project-half-double

Project Half Double In A Nutshell

Project Half Double is a contemporary management methodology with a focus on value creation. Project Half Double is a methodology created by the Half Double Institute, a Danish non-profit foundation with the goal of increasing the success rate of projects all over the world.

Understanding Project Half Double

The methodology – which has been validated across various industries and projects – is partly based on the unpredictable and complex nature of human behavior. In other words, Project Half Double does not assume that the behavior of team members, stakeholders, clients, and customers are predictable or indeed rational. Managing human behavior is seen as vital in making maximum impact and ensuring that projects flow as smoothly as possible.

It’s important to note that Project Half Double is not a blanket approach, even though human behavior is consistent across organizations. Half Double elements can be adapted to suit the systems or desired culture of any organization.

The three core elements of Project Half Double

Project Half Double is based on three core elements:

Impact

The Project Half Double philosophy stresses that project deliverables are not the end goal and that projects do not exist for their own sake. Instead, teams should focus on the impact (effect) that these deliverables make on the world. 

Here, businesses should measure their success based on stakeholder satisfaction. They should be less concerned with how quickly or cost-effectively they can deliver the final product.

To maintain a focus on value, teams can utilize tools specific to Project Half Double including KPI tracking, consistent stakeholder contact (“pulse checks”), and impact solution design templates.

Flow

Half Double acknowledges that projects are invariably demanding on team members. It seeks to ease this burden by selecting suitably skilled staff and ensuring that each project is well funded and resourced. 

Ultimately, the focus of the flow element is on making progress through creativity, collaboration, and rapid feedback loops. Saving money is acknowledged as less of a concern if there is a focus on frequent interaction within the team.

Tools that support flow include the visual planning of project vitals and the creation of project rhythm through the progression of regular project sprints.

Leadership

Project Half Double understands that individual team members are complex. They have shifting agendas and are driven by unique and sometimes irrational motivations. The world in which project teams operate is similarly chaotic, irrational, or unpredictable.

As a result, leadership must embrace the uncertainty of human behavior while ensuring that progress is made in alignment with goals and objectives. Leaders should embrace change and uncertainty as an avenue for growth and not fight against it. This means less of a focus on bureaucracy, formal meetings, and contractual obligations.

Tools to enhance leadership revolve around creating a reflective and adaptive mindset that favors problem ownership and collaborative management.

Project Half Double case studies

Although a relative newcomer to the suite of agile-inspired frameworks, the Half-Double approach has been successfully implemented in several pilot projects:

  1. Manufacturing company LINAK. Here, Project Half Double was used to improve project execution time from 60 to 39 weeks. This was achieved through greater collaboration with suppliers, who delayed project delivery because of the time and cost associated with traveling to LINAK for factory acceptance tests. LINAK leadership teams agreed to share the cost and for traveling and accommodation with supplier staff, ultimately improving relationships and productivity.
  2. LEGO group. Danish toy manufacturer LEGO also used Half Double principles to increase stakeholder engagement through the hosting of solution hypothesis workshops. Furthermore, the company incorporated pulse checks to give team members more opportunities to address project challenges. To increase impact, teams of five people now spend 40% of their work time housed in specially designed rooms to facilitate high-intensity work on a single project.

Key takeaways

  • Project Half Double is a contemporary project management methodology that favors value creation over project deliverables.
  • Project Half Double comprises three core elements: impact, flow, and leadership. Core elements work together to facilitate sometimes unpredictable agile projects that are adequately funded with suitably skilled team members.
  • Elements of Project Half Double have been used by toy manufacturer LEGO to increase stakeholder engagement and give team members more opportunity to raise project concerns and challenges. 

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