AIM Archives - Tag: transformative project

Consider 3 “landmine principles” in your high-stakes projects.

284-Landmines

A landmine is something that could blow up your high-stakes project. Consider 3 points: 1) Landmines pose a greater threat in unfamiliar terrain, so be extra careful outside your core. 2) We don’t like to think about unhappy thoughts–like landmines–so be diligent in investigating assumptions that could become landmines. 3) No one steps on a landmine they can see. So the team’s first job is to make all assumptions visible… and then determine which might be a landmine.

To see how this is done, view the video at Project De-risking with Minesweeper

Does the Ansoff Matrix make you think… “high risk”?

273-High-Risk

You know this 2×2 matrix: Projects in familiar markets & technologies are in the lower-left corner… the “core.” Most companies think projects outside this core are “risky.” But you can’t assign a level of “risk” because that requires assigning a probability of failure.  And you simply don’t know enough to do this. All you can say is you are “uncertain.” Good news: Uncertainty can be resolved by laying out all your assumptions and investigating each to drive it to certainty.

To see how this is done, view the video at Project De-risking with Minesweeper

“Hey… how are we going to kill our project today?!”

262-Stop-Project

This is what Astro Teller—the head of Google X—used to cheer with his teams. He went on to explain, “We spend most of our time trying to prove we’re wrong.” Is that how your company looks at big, transformational projects? Or do you associate a killed project with personal failure? Much better to lay out all the assumptions of “what must be true” for your project to succeed. Then go on a team “hunt” to find any that are not true. Find one? Celebrate and move on to the next project!

More in video at Project De-risking with Minesweeper