This is Half Double
Half Double is a new way of working with projects, developed to help organisations get more value out of the vast resources they invest in projects.
It’s the result of years of work with a dedicated project community created especially to improve what we can get out of projects.
How Half Double helped a global consumer electronics brand create their best ever product.
How Half Double helps an engineering heavyweight get new products to the market in half the time.
How Half Double cut implementation time of automated production by 30%.
Half Double is a project methodology that rejects the traditional reliance on resources and deliverables and places absolute focus on impact, flow and leadership.
As a flexible project management methodology, Half Double rejects the one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, it involves a two-way adaption where, first, the project is adapted towards the Half Double mindset and, second, the Half Double methodology is tailored to the organisation and the project’s own culture, systems and structures. This process is called local translation.
Adapting the organisation, the project and project team to the Half Double mentality requires the courage, commitment and willingness to think and reflect differently from within the organisation itself. This is fundamental to succeeding with implementing Half Double in projects.
Adapting projects to Half Double demands daring to shift the focus from predictability within costs and specifications to impact creation and stakeholder satisfaction. But this isn’t all. It also demands the commitment to provide space and resources for high intensity work and progress, and to relinquish the instilled habit of prioritising operational needs and hierarchies before the actual needs of the project and the project team. And finally, adapting to Half Double entails a willingness to take a step back from the embedded traditions of putting regimented and standardised procedures and routines before the individual project needs.
Using the process of local translation, Half Double is also tailored to the organisation and project’s distinctive culture and structures. By utilising and using the tools, practices and project-specific context already in place, Half Double’s three core elements – Impact, Flow and Leadership – can be suited to the local practices and customs of the project.
Many projects struggle with rigid routines and inflexible processes that do not suit their particular needs, and this ultimately inhibits impact and success. Simply put, it’s not optimal to try and force a project through a system, a structure or a management plan that just doesn’t suit it. By using local translation, we have the opportunity to acknowledge the actual needs of the project, adapt the Half Double mindset and select solutions that sustain the project and its impact.
Designed to create impact from day one, provide fast results and increase project success rates, there’s huge potential to take Half Double from one individual project and apply it to an entire portfolio. But how do we scale Half Double in organisations? How can we work with the approach on a day-to-day basis and what mindsets need to change to fully embrace the benefits? This film gives you three brief insights on how to get started with scaling Half Double.
Since its launch, we have seen Half Double dramatically increase project success rates. This is further backed by research undertaken by our collaboration partners – Aarhus University and the Danish Industry Foundation – which shows an astonishing >70% success rate compared with the global industry benchmark of 33% first revealed in the Standish Group’s Chaos Report in 2015.
Today, there are 1,600 Half Double practitioners, with our own team of Half Double ambassadors including representatives from each of our business practices, meaning that Half Double can now be delivered to any client, in any industry.
The Standish Group’s 2015 study – which observed successful completion of projects over a 15-year period from all over the world and concluded that only one in three actually succeeded – indicates an enormous potential for rethinking and improving the way we do project management.
Projects already account for approximately 40% of the Western world’s GDP – and this is predicted to increase further. This means that even raising success rates by 5% or 10% could have an immense effect on the economy, productivity and across society.
But the fact that Half Double is proven to more than double success rates makes its potential impact on the world around us significant. And impossible to ignore.
One question we couldn’t help but ask when the Standish Group’s findings were first published was why are known and accepted project management methodologies failing us? They’ve taken us so far, after all. And seem to be embedded in our ways of working.
But the reality is that traditional project management methodologies and tools are not developed to deal with the growing complexity of the problems we strive to solve and the increasingly complicated developments we aim to keep up with.
Classic project management methods are based on a different time – a time when the world was fairly stable and a time where success had a different meaning. Success was product-focussed and meant delivering what you promised: a project on time, at cost and on quality according to a set project plan.
At no point in our history has our world changed more rapidly than it is today.
As business keeps pace with this fast-changing and unpredictable dynamic, success has become less about delivering on set plans and more about creating impact and stakeholder satisfaction.
So, as the definition of project success has changed so too must our ways of managing projects. This is a simple yet fundamental realisation, and one that made us determined to design an agile methodology that cultivates success, according to a contemporary – not classical – definition of success: creating impact and stakeholder satisfaction.
