Oct 24, 2019

Best Practices

Choose a Course of Action

Written by Craig Vosper, Chief Delivery Officer

Choosing your approach is one of the toughest steps of any project. It’s even more difficult when the choice is being made under duress. Most organizations approach these choices with little to no method or discipline. This often results in choices that don’t support the businesses strategic vision or goals and objectives.

In the Army, we used the Military Decision-Making Process. It was a very clearly defined set of steps that we used to decide on a course of action. We could execute it within a matter of minutes or over the course of many weeks, depending on the time available and complexity of the situation.

The seven steps of this process are as follows:

  1. Receipt of Mission – Once you’ve received a mission, ensure you understand it and provide details to your subordinates to prepare

  2. Mission Analysis – Figure out the current state and define success

  3. Course of Action (COA) Development – Develop as many possible COA’s as time/resources allow

  4. COA Analysis - Walk through all COA’s to identify risks, dependencies, and decision points

  5. COA Comparison – Review each COA to determine which will accomplish the defined success criteria in the best manner

  6. COA Approval – Finalize and decide upon the appropriate COA

  7. Orders Production, Dissemination, and Transition – Communicate the decision to your subordinates and develop a more detailed plan

At Clientek we have taken some of the Army’s best methodologies and modified them based on our 25+ years of project experience.

We work with our customers to:

  1. Define business and technical goals and objectives

  2. Understand the current state of technology and business processes

  3. Develop one or more solution options/approaches that meet the goals based on current state

  4. Compare those options and work with our customers to agree on a course of action

  5. Develop the release plan for the selected option

  6. Deliver the solution in an incremental fashion – focusing on value realization

We start every project and significant workstream change with these activities. They can take anywhere from 2 hours, to 2 weeks, depending on the problem at hand and the current state understanding. This process helps us maximize customer value, deliver in a predictable manner, and provide the fastest time to market.


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