The Magnificent Seven 

Delivering Initiatives Successfully

A Picture with all seven characters of the magnificent seven

Delivering initiatives successfully again and again by understanding the main characters of an American Western Film hit

This one is about the American western film The Magnificent Seven(1960), and how its main characters help me ground an initiative to be delivered, each and every time.

(NOTE: Though I have a deep appreciation for the original film Seven Samurai 1954, the The Magnificent Seven feels more fitting to describe this one. On top of that; Talk about taking an existing product, tailoring it to your market and as a result making it a hugely profitable one, even getting the admiration from the original product creator. Now ain’t that awesome right?)

So who are the Magnificent Seven?

In the movie, Seven gunfighters are hired by Mexican villagers to liberate their village from oppressive bandits. The gunmen, prepare the villagers to defend themselves, then plan a trap for the evil bandits.

A collage of all seven characters of the magnificent seven

Now what if the village is your initiative, the oppressive bandits are the internal and external elements, trying to disrupt the initiative from being successful and the villagers…the villagers is actually you, the one responsible for making the initiative successful.

How can the seven gunfighters help you make your initiative a success?

[SPOILER ALERT] in comparison to the film, all of the magnificent seven are alive and kicking by the end of this one.

Get your popcorn and soda because here we go!

The Magnificent Seven to deliver your initiative successful

Time to meet the hero’s and learn about the specific skill each of them brings, needed to deliver an initiative successful.

Chris Adams - The group's leader and a fast gun, who embodies Organisation in Delivering Succesful Initiatives

Chris The Organisational mastermind Adams

Chris is the organisational mastermind of the group, he understands the skills and abilities of the group, how to make best use of them and has a great awareness of his surroundings. He knows everything about the organisational side of things.

Why you need Chris his skill

The Organisation
The organisation aims to help ensure a clearly defined structure for the accountability and responsibility of individuals involved in an initiative. They are those who deliver, as well as the stakeholders who can impact, the desired outcome.

Vin Tanner - The skilled gunman with a great sense of humour, who embodies Change in Delivering Succesful Initiatives

Vin Ready to handle any Change Tanner

Vin is both skilled and has a great sense of humor. In general he is not that worried at all being a guru in handling any change, that comes along, with a smile.

Why you need Vin his skill

Change helps you identify, assess and control any potential changes to the products that have already been approved and baselined. The Change Theme is not just about handling change requests, but is also about handling issues that arise during the initiative.

Bernardo O-Reilly - The financially desperate gunman, who embodies the Business Case in Delivering Succesful Initiatives

Bernardo The protector of the Business Case“ O’Reilly

Bernardo is financially desperate, his goal is to make sure that actions taken create value. He is the curator of the Business Case

Why you need Bernardo his skill

A business case provides justification for undertaking an initiative. It answers the question “is it really worth the effort”.

It talks to the value something brings. The business case is build for the complete initiative, as well describes the value of each of the items within.

Chico - The younggun eager to earn a reputation for courage, who embodies Risk in Delivering Succesful Initiatives

Chico “Risk reaps rewards“

Chico who is ambitious and wants to be known for his courage, that being calculated courage rather than foolish courage. He manages situations and evaluates potential impact before taking action. His courage is Risk based.

Why you need Chico his skill

Risk is about having an approach to identify, assess and control uncertainty throughout the delivery of an initiative and as a result, improve the potential success rate.

Harry Luck - The opportunistic fortune hunter, who embodies Progress in Delivering Succesful Initiatives

Harry “It is all about Progress” Luck

Harry, being the opportunistic fortune hunter, is all about progress. He lives by the rule that “As long as there is progress towards the objective, we will get there”.

Why you need Harry his skill

Progress is about checking progress related to the plan, checking viability and controlling any differences.

Brit - The Skilled knife- and Gunman who embodies Quality in Delivering Succesful Initiatives

Britt “Impeccable Quality”

Britt is the most savvy combats men of the group and acquired that skillset by being though on quality.

Why you need Britt his skill

Quality means to define and implement a system that will create and verify that products are fit for use and meet requirements.

Lee - The once feared gunslinger who has lost his nerve, who embodies Plans in Delivering Succesful Initiatives

Lee “I need a Plan”

Lee was once fearless, but he learned the hard way and now finds himself needing a plan to gets his nerves in check.

Why you need Lee his skill

Plans provide a framework to understand what is required to be created, how it will be achieved, by whom that will be, how its delivery is sequenced and how long realisation is expected to take.

In summary

When you want to manage an initiative and increase your changes of success, make sure to keep a close eye out for the Magnificent Seven.

A collage of all seven characters of the magnificent seven and the delivery themes they represent. Business Case, Organisation, Plans, Change, Risk, Quality and Progress

And always remember 

"The Graveyards are full of Initiatives that were very ambitious and those involved were very proud"

The Sharpwitted Ninja

With a Gunshot salute to all you product People, signing-off Klaas Hermans for Sharpwitted.ninja.

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