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It's not just one Enabler
The Tale of the Project Manager and the Benefit Mapping Facilitator
It was a sunny morning when Jane, the Benefit Mapping facilitator, met Robert, the Project Manager, in a conference room flooded with sunlight. At the centre of the room stood a large screen, illuminating the interface of Vithanco, known for its prowess in Structured Visual Thinking.
Robert started energetically, "Jane, I think we've found the key to our problems - we just need to run the forecast more often. It's the perfect enabler!"
With her ever-calm demeanour, Jane replied, "Robert, while frequent forecasting might be valuable, how do you see it driving us toward our strategic objectives?"
Robert gestured towards the screen, showing the new forecasting system's functionality. "By running it more often, we can get real-time insights, allowing us to be more reactive."
Jane nodded, "That could be a benefit. But is reactivity our main strategic objective? And are there not other factors to consider?"
Robert seemed puzzled. "Like what?"
Jane opened Vithanco and began laying out a map. "Let's use this tool to explore the connections. First, we identify our strategic objective. Let's say it's 'Maximizing Market Responsiveness'. Now, more frequent forecasts could provide benefits like real-time insights. But to achieve the objective, we may also need benefits like quicker decision-making or reduced forecast errors."
Robert chimed in, "Which comes from running the forecast more often!"
Jane smiled, "Partially. But let's think broader. For quicker decision-making, merely having insights isn't enough. We might need Changed Standard Operating Procedures, for example."
Robert looked at the evolving map on Vithanco, "Alright, I see that. And for reduced forecast errors?"
Jane continued, "Better input data quality. Running the forecast more often with bad data won't help us. Additionally, we might need new teams to analyse this data more frequently."
Robert leaned in, absorbed. "So, while my enabler is essential, it's just one piece of the puzzle."
"Exactly," Jane affirmed. "Each benefit might stem from multiple enablers. It's never as linear as it seems."
As they further detailed out the map, Robert's initial resistance waned. The clarity brought on by Vithanco's visual interface and Jane's expertise showed him the intricate web of connections between strategic objectives, benefits, business changes, and enablers.
The day's end saw a more comprehensive plan, where frequent forecasting, while crucial, was complemented by other enablers, ensuring that the project didn't just focus on one aspect but holistically moved towards the strategic objective.
Thus, with Structured Visual Thinking, Jane and Robert collaboratively ensured that their project was not just about a change but about the right change.
I hope you realise I didn't discuss the business changes for brevity's sake. They are between benefits and enablers. Please don't ignore them.
The story is based on a true story, where the business case seriously looked like a triangle: one key enabler was enabling a massive amount of benefits. I am still looking for a realistic project with such a structure. Each benefit should instead have a set of enablers.
Therefore, look at the shape of your diagram. In which direction does the triangle point? This is how it should look: