Management is a juggling act. Between business needs, customer demands and all the surrounding circumstances, there are so many factors to balance. This would be a challenge under the best of circumstances, but what happens when circumstances let you down, as when time is running short and resources are running low? Successful managers know that it takes more than one approach to strike a balance and deliver results you can be proud of. And that's where the fast track management methodology steps in to save the day (or least throw you a life preserver).

Step 1 - Time to Fast Track?

Do the circumstances and conditions you face warrant a "fast track management" approach? That's the first question to answer, and it's the starting point of the fast track process.

Step 2 - Evaluate Needs

What are you being asked to deliver and what will it take to get the job done? The goal of this second step is to get current work requirements defined in very clear terms.

Step 3 - Evaluate Capabilities

Do you have the capabilities (time, skills and resources) to fulfill identified needs? This is the third step in the process, and the goal is to determine actual capabilities in realistic terms.

Step 4 - Identify the Gaps

Is there a gap? This is the fourth step, used weigh defined needs vs. actual capabilities to determine whether you have a "delivery gap" that will limit your ability to meet stakeholder expectations.

Step 5 - Make a Plan

What's the plan? Fast tracking is the way to restore balance between needs and capabilities - but every situation demands it's own plan - applying fast track practices to current needs.

Step 6 - Time to Act

The final step in the fast track management process is to negotiate with your stakeholders to find consensus on the specifics and consequences of your fast tracking plan, and to then put that plan into action.


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