Courtesy once again of the venerable Guy “No Bull-Shiitake” Kawasaki, a checklist to be tattooed on the top of the hand.
- Under-promise and over-deliver
- Forecast from the bottom up
- Don’t go too far out: twelve to eighteen months is the maximum
- Plan to re-forecast every three months
- Don’t let costs get in front of revenue
- Collaborate with your investors
- Think in terms of per-unit profitability
- Plan for marketing costs
- Create a one-page report and stick to it
- Never miss a cost projection
- Think big
Out of the ten points (point eleven is a “given”, isn’t it?), I see listed name-brand companies failing on #6, #8 and #9 regularly. Guy’s observation of how to combat #9 was a statement only a startup-guru could make:
One innovative way to fix this might be to reduce the CEOâ€™s and CFOâ€™s stock options by ten percent every time they change the report.
A former financial controller for a large German electronics company once told me:
Don’t make me mad:
If you’re over budget, it comes out of my pay packet.
If you’re under budget, it goes into yours.
It’s surprisingly hard, when you do the post-mortem on a project to legitimately get precisely on-target.