From “Achieve Greater, Faster, Better And More Economical Results” To “Achieve Better, Faster, More Economical, And Greater Results”
Probably you are the first time to hear these two sayings above and it seems the only difference between them is the sequence of 4 words. Now let’s check out the latest meaning of the latter “Achieve better, faster, more economical, and greater results” on project management.
“Better” includes 2 concepts: better quality and better value to the society. Better quality is a very critical part of the entire lifecycle of the project. Better quality means continuous integration and continuous delivery, which are the most basic requirement for any company that wants to remain competitive in the market. However, it’s not enough to only focus on the quality but ignore the value tothe society. The better quality is the precondition of project management, but the better value to the society is the final goal.
It also takes delivery as the central task which aims to optimize the delivery method. We can use some project management tools to improve efficiency. As we all know, the disadvantages of the Waterfall model are obviously such as you can’t start the next phase until the previous phase is completed and you cannot make changes to the previous phase when once you are into the next phase. Actions need to do to improve the development efficiency. The Agile model is more flexible to meet the clients’ changing requirements and the developers and testers can respond quickly to make the continuous delivery. It avoids the "integration black hole", which is very common in the days when developers work in their silos and wait until everyone has completed their work before attempting to integrate them. ZenTao combines both the agile and the waterfall models that really improve efficiency, it's recommended to have a try.
Whether it is for large companies or small teams, today, when labor costs are rising sharply, they face huge pressure to reduce operating costs and improve work efficiency. Every team member needs to have a sense of business. The research and development team may be far away from the market or revenue involved, but they still need to have the business sense like improving ROI and optimizing the task procedure to achieve more economical results. We can learn a lot from Kanban Management---one of the key concepts in Toyota company. It’s clear to see “What, When, How many, How to produce and transport” in the entire pipeline of the product lifecycle which helps to avoid overstocking and improve the ROI of every employee. At the same time, some collaboration software allows cross-departmental team members and colleagues to connect timely. Click here to say goodbye to Chaos and improve your ROI. Think about it: testers and developers don’t need to run everywhere for various approvals, requests, reports, etc. What they need to do is just click the mouse on the computer and finish all the processed work, so they would have more time to do the test or develop work, The ROI will be improved automatically.
If you follow the above three, you will earn a greater result logically. “Greater” means providing greater value to attract more users of your product. Or we can say if you put money in the first place but ignore the value to the society, you may own success at a moment, but it does not go on for long. Blizzard was a great company with many classical games like World of Warcraft and Hearthstone. We can’t deny the entertainment value of electronic games made by Blizzard, but the art design and picture quality now are far away from the initial version. From the perspective of finance, everything is naturally looking towards revenue and they encourage the players to recharge more and more money in their games. It doesn’t seem to be going in a good direction. With more and more countries issuing anti-addiction policies of games, the development of the game industry is more and more difficult. Besides, let’s see if “Alibaba 102” could be survived through 3 centuries.
On the other hand, “Achieve greater, faster, better and more economical results” is a well-known saying first raised by Zhou Enlai--- a great premier of China. Soon after the proposal, Premier Zhou expressed that the priority of the 4 words is not scientific enough since it’s focused on improving efficiency but lacks quality. But is it the golden rule of Project Management, or can it fit the rapid market perfectly since it emphasizes efficiency?
Some traditional IT companies put “Achieve greater results” to 1st place. For them, “Greater” means more employees involved in a project for hitting the target, and much money will be put in of course. Such as Amazon Prime Air, at the beginning of this project, more and more employees have been recruited worldwide and billions of dollars put in. Deliveries were expected to begin in select cities starting late 2019, however, as for now, the service has yet to materialize.
“Achieve faster result” is the second important just behind the “Greater”. we can see how they follow this rule from some companies like Alibaba, the employees there always work overtime, they even have a specific noun “996” to describe this working condition, which means starting work at 9 AM, finishing work at 9 PM and working 6 days in a week, sometimes even without overtime pay. It can’t be denied that Alibaba develops very fast in the past several years, but this kind of development is based on the sacrifice of the employee’s health and daily life which is destined not to last for long. And the Chairman of Alibaba --- Jack Ma has said “996 is a kind of reward”, which sounds even more ridiculous.
Regarding “Better result”, it’s always unvalued, and always some misunderstanding referring to it. “Better result” is expected to equal to “Better quality” and “Better value to society”, but sometimes it’s considered to be “Better wrap”, which is overstated and even far away from the truth. Much advance publicity was given to some new products.
As for “More economical”, some companies lay off staff with the adjustment of business or the completion of a project for cost-saving. Let’s go back to the case of Amazon. More than 100 employees of Amazon Prime Air have lost their jobs. As the company closes some of its businesses in the UK, dozens of other employees are being transferred to other overseas projects. The department was established in 2016 to help Amazon in its drone delivery efforts worldwide for more economical results, but now their senior executives think cutting this department is more economical.
So is it the right way for your project management to follow “Achieve greater, faster, better, and more economical results” like many IT giants? Many cases proved that pursuing efficiency while ignoring quality is completely wrong. But if we follow the “better” “faster” and “more economical”, a great result will come logically.