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The Good ... The Bad ... The Ugly

Sep 12, 2019 10:50:36 AM / by Travis Jacobs


The Good .. the ideal project

The Bad .. the typical project

The Ugly .. the actual project


The Ideal Project ... the Good .. 

Flawless strategy ..

Flawless execution ..

The textbook case of perfection ..

This project doesn’t really exist ..

But it’s what we strive for ..

Continuous improvement .. is about progress not perfection


Ideal Project


There is no such thing as the perfect plan …

There is no such thing as perfect information

Things change & shit happens .. Murphy’s Law is alive & well


Therefore .. there is no such thing as flawless execution

At the same time .. there are always  things we can do better ..


The Talking Football is a mechanism to promote and increase communication


It’s about progress .. not perfection

How can we accomplish this mission ..

What can we improve for the next mission

What did we learn?


Extreme Ownership is the key .. to learning & improving .. It's also the hardest part of the job


Autopsies Without Blame

  1. What mistakes & errors did we make
  2. What can we improve upon
  3. What did do well


The Typical Project .. The Bad .. the project no one wants to work on

These projects are somewhat of a nightmare & some of them are Doomed To Fail from the word go ..

  • Red tape
  • Excessive bureaucracy
  • Politics
  • Endless meetings
  • Pointless emails being sent every minute
  • Blame .. scapegoating .. & finger pointing


These projects are never any fun .. and they cause good people to leave

Or they just get burned out & stay .. but don’t really do anything


typical project


The Actual Project is a blend of of the good & the bad


We can’t plan perfectly .. we will never have full or complete information


know know

Murphy’s Law .. Captain Murphy as I affectionately call him .. will always show up at the worst possible time .. and when you least expect him


Therefore we can’t execute perfectly

The Dichotomy of Leadership

Plan .. but don’t overplan


Planning Is Priceless .. Plans Are Useless


In a fast paced and dynamic environment where change is constant, a detailed plan that spells out every detail and all the minutiae is obsolete before the ink is dry  


Identify the objective and let your people figure out how to achieve it.

Commanders Intent is the clear & concise definition & description of what success looks like .. Define the mission .. get out of the way


Execution Matters ..

Micromanagement decreases execution ..

Bureaucracy and red tape just slows things down ..

Strangling innovation & choking execution ..


Discipline equals freedom.

The 4 Disciplines Of Execution .. A simple method to execute as a team ..


How to improve your batting average

The Pre Mortem


We can’t spend all of our time in meetings talking about all the minutiae  .. wondering Why We Can’t Get Anything Done


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Topics: Leadership, Communication, Fail, Innovation, Execution, Strategy, Tactics, Team, Winning

Travis Jacobs

Written by Travis Jacobs

Travis is the president of JA Simulations, a product design & development firm in Denver Colorado. We help clients solve problems & get to market faster with innovative & high quality products

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