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The three-step approach in Managing Projects

The three-step approach in Managing Projects

Are you a swan a pike or a crayfish?

“The Swan, the Pike and the Crayfish” is the name of a Russian fable by their most famous poet Ivan Krylov. It’s message is either a project manager’s dream, a children’s story or a change manager’s nightmare!

The Swan, the Pike and the Crayfish was a commentary on the 1814 Russian campaign against Napoleon or an allusion to the endless debates of the then Russian State Council. The message was simple and the story has found its way it into children’s books across Russia and into the education system like Goldilocks and the 3 bears. 

19th Century Russian Project Management 1.0

Krylov’s fable describes how we often work on a project or a task together. The swan naturally wants to shift the cart by moving it up to the sky. The crayfish however, walks backwards dragging the cart along the path whilst lastly, the pike pulls the cart into the water! 

Everyone is exhausted and the cart is still at the same place. Sound familiar?

It’s the same with project stakeholders, the project team and a project’s governing body. They can all be pulling the cart in different directions because it is often hard to get alignment. This is because the world in which we operate in now is characterised by complex change, and alignment can mean different things for different people, even during the project.

Krylov’s message to us now is that alignment and visibility are needed to move the cart in the right direction and realise business value. 

The three-step approach to project and program management

We take a three-step approach as follows:

1. Identify and classify the business need – its priority etc.

2. Implement suitable governance, and

3. Provide the visibility of the work at all stages, and then…. voila – the alignment comes! 

Will these three steps guarantee 100% outcomes? No. There is more to it but these three steps get everyone pulling the cart in the same direction. And that’s a giant leap for mankind in any setting.

Managing projects or a program of work is something we do well. But don’t take our word for it, call us. We would be happy for you to call some of our clients and have them tell you how we do it better.