Half Double is a human-centred project management methodology that has been tested and proven to radically improve project success rates because it works with instead of against human nature.
In truth, we are not the rational beings we think we are. As humans, we are subject to hundreds of biases and our personal preferences, beliefs, experiences and expectations all influence how we make decisions. Half Double is designed to take account of complexity and unpredictability, by focussing on people not processes.
Building on the Agile philosophy, Half Double embraces its blind spots and adds new perspectives. Agile project management principles place value on factors such as customer satisfaction and collaboration, working solutions, face-to-face interaction and reflection. Half Double takes this a step further to form a complete project methodology with three core components – Impact, Flow and Leadership – bound together by local translation.
Having co-created the Half Double methodology together with Aarhus University, the Technical University of Denmark and the Danish Industry Foundation, Implement Consulting Group has led and driven over 50 pilot projects over the course of three years.
And by sharing our learnings and experiences from these pilot projects with our community of leading and influential project management practitioners, it has been possible to cultivate and refine the principles and ideas of Half Double in the real world.
Half Double’s academic foothold has been secured by a team of researchers from Aarhus University and the Technical University of Denmark. Conducting extensive, high-level research by evaluating the implementation of Half Double and documenting its potential impact, these two institutions have strengthened the academic foundation of Half Double, contributing to its wider dissemination and adoption in project management.
As both institutions already play a significant role in developing the discipline of project management, Aarhus University and the Technical University of Denmark were perfect collaborative partners to work on Half Double’s research track.
Improving the customer experience using the Half Double methodology.
Using the Half Double methodology to create a new commercial concept for the retail baking market.
Using Half Double to create a stable and flexible warehouse management.
Creating a stable yet flexible variant production using the Half Double methodology.
From an initial questioning of the current project management paradigm, Half Double has grown into a large management professional network and consortium of 1,600 practitioners and over 50 pilot projects, with the key collaborators responsible for its inception – Implement Consulting Group, Aarhus University, the Technical University of Denmark and the Danish Industry Foundation –still very much central to the community.
The origins of Half Double can be traced back to 2013 when three project practitioners realised that they all shared the same unshakable inkling that something just wasn’t quite right in the project management field. They gathered a brain trust of 21 high-calibre project practitioners to begin addressing and solving this problem. The very best from this project practitioner network were then tasked with taking everything we once knew about project management and recognising what we needed to reprioritise. Together, this small group wrote an article, “12 leading stars for project management”.
The Half Double consortium was established on the back of this article and the brain trust behind it. As the Half Double idea was nurtured and honed, the group of 21 project practitioners swelled to a community of 1,600 headed by Implement Consulting Group with Aarhus University, the Technical University of Denmark and the Danish Industry Foundation also joining the Half Double ranks. 17 pilot projects were initially identified that were willing to try out this new, radical methodology, with this number increasing to over 50 pilot projects testing and adopting Half Double in the course of the subsequent three years.
Rethinking project management wasn’t in itself something new. But actually finding a way to change project management was. Implement Consulting Group had already been exploring the possibility of a new project paradigm – a paradigm with Agile mindsets and methods as a starting point with reality’s complexity at its centre. A paradigm that allowed project learnings to continuously change project deliverables without this being misread as bad project management. And a paradigm with the ambition of completing projects in half the time while realising double the impact. If this was at all possible, it would radically improve productivity in Denmark and the rest of the world. Grand? Perhaps. Realistic? It’s proving to be.
The funding for Half Double has been provided by the project sponsor Danish Industry Foundation. As a philanthropic foundation that supports innovative and inspirational initiatives that boost the competitiveness of Danish business and industry, the Danish Industry Foundation was an ideal authority to join forces with and an essential supporter of our combined efforts on our critical path to change the way we are planning and managing projects.
We have recently published a new book on Half Double.
The Half Double research track has evaluated and documented the experience gained from working with Half Double.
Research paper with data from nine organisations and 36 projects.
External page: The Half Double Institute is an impartial and non-profit foundation with the purpose of increasing the rate of success in projects all over the world.
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Implement Consulting Group