Monday, July 24, 2017

Save Your Project from a Poorly Conceived Plan

Red teaming isn’t perfect, but used well it can save your project. The military, as Hoffman points out in the introduction, has a long history of using red teams. Recently their training program has been formalized. Hoffman was lucky to be allowed to attend a session to use the experience to bring red teaming to industry.

In addition to recounting the history of red teaming, Hoffman shares his experience in the military training course. This part of the book is filled with interesting anecdotes showing how red teaming, primarily in the military, has been used to save a planned troop exercise, or actual war situation.

In the second part of the book, Hoffman describes the tools used by the red team to facilitate critical thinking, come up with creative solutions, and stress the assumptions of the project to assure that all bases have been covered. He also describes the type of individuals best suited to read teaming. These need to be sharp people, good at critical thinking who are not easily cowed by upper management.

I loved the book. Having been involved in extensive projects in industry, I can see how valuable this type of exercise can be in relooking a proposed plan or project. Too often, the planners get so involved in how to make the plan work that they narrow their focus and miss the ways the plan or project can fail.

I highly recommend this book, if you’re responsible for developing a plan in a large corporation, or if you own a business and want to assure the success of your plans for the future. It’s important to realize that some of the techniques don’t require large expenditures to be successful. Anyone can do it and with practice can become good at it.


I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.