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New business book seeks to reduce unpredictability in projects

In organizations, transparency refers to the visibility of a project’s overall progress, which can be achieved via feedback loops.

Building works require major project planning. — Image © Tim Sandle.
Building works require major project planning. — Image © Tim Sandle.

Unpredictability is one of the hardest elements to manage in any business project. One reason is because any kind of work where humans are involved inherently has high levels of unpredictability. So what is the key to managing a project when you know there may be surprises that emerge along the way?

Uncertainty plays a role in  most business activities: hen deciding whether to recruit new workers or invest in new technology, businesses do not know if this will result in greater sales and profits, because of factors outside their control. However, unpredictability when embarking on major projects can lead to expensive mistakes being made and delays in project implementation.

Business coach Anton Skornyakov has made a career out of helping organizations manage unpredictability. Skornyakov is passionate about ‘agile methodologies’.

Skornyakov is knowledgeable on this subject, holding the esteemed Certified Scrum Trainer certification, a distinction shared by only 250 individuals globally. Skornyakov’s dedication to organizational collaboration and agile principles in the public and nonprofit sectors led him to his current role as co-founder and managing director of his firm Agile.Coach. In this capacity, he has coached nearly a hundred organizations and thousands of individuals in the art of slicing work and managing unpredictable projects.

Skornyakov’s book The Art of Slicing Work: How to Navigate Unpredictable Projects encapsulates the culmination of numerous stories, lessons, and principles gathered throughout his coaching journey. 

In his book, Skornyakov demonstrates how to navigate unpredictability and stay focused on delivering results that matter—allowing for steady and controllable progress, creating a sense of shared ownership and responsibility, and maximizing the value of the work produced.

Skornyakov has provided the following tips to business-minded Digital Journal readers:  

  1. Transparency -In organizations, transparency refers to the visibility of a project’s overall progress, which can be achieved via feedback loops and built-in checks on vertical slices of a project. Without such transparency, it would be difficult to notice the project going offtrack.
     
  2. Inspection – Inspection means investing time and resources in continuously checking a situation. In organizations, we need to set aside time and resources to check projects’ overall progress.
     
  3. Adaption – When managing work, adaptation means adjusting what you plan to work on in the future. Adding new items to your plan, removing obsolete ones, or changing how you thought something should be done.

Beyond these points, Skornyakov is keen to place an importance on developing keyways to communicate and identify unpredictable areas of a business project without triggering anxiety.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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