Have you really tested out your project before delivery?

Last weekend saw the UK carry out a national exercise to test out the UK’s plans to tackle Ebola.

While often being critical of the government this is a good sign; testing to see how well we deal with a possible outbreak of Ebola.

It reminded me of the many occasions during courses, when someone describes a big project that will soon be launched. These are wide ranging projects usually linked to some form of strategic change.

I always ask the same question; will you be doing a company wide roll out, or will you be testing it first? I have yet to hear anyone say we will be testing it before launch.

testingNow I know sometimes it is not possible to carry out a test; the project simply has to be delivered, but in reality the real need is to deliver an effective project. How do you know it will be successful? Test it, review it, make changes if/where appropriate and then maybe do a further test before the full roll out.

Interestingly, when we look at risk management during training courses, I remind people about the large scale roll out. Few if any risks appear linked back to the failure to identify flaws in the original plan or say the lack of capacity to deliver or the impact of a full roll out vs. a pilot.

It’s a choice of course whether to carry out a pilot(s) however it seems to me a sensible one. Maybe it’s me……

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