Figure 1 – 3-CORE : Project Success System
The 3-CORE Project Success System is a systematic and holistic model that allows the successful implementation of social media within the realm of your organization, in the most cost-effective and timely manner, through three parts: the Business Environment, the Project Stages and the Project development Cycle.
- 1. Business environment
The business environment consists of both the internal and external environments of your organization, such as the resources, organizational culture, skills, industry and competitors among others, as well as the conditions necessary for successful implementation of social media. The business environment has both visible and invisible constraints that need to be equally identified in order for the project to move along successfully.
The bigger the company is, the more complex its internal and external environments, and thus the more challenging the implementation process. Bigger companies may need to include several departments, which means the level of communication and coordination during project implementation will be multi-layered and more intricate. The use of customized applications, propriety tools, enhanced security and enterprise-level software may also be needed in that case.
Figure 1 above shows how the development of a project, through its different project stages and the project development cycle mechanism, is fueled by the iceberg – representing the business environment. This iceberg has both visible and invisible components to it, which both need to be equally identified in order for the project to move forward. The context is thus this business environment in which a project finds itself, and the framework that will determine how a project will take shape.
- 2. Project Stages
This part of the 3-CORE model refers to 5 main project stages: Briefing, Definition, Planning, Implementation and Roll-out. Project stages are time frames that structure the progression of a project.
This series of phased stages will help addressing any organizational constraints as well as obtaining buy-in from reluctant stakeholders. Moreover, a decision point is created at the beginning and end of each stage to reduce project risk, generate appropriate justification and give learning opportunities that can be taken to the next stage. Each stage has thus clear outcomes and project stages are especially important in an organization where there is a need to get the necessary buy-in order to allow a new project to proceed.
It is however beneficial to start with a small pilot project when implementing social media into your organization, as a test. This will help measuring the benefits, reduce risk, develop experience and tackle potential concerns if your business environment is not optimal. The results of a pilot trial will also give factual data that can thereafter be utilized to justify the project on a larger scale.
Many companies or industries have their own stages, or phases, and it would be useful to use those that your staff is already familiar with, while adapting the project development cycle to your own stages. The system is thus flexible and can be adapted to your situation.
- 3. Project Development Cycle
This is the core guiding process, composed of the following steps: goals, analysis, projects, strategy, actions, measure and communication. The Project Development Cycle is the key interactive process that is used to guide the manager before and through the project; it is the central backbone of the implementation process. It is an iterative process that goes through several escalating cycles as the project takes shape through the different project stages, always having reference to the changing business environment.
The Project Development Cycle is continuously iterated throughout the stages as a method for planning and managing your projects. As this tool is iterated in a particular stage, each cycle will generate more details to complete the initial plan and business case.
The key is that each cycle has to be completed with a time-out pause at the end, to enable the team to do some work between cycles and have some time for reflection. As you move through the project stages, you are continuously building the foundation of the information you have created in previous cycles.
The Project Development Cycle is thus a continuous process to guide the manager and project team throughout all stages of the project, taking full account of the dynamically changing business environment, and providing reference points at all times.
By having the Business Environment of your organization and the work done in each Project Stage interwork with the Project Development Cycle, the 3-CORE Project Success System takes a contextual approach to implement social media successfully within your organization, optimizing benefits and mitigating risks as the project unfolds.