Category Archives: Project Planning

Straight Down the Middle – A MAPP Golfing Case Study

This case study is provided by John Harrison of Coaching 4 Success Ltd.


The MAPP – John, what kind of company were you working with and how long had you been there before you decided to introduce them to MAPP?

John – The company provided golfing holidays and I had been with them for several months before the time was right to bring in MAPP.

The MAPP – Why?

John – Well MAPP is a powerful thought provoking tool that helps businesses put some structure into their on-going development. I have successfully used it with over twenty companies.


The MAPP – How did you start?

John – Firstly, I explained the format of the workshop and then what I was expecting them to gain from the process.

The MAPP – Who did you work with?

John – I worked with the two directors of the business and within about 4 hours we had completed MAPP which was then immediately stuck on a wall in the main office for the team to see.


The MAPP – How did the rest of the team react?

John – As I was leaving they were already asking questions about the content of their MAPP and could they know more from the Directors as to the aspirations of the business as detailed.

The MAPP – Was the MAPP plan taken down after the rest of the team had asked their questions?

John – No, MAPP is still on the wall of the main office and the directors have told me, ‘Not only has it provided clear focus on what the business needs but also clarity on how we are going to get there. Everyone has bought into the plan!’

What The MAPP Ltd says:

Firstly, many thanks to John for this post.

Secondly, as stated above by John, “MAPP is a powerful thought provoking tool”.

It provides an opportunity to control the direction an organisation needs to take whilst including the right people in the decision-making process. Inclusion leads to ownership of the project plan and a team that fully supports the changes needed to achieve any identified goal(s). It is one of the many strengths of a MAPP.

mappstoreIf you want to know more about MAPP tools check out the MAPP Store by clicking on the icon.

Not Going It Alone

During a recent discussion on LinkedIn the point was raised that it is the skills of you – the Service Leaver (SL) – that are mostly considered when addressing the transition from Forces to Civvy Street.

But there are a substantial number of spouses and partners who are being forced to move on just like their serving halves. They have skills too and often a career path of their own to follow.

The original question on LinkedIn related to the choice made right at the start of the resettlement process. Do you go where the work is and risk accommodation problems and lack of wider familial support or do you go where family support and a place to live and risk not getting work?

But it was commented on that to concentrate on the SL might be missing a trick. A resettlement plan will impact on many people within your circle:

  • Spouses and Partners – the aim of this post.
  • Parents and parents-in-law
  • Girlfriends and boyfriends
  • Dependents The list is not exhaustive!

If others are impacted by your leaving then you must consider them even if you can’t involve them.

But, from here on, this post will address the SL and their spouses and partners.

The resettlement process supports serving members of the Forces as they make the transition between uniform and civvies. But do they in turn have the opportunity to share that process with their partners and spouses? I suspect that in reality there will be a range of situations some of which will be where service personnel in the resettlement process will:

  • Include their spouses and partners completely and fully in the decision making process,
  • Think that they do not need to include their spouses or partners because after all it is not them being discharged,
  • Not get a chance to include anyone else because there is no time or no opportunity.

There will be other situations. But too many where spouses and partners are left outside of the process.

It is a basic premise of change management that everyone who is impacted by a change is involved in the decision-making process. It leads to them taking ‘ownership’ of the change and not being left isolated and hurt.

So when making that choice about where to head – for work or home – consider the skills of your partner or spouse. They might find it easier to get work and provide a buffer whilst you make the move in your head as well as in reality.

Don’t just conduct a SWOT yourself get your partner or spouse to do the same. They might surprise you. They just might make the transition so much the easier.

If you have included them right from the start and in everything that is done they will see the plan as theirs as well. This is called ‘ownership’ and it leads to a greater margin of success when going through a change.

Using an on-line tool like MAPP for Resettlement can provide you with the lines of communication and structured tasking that means whilst you are away your partner or spouse can continue with to process of resettling the family or even just the two of you.

Our advice is to include all those affected by your move. It will make the transition to Civvy Street smoother and more likely to be successful.

MAPP for Resettlement can be found at the MAPPStore – just click on the links below:

Feel free to try the ‘1st Steps’, but if you want to have more support then go to the MAPPStore and buy the full version of Resettlement MAPP for just £8.00p.


Organisational Culture Change

“The hardest part of a business transformation is changing the culture – the mindset and instincts of the people in the company. “

“In the end, management doesn’t change culture. Management invites the workforce itself to change the culture.”

Lou Gerstner, former CEO of IBM

These two quotes tell it all – for culture to change and remain changed it needs the entire workforce to be involved so that they can take ownership.

