Implement projects instead of failures: 6 SAU traps as the cause


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Positive business development is not easy. Because executives do not know where and why employees are not, why failure is the order of the day. Possible cause: Six SAU traps. But: no success without implementation!

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Elmar Lesch Best of HR – Berufebilder.de® Elmar Lesch is a business coach, management and sales trainer.

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Ralf Koschinski Best of HR – Berufebilder.de®Ralf Koschinski is a business graduate, coach and medium-sized business consultant.

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The SAU process

As the boss orders something modern, such as "agile transformation," and all look away, are curious, wait - if the specter once again passes, like so many before him.

Most employees use change, "And tomorrow another sow is driven through the village," to change - or rather not. And the executives are surprised that the implementation does not succeed, that they fail. The SAU process describes this in everyday business »Scheitern An UIMPLEMENTATION ".

The SAU traps

What is well-known as causality is confirmed in terms of implementation. If companies fail to escape the SAU traps, economic success is in jeopardy.

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Tapping individual executives in the indicated SAU trapsThis has harmful effects on both their own lives and those of their employees. If the important question remains, what causes does it have or what are the reasons that we fall into the so-called SAU traps during implementation?

SAU trap No. 1: the missing positioning

This is about the realistic assessment and awareness of the organization's starting position in the relevant market. There is often a lack of engagement with the question: "Where do we stand today and why?" Other factors that prevent us from engaging in positioning are the overburdening of executives and employees due to the hectic daily routine.

On the part of executives, the strong ego plays just as much a role as the fear of loss of power and knowledge. Employees suffer from a lack of involvement and appreciation in the clarification process. All this leads to a lack of passion on both sides to dynamically adapt the position to the new environment by jointly tackling changes and consistently pursuing implementation.

SAU trap No. 2: the perspective

This is about a clear vision. There are no precise ideas for the future of company growth, project and progress. Above all, the important clarification question »Where do we want to go« is not sufficiently discussed. Most of the time Sense undefined or not discussed by changes, neither communicated nor lived. In addition, there is no agreement on the understanding, thinking and commitment of managers and employees.

This does not result in a defined, coordinated and lived corporate culture. However, people expect clear development perspectives at every stage of their affiliation. If there is no perspective, the purpose and the meaning are lost - although both are central to successful implementation. Who knows where and why, recognizes the benefits of their own actions and achieves goals faster and easier.

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SAU trap No. 3: the staff

This is about the persistence in the comfort zone and the lack of motivation for implementation and behavioral changes. The reason? Fewer and fewer employees are emotionally attached to the company - today, of course, there has not been much left of loyalty that used to be a given. Also due to the fact that employees are no longer valued as much as they would like.

Money plays a much less important role today, even if the income has to be right, of course - and that's where the demand for a personal work-life balance increases. The lack of analysis and development of individual employee skills and competences also contribute to the problem.

SAU trap No. 4: the plan

This is about the missing orientation, the tangible approach, the concrete strategy. Too many or not measurable goals, no prioritization and a lack of order clarification lead to uncertainty, so that the implementation does not get going at all.

Stephen R. Covey also confirms this in his book Implementation: Essentials for Business Management: "Employees Do not Know the Goal and Employees Do not Know What They Need to Do to Achieve the Goal."

SAU trap No. 5: the process

This is about the lack of transparency or lack of accountability and the required competences. How exactly is the process defined and what steps - the what - are to be done concretely?

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This includes the exact determination of quality and productivity, ie How to perform the task. It is important to have an open and honest communication in both directions, with weaknesses in decision-making leading to significant delays in the process, especially at management and management level.

SAU trap No. 6: the potential

The point here is that due to weak analyzes future potentials are not recognized, thus creativity is lacking and thus no innovation process can get underway. Lack of self-criticism and a bad culture of mistakes in the company lead in addition to a fundamental and far-reaching stagnation. Overall, it's about achieving a positive business development.

That this is not so easy and that just does not happen often shows us all these SAU traps. The dangers of failure are great! If not every area is sufficiently perceived, analyzed and, if necessary, optimized, failure is inevitable. It is therefore all the more important that we subject the individual traps to a check-up, possibly strengthening individual topics.


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  1. Ferdinand G.

    Thanks for the good presentation to the project management. It was indeed a pleasure to read that.

  2. Veronika

    I've spent a lot of time on working and productivity in project management and am now very excited about your blog, which offers a lot of suggestions.

  3. Thorsten Praska

    Thank you for this contribution to the project management.

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