The future of CCPM – What exactly do we mean when we say “The constraint is in the market”?

20 July 2017, Jelena Fedurko-Cohen

Here are my thoughts after the recent late evening discussion, during the Berlin TOCICO Conference, regarding the future of CCPM.

The summary of the meeting was recorded by Oded and presented in our Facebook group TOC Practitioners Worldwide:

Twenty seven members joined the meeting. The title for the session was – The future of CCPM, as this was assumed from the discussion in our Facebook group that there is further interest in discussing and better understanding where is CCPM heading towards. 
Talking about the future implies that something is wrong with the current situation or there is a treat that must be addressed. 
However, at the meeting it became apparent that the majority of the members do not think that there is something wrong with the existing knowledge and product. Even though at is current offering is may not be enough for all the environments that members operate in and as such they need some further specific development.
The majority of the concerns expressed were regarding how to sell it? What value to offer? How to handle Agile? What to do with the diminishing perceived value that a project manager is bringing to their organizations?

Conclusion and the way forward:
It has been agreed to set up and common goal for the CCPM community of:
The use of CCPM for STRUCTURED PM grows 3-4 times every year.
The major constraint is the market.
Hence – the next step is to collect from the group the major obstacles to achieve the goal and handle them in a systematic ordered way.
Members are invited to write OBSTACLES and send them by mail to Oded:
oded.cohen.gs@gmail.com

It was a general consensus that the constraint is in the market. It was explicitly worded several times: “the constraint is in the market” or “we have market constraint”. When a question was asked ‘Who has difficulty in selling CCPM?’ nearly everyone raised their hand. Including CCPM flagships – CCPM consultancy&software companies that have huge track record and extremely impressive reference lists.

My immediate thought was “Surely, YOU cannot have the market constraint! You have grown your companies from a start up to well-functioning, healthy and steady businesses”.

This brought me to thinking that in projects or in any big sale when we hear ‘The constraint is in the market” we should be asking:

  1. Do you mean that after your sales people have done all the work on finding the lead and processing it through all steps of the sales process, the potential customer ends up buying from your competitor? (If the customer NEEDS the project/service/product that we wanted to sell them, they WILL BUY it. In other words, they will NOT stay without it, it is WE who will stay without the sale.)

Or

  1. Do you mean that potential customers do not approach you THEMSELVES with the request to do work for them? In other words, when you LOOK FOR a customer who needs YOUR TYPE of project/service/product you FIND such a customer and then the sales process goes ‘as usual’ (sometimes you close the deal, and sometimes you do not – see point 1).

Or

  1. Do you mean that you look for customers that MIGHT NEED your project/service/product, you DO NOT FIND such customers ANY MORE (because if you still ARE in business you used to have such customers up to now)?

Or

  1. Do you mean that it gets more and more difficult for your sales people to find customers for the sales that will allow you to have your sales targets?

And what would ‘more and more difficult’ mean? That:

  • it takes longer than before to identify a lead?
  • stages of the sales process take noticeably longer?
  • average size of the contract is getting smaller and you need more customers?

Or

  1. Do you mean that THIS year/quarter/month you have sold LESS than the ambitious target that you/the system owners set?

Or

  1. Do you mean that your sales show consistent decline as compared to previous periods?

Or

  1. All of the above?

Or

  1. Do you mean something else?

There is no uniformity to the statement “not enough sales” except for  “I do not make as BIG sales as I WOULD LIKE”. However, the knowledge that ‘we do not make the sales numbers as high as we WOULD LIKE’ is not enough for being able to handle the market constraint. I believe, it is not one solution. It is a combination of answers to the points above that can give an answer.

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Jelena Fedurko-Cohen, 20 July 2017

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