Published in “Project Times” website, December, 2012
Click here for original article.
In today’s new normal business environment, it is imperative to stay ahead of the pack. Only those companies that innovate will outperform their competition. Thus, it is even more critical to pay attention to the top project priorities and how to leverage them to deliver bottom line business results.
In my experience as a global business consultant and with hundreds of projects of all shapes and sizes behind me, I find that it is critical to pay close attention to which priorities are not only popular but also typically deliver key results that contribute to company success. In today’s new normal business environment, it is even trickier to stand out in the crowd as everyone is doing whatever they can to gain an edge to grow the business. There are a few project priority trends worth noting – why not leverage these for 2013 success?
- Revenue growth through collaboration: Of course, in the new normal business environment, sales are lackluster. As baby boomers are beginning to retire, they are also decreasing their spending. And, since they are the largest population group in history, they will have an impact on the economy – after all, 70% of our GDP is based on spending. Thus, businesses which are focused on revenue growth by collaborating with customers and suppliers seem to be gaining an edge.
- Customer service is the name of the game: Since people are leery from the recession (and the lack of robust growth), they are typically more concerned with what they spend their money on. In essence, everyone wants more for less – and NOW! Thus, those companies who can stand out from the crowd in terms of service will be noticed.
- Speed matters! Although speed can be considered a component of customer service in many respects, it deserves a mention of its own. Those companies that can deliver faster – who can customize on the fly – will win business. Those executives with quick yet valuable information at their fingertips will be ahead of the crowd. Think of all the ways in which speed can make a difference…..
- Leveraging business systems: Undoubtedly, businesses are realizing that they must leverage their business systems to the fullest potential possible in order to optimize business performance. Those who can better utilize their system will outperform with less effort – what a combination. Executives also seem to have a bent for evaluating and implementing new systems. Do you have a top notch team in place to fully leverage your system?
- Supply chain optimization: Supply chain has started to emerge as a critical function. More often, it’s reporting directly to a C level position. There is a vast opportunity to improve service, increase cash flow, lower costs and increase revenues through supply chain innovation and optimization. Those companies valuing these opportunities will thrive.
- Lean: The lean philosophy is long from dead; however, it is no longer innovative. Instead, it must be an assumption in order to remain competitive in today’s new normal business environment. Are you eliminating waste? Focused on providing value to the customer? Many lean concepts are fundamentals to success in my opinion yet they are not always common sense.
Is your company focusing on these project priorities? If not, take a step back and think about whether you could take a leap forward by focusing attention to what will give you an edge in 2013.