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3M mapping

When embarking on any assignment, the size of the task can seem daunting. As the range of ideas and tools offered in this book highlights, the large number of possible actions can mean that you are faced with endless choices. One way to deal with the seeming fog is to "chunk" the engagement into different sizes; to break down the action in two ways, first by stage and then by magnitude. To help this way of thinking, it can help to deconstruct the work into the following chunks:

  • Meta: a simple but focused definition of the purpose of the stage being addressed. What is the core outcome to be achieved and how does it link with the other stages in the life cycle? For example, your core purpose at the client stage might be to focus solely on the development of an emotional relationship, and to leave the commercial aspects to someone else. Alternatively, your goal might be to use the time as an education process, to bring your client up to strength on the ideas and methodology that will be used.

  • Macro: At this level, once the purpose is defined you can start to think about what broad actions need to be taken. If your meta-level definition of the clarification stage is to deliver a detailed and robust analysis of the client's IT network, then you will start to define what specific tools need to be employed, what primary tasks have to be created and who will own each element. This is project planning in its simplest form, where some people might develop a comprehensive project plan, but others might only need a basic list of actions. The approach will depend upon the context of the engagement and skills and knowledge of the consultants.

  • Micro: Finally, it is important to understand some of the small but important issues that must be covered. These might be simple things like ensuring that the right people are invited to the process reviews, or ensuring that the company name is spelt correctly. The important thing is to understand the client and consumer filters, and be very clear as to what seemingly small things will actually be important to them.


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