I want to let you in on a secret. One that will (hopefully) cause you to re-examine how you think about projects and risks.

Ready? It’s a car. But it’s not just any car.

This is a tool to transform how you connect your data, people and processes. And it’s a lens to re-think how you coordinate your teams to reach your goals sooner.

Start your engines. Let’s get going.

Communications, actions, relationships and risks

Want to drive your organisation towards your project goals clearly and on-time?

The CARR approach is an end-to-end tool to unite your people on your project journey – from initial scoping to daily operations to post-project review.

Let’s examine each aspect in detail and then explore a quick case study to bring it all together.

With the CARR approach, you’ll review and critique your:

  • Communications: What information are you sharing with your team? And how is it being presented so it is relevant and engaging to each person?
  • Actions: What actions and tasks are you asking your people to complete? And what actions can you introduce or refine to make their role easier?
  • Relationships: Who are the stakeholders that will be impacted by your strategy? And how are you fostering rich relationships with (and between) your people?
  • Risk: What external factors or industry trends might impede your progress? And what internal risks could become roadblocks?

CARR in practise

Now let’s consider an example: You’re a performance analyst who prepares and sends the monthly report to thirty project managers across the country.

The report is a raw Excel spreadsheet, full of dull data that the managers find too complicated. So they don’t pay attention – until the end of the financial year when they scramble to balance their budgets.

This becomes a major risk for your business, potentially leading to cost blow-outs and projects running off-track. So let’s use the CARR toolkit to review and transform the process:

  • Actions: Introduce automations and workflows to save you time collecting data. And develop data products, like dashboards and visualisations.
  • Communications: With data products, you can make the monthly progress and budget update more engaging to resonate with each manager – to tell a compelling operational and financial story of their project.
  • Relationships: When each person is engaged, you’ll develop more productive relationships to guide and optimise projects year-round (and not merely a month before 30 June).
  • Risks: Because of the richer relationships and accessible insights, your reports and your people will be able to raise and mitigate risks – in real-time.

The CARR journey: Reaching your goals safely and on-time

Let’s extend the car analogy even further.

It’s no coincidence these four words form the acronym ‘CARR’. I see the four-pronged approach like a car on a road trip.

Picture your project as a road trip from Auckland to Wellington. You know where you begin. And you know where you want to get to.

But how will you get there? What surprises might you need to navigate on the journey? These are the questions you will need to review so you can reach your goal safely and on-time.

So before you begin, you need to clearly communicate the road trip plan with your passengers. Be sure to share your strategic goals, the mission your business is on and the roles each person will play.

When you’re ready to navigate the road ahead consider: Are your people trained to check the rear-view mirror while also paying attention to the information in the side mirrors? These are the different silos where project data is stored. So be sure your people have access to the full picture.

And do your people know how to interpret the dashboard components? These are the tools and data products they need to make informed decisions about the conditions arising during the project’s journey.

These considerations are by no means exhaustive. But I hope they open your mind to the diversity of factors influencing whether your project will reach its destination safely and on-time.

Service check and final thoughts

At its core, the CARR toolkit equips you with a lens to view your projects and processes more holistically. It helps you consider how your people are communicating, the relationships between each stakeholder and the risks that might arise.

And most importantly: What are the actions you can take to help your team make the journey safely?

Want to apply the CARR toolkit in your business? To develop a more productive team and data literate culture?

Send me a message and let’s discuss a tailored data literacy and BI workshop for your team. Together, we’ll develop a robust roadmap to guide your people towards organisational intelligence.

Because when we’re all ready and responsible for the journey ahead, we can reach our goals sooner, more efficiently and more safely.