Using the 10 Steps in the Principle
To use the proactionary principle in your projects, let’s look at each of the ten steps to help you learn how this methodology (or idea) works.
1. Freedom to Innovate – While Dr. More offers that “our freedom to innovate technologically is valuable to humanity," more importantly in this first step is the close scrutinizing of innovation instead of identifying initial risks or restrictive measures. Here, a project manager would simply determine the validity of the project at hand with a well-thought-out plan and process instead of over-analyzing or developing a matrix or feasibility study. Let’s use developing a new plastic drinking container—the people want it, so we will make it—decision done.
2. Objectivity – In the objectivity step, More states, “Use a decision process that is objective, structured and explicit." Here, a proactionary project manager would skip the unneeded such as human or emotional perceptions and, instead, analyze risks through forecasting, leaving out any stakeholders that aren’t immediately involved in the project, and playing the “devil’s advocate" role to determine the right path. Again, for our plastic drinking container, who cares what lies down the road? Our studies say the people want it—even if some stakeholders don’t agree.
3. Comprehensiveness – Here, this step is defined as “Consider all reasonable alternative actions, including no action." Concentrated and swift decisions are made at the project manager level in this step including costs, imminent factors that will harm the project, and if substitutions such as a different project management methodology or process will achieve project success. They also offer the leader the option to skip the project in its entirety based on analyzed assessments. So, the plastic is too expensive; let’s skip the whole idea of the drinking bottle, what about metal?
4. Openness/Transparency – With this step the project leader must “Take into account the interests of all potentially affected parties." Here, in my opinion, Dr. More sways from what he pronounces effective in step two—the dis-involvement of the unneeded or unimportant. A proactionary manager, however, may look at this step as a way to allow for dedicated and relevant input only when necessary—if it will affect the project outcome. Or, we can proceed because we only use “relevant" data, so be it!
5. Simplicity – In this step, any process that is “more complex than necessary" is disregarded. In other words, the proactionary manager would skip reinventing the wheel or using an untried or unlearned methodology if the one at hand works best and always has; or we use Six Sigma, so Six Sigma shall rule—always.
Please continue on to Page 2 for more how to become a proactionary project manager.