Why use the Project Completion Cycle?

Why use the Project Completion Cycle?

There’s a common workflow as we move through any project or process. To optimize both success and satisfaction in any Cycle:
  1. Align energies (people) to dynamics (process). 
  2. Complete each dynamic in proper order for that Cycle and give each its due diligence. 
  3. Use team connectors to fill energetic gaps and smooth transitions between dynamics.
  4. Evaluate throughout each dynamic to monitor progress and make adjustments as needed.
The last suggestion, Evaluate, is particularly important; proactive teams evaluate throughout each phase of a project by answering questions important to each dynamic before moving to the next. You must look at the project from the lens of each energy to maximize success and satisfaction.
This allows you to monitor progress and make adjustments. It is also the point of greatest growth potential for both individuals and the team. Evaluate must not be overlooked or undervalued.

Particularly when you have more of a given energy, you will naturally ask questions from that energy. With your areas of lower energy, you will likely overlook important questions. Let’s look more closely at each energy, the typical questions that it will focus on, and the potential risks of when that energy is overlooked.

Explore

Explore marks the beginning of the Project Completion Cycle. This is the point at which awareness, new ideas and perceptions are generated. They will become realities in the following Dynamics. For a team, this is the stage where the focus is on brainstorming and on identifying options. The culmination of Explore should be a renewed vigor that fosters fresh and creative ideas as it moves into the Excite dynamic.
If too little emphasis is put on Explore, potential risks include:
  1. "Also-ran" products
  2. Market rejection
  3. Failure to account for systemic effects
  4. Failure to attend to future implications of decisions

Excite

The Excite dynamic takes new ideas and insights identified during Explore and builds a collective energy and excitement around them. This dynamic should foster increased unity within the team that can increase efficiency and provide foundational support for action over the long term. At the conclusion of the Excite dynamic, the idea has acquired enough energy and excitement for the rigorous processing of Examine.

If too little emphasis is put on Excite, potential risks include:

  1. Low group cohesiveness; morale issues
  2. Poor stakeholder relations and support
  3. Low awareness and “air cover” around the organization
  4. Pessimism and paralysis in the face of challenges

Examine

The Examine dynamic subjects the now energized idea or ideas to a thorough refining and critical-review process. In this phase, the team focuses on how the idea can be effectively integrated with existing budgets, timetables and operational standards. Institutional data is used to define this idea according to realistic objectives. At the end of the Examine dynamic, the new idea should be clearly defined, positioned within the organizational context and ready for action and realization in the Execute dynamic.
If too little emphasis is put on Examine, potential risks include:
    1. Rework, waste, or poor quality
    2. Lack of role clarity or task prioritization; diffused efforts; missed deadlines
    3. Legal, technical, or budgetary problems
    4. Failure to anticipate difficulties

    Execute

    The Execute dynamic puts Examine's strategic planning into action. This phase propels the team toward rapid completion of the chosen objectives. It demands accountability and requires task-oriented focus. Upon completion of the Execute dynamic, externally verifiable results should be presented for assessment in the Evaluate dynamic.

    If too little emphasis is put on Execute, potential risks include:

      1. Failure to implement; no passion around deadlines or consideration to follow-through
      2. Difficulty making tough decisions; excessive governance by consensus
      3. Failure to delegate effectively
      4. Lack of accountability, clarity, or rigor


      Evaluate

      Evaluate is a universal Dynamic that requires each individual to reflect on the preceding Cycle and anticipate the next. As you enter Evaluate, be prepared to critique the work that's been done--what worked and what did not work in this Project Completion Cycle? Is there success and satisfaction?  If the answer is "no," look at what went wrong and make modifications before the next Cycle.

      Without awareness, how we prioritize our measures of success and satisfaction are directly influenced by our Energetic preferences; for example, Excite will notice relationships, Execute will focus on speed/getting it done, etc. During the Evaluate phase, it’s important to consider both the individual and everyone involved in the process (this might include partners, external stakeholders, or customers/patients, etc.).

      Evaluate is the point of greatest potential for team improvement. As a group, look at how the process worked. Was the group aware of its process in the moment? Which individuals dealt well with their stress factors? Who stepped up?
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