Change of any kind has some basic rules that lay the foundations for success:

• Change relies upon people wanting to change.
• Those impacted by the change must be included in the decision-making processes. Even if they don’t want to change at first inclusion can lead to understanding then to ownership.
• Communicate everything. Bad news is better than no news! Don’t tell people what is going on and they will make it up. And what they make up will be far worse!
• Select ‘Champions’ that really believe in the change. They can keep it going even after the change project programme is complete. Mick Cope refers to ‘stickability’ through the use of change champions in his excellent book ‘The 7 C’s of Change’.

The first two key stages are to:

1. Have a destination in mind. All screen writers will tell you that the ending is where you start.
2. Understand exactly where you are – not just the symptoms if there are any! Even if change is required to move to the next stage in the development of your organisation and everything is going swimmingly anyway you need to understand what makes it tick.

The analogy with a screenwriter and a film is a good one.

You have a hero (your organisation) that needs to move towards the vision (new culture). But there will be conflict on the way. The screenwriter puts that conflict in the way of the hero – you have to discover what conflict presently exists and you need to plan to deal with the conflict that can occur.

More on ‘sticky’ cultural change can be found at

mappstoreA new MAPP tool for Culture Change will soon be available via the MAPP Store. Watch this space or see what other MAPPs are available by clicking on the MAPP Store icon.


How to make the 21st Century virtual team more effective

Technological advances have changed the way in which we used to perform in the past. Right now most people who are into ERP Consulting at some point on occasion work with the Global Teams, sitting at locations spread out all over the world. This kind of phenomena developed some years back and is now witnessing great success. Eventually because of the progress for Virtual Consultancy for IT particularly in circumstance of Oracle definitely seems to be un-stoppable.

Whereas once upon a time virtual teams were a rarity – they had to communicate using poor internet and Intranet, snail mail and sending each other floppy disks. It’s a different story today – companies have teams spread across the world and deal with language, cultural and time-zone differences.

It is important that managers not only learn new skills to deal with these teams – and it should be stated here that these differences are often more complementary and creative than problematic – but they must have the tools with which to pull their teams together.

John Adair brought our attention to ‘team, task and individual’ telling us that as managers and leaders we need to ensure that individuals feel part of and contribute to the team. They need to take ownership of the task and their part in its achievement.

To take ownership of a plan or task means the inclusion of all team members in the decision-making process. MAPP is a perfect way to include team members on-line and in real-time. And real-time means dealing with problems as they occur not when the post arrives.

Task managers and team leaders can include all individuals, create a team – and as John Adair tells us – allow the task to be achieved. This is what MAPP is all about – inclusion, spontaneity, achievement!

mappstoreClick on the MAPP Store logo to access tools that can support your virtual teams.

How Do You ‘Start Up’?

Or perhaps more importantly, how do you create a project plan to help your start-up succeed?

There’s no shortage of information, advice and guidance for those wishing to ‘start up’ a business.
Apparently we’ve all got a business in us and given the lack of growth in the economy and the lack of jobs, becoming self-employed or starting a business is now becoming a necessity rather than a choice for many.
But all the information and advice doesn’t make taking the plunge any easier. Business appears complex and risky, especially when you have no experience or lack formal training. So, how to improve the chances of your success as a new business owner; how to reduce risks and make the right decisions?
How do you get to the point where you ‘start up’ your start-up….?
I’d like to consider the idea that there is a process that can take you from your great idea…. to actually doing something about it. There is a way of planning you journey to success; in whatever way you define that.
The idea is simple. Define where you are – the ‘start point’. That might be the ‘unique selling proposition’ of your new product or service or a description of the fabulous shop you want to open. The thing is, it’s a way of describing what you are passionate about creating.
Next, the goal. Why are you going into business? There’s got to be a reason, otherwise why bother? You should be able to define it clearly and also state when you want to achieve it by. If you’re working in a team, it would be good if you could all agree on what the goal is too!
So, you now know where you are and you know where you want to get to. The next stage is thinking about the journey from start to goal and creating a project plan. Planning is how you will make it happen. There are lots of things to think about, but in the context of your business, they need to be prioritised so that when you start to implement the resulting plan… you know what to do first and why.
This is where we believe that help from outside is really useful. Say that you could access the knowledge and experience of other start-ups, the coaches and mentors who support them and even those who watch and research who does what in their start-up journey.
How would that be helpful? Well, ask yourself the question…. This ‘activity’, that people have done before in creating their business, does it feature in MY journey?
If yes, then when do I need to do it? Now, soon or later? And how does it fit into other things that I have decided I need to do in my journey? Does it come before, after, or perhaps at the same time as some of the other things?
These questions can be answered with the team – or just by you – the entrepreneur – and a friend, colleague, coach or other trusted advisor.
MAPP is the tool that can help you go through this process simply, effectively and economically.

mappstoreClick on the logo to go to our MAPP Store for some great start-up tools.