Does Creating a Structure Have To Be Routine?

The youth charity, The Prince’s Trust, published their Youth Index 2012 this week, which found that children who grow up with a daily routine and structure around bed and meal times are likely to achieve better results than those who do not.

“The absence of structure and routine in a young life can have a devastating impact. Without the right support, directionless teenagers can become lost young adults – unconfident, under-qualified and unemployed.” – Martina Milburn, chief executive of The Prince’s Trust

The report found that 27% of young people aged 16-25 claimed not to have grown up with a set bed time (versus 39% of those that achieved less than 5 A*-C grades). The results are doubled for those who did not have regular meal times (14% against 30%).

Martina Milburn, chief executive of The Prince’s Trust, says:

“The absence of structure and routine in a young life can have a devastating impact. Without the right support, directionless teenagers can become lost young adults – unconfident, under-qualified and unemployed.”

I have worked on a few PLM implementations and believe that a similar principle generally applies to people of all ages. Implementing a coherent structure to your new product development process can add benefit in helping the people in your organisation to create better quality products that appeal to your consumers. However, this does not necessarily mean that the process has to be routine.

In fact, the idea of routine seems to terrify a vast number of people. As everybody is pushed to deliver more and faster, creating unnecessary steps in the process only serves to frustrate people and make them disillusioned.

The secret is to provide clear direction and a consistent structure so that everybody understands what they are expected to deliver. But to remember that they are not children and that they have the knowledge and ability to create their own way to deliver it.

At Cheeky Monkey, we use the Virtual Project to do this. It gives the project team the opportunity to play out the project in advance, so that they can define what they are going to deliver and how they are going to do it. Getting the group together in this way means they can share their knowledge and define their approach without creating unnecessary step that slow down the process or create frustration.

1 response to Does Creating a Structure Have To Be Routine?

  1. This is a very topical subject for me as I have just visited all my friends with Kids and I was really disturbed by how these children were dictating the way my friends now lived there lives. Providing structure, routine and discipline is of course important but it can be taken to a degree that can’t possibly be healthy (e.g. we can’t do that because kid1 needs this at that time and I don’t want to disturb his routine…). I grew up in an environment where the family was core to everything we did, that was the structure and routine and as I wasn’t the only member of the family I couldn’t dictate what everyone did, my needs were considered as part of the whole family and sometimes my structure and routine was traded off in favour of something the family wanted to do and that’s a good thing isn’t it? that’s the bit that’s real…as Mickey says our projects do better because of the structure and elements of routine but we don’t make things so rigid that an opportunity to do something great can’t be taken because of the fear of disruption. Learning to live and work in a balanced way is what we all strive for isn’t it?

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