Models are powerful ways of thinking about and communicating ideas involving complex real world concepts and events. They are different from methods and procedures in that they are metaphors, not directions on what to do and how to do it – they are valuable because they illustrate and suggest ways of understanding how things work and how things are interrelated.
A good model is memorable – easy to communicate – and it suggests linkages and connections that may otherwise be overlooked. It should – as any good metaphor should – be immediately accessible to the listener or reader and create a sense of “I see that now” within minutes of being exposed to it. This immediacy should translate itself into interest and confidence to extend and explore the model, a feeling rarely generated by being exposed to a method or process.
PiCubed consultancy and education is based on the delivery and exploitation of memorable models in portfolio, project and change management. The models we use have been developed and tested in hundreds of project and change environments – and presented to and workshopped with over 10,000 project and change practitioners.
There is no single unified model for business, or indeed for projects. In much the same way there are different maps of the world, each using a different model to represent reality, with some maps accurately showing areas but distorting other things, while others maintain the relative positions and distances between towns well, but distort areas – so for project and change models. Some bring in sharp relief interpersonal dynamics but distort functional and structural aspects, while others focus on clarity and management engagement and underplay other factors.
Just as with different maps, however, it is important to navigate between the models and we use the change diamond model to give a coherent, consistent and compelling structure to organise the delivery of portfolio , project and change initiatives, their governance, their management and the provision of support from internal and external consultants.
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