your business does in terms of processes and daily activities that are completed without thinking. 
Thats how we work, isn’t it? 
 
I previously wrote an article on my website and LinkedIn entitled ‘Be surprised at what you do‘ which is all about understanding what you or your business does in terms of processes and daily activities that are completed without thinking. 
 
Another area that has come up for me on numerous occasions when working with companies planning a new project is that a number of assumptions are made about how things are run. I will give you an example of what I mean. 
 
A manufacturing company has a production line to produce, let’s say, a widget. They know this production line produces 1000 widgets a minute and is run for 16 hours over two shifts. They have a manual (or Standard Operating Procedure) for the line which was created when it went into the factory 10 years ago. It has been producing these widgets ever since. This machine has been having a performance problem and breaking down regularly so a project has been created to replace the production line with the latest technology. 
 
The project is underway and the new suppliers engaged, the solution designed and implementation underway so they then look to training and start to get the staff involved who have been running the line for several years. 
The training gets underway and the operators come out with the dreaded phrase ‘That’s not how it works, we do it like this!’ 
 
What has happened over time is that there have been a number of ‘quirks’ that have been found when running the line and the staff has normally found a way around them to make sure the line keeps going. These quirks haven’t been reflected in a change to the SOP and tend to be held inside peoples heads! 
 
In a slightly long-winded way what I am trying to convey is that if you are not directly involved in a day to day process a number of assumptions on how it all works and keeps going are made. These assumptions can derail a project and have a major impact on the TQM (Time, Cost, Quality) of the delivery, usually towards the end, when the cost of a change is much greater. It is not just manufacturing organisations but all types of businesses that suffer from this. 
The easy way to test the assumptions in this scenario is to simply ask the people who know the process very well as they are involved in the day to day running. Get the operations staff (in the case of a manufacturer) in the early design stages to get their input so that very few or no assumptions are made in a project. 
 
We have all heard the phrase “When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.” Remember that when you are starting a project and make sure that all assumptions are documented and where possible verified or removed so that your project can get the best possible start. 
 
If you are about to embark on a new project within your organisation and need some unbiased advice then contact Green Giant Consulting today on 0844 259 6210 or visit www.greengiantconsulting.co.uk to book your free initial 2-hour consultation to talk through your challenges. 
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