Quick Win Projects™

Simultaneously affect organizational change in the “real world” while delivering short-term results


In all organizations, the challenge is to achieve results that further the goals of the organization. In today’s world, results must be accomplished in shorter and shorter timeframes using fewer and fewer resources. At the same time, most organizations are plagued with numerous complexities—a variety of internal cultural challenges, scattered plant locations, incompatible work patterns, competing programs, and activities—that get in the way of achieving timely results. A model for quickly identifying, organizing, and achieving results that must be achieved in 30 to 90 days using existing resources and authority is essential to organizational success. Business as usual is no longer adequate if the organization is going to meet its goals.


The Quick Win Projects approach is a methodology based on the seminal Harvard Business Review articles, “The Discipline of Teams” by John Katzenbach and Douglas Smith and “Successful Change Programs Begin with Results” by Robert Schaffer and Harvey Thomson. In this process, cross-functional teams focus first on the results that must be achieved within 30 to 90 days and then on how to accomplish them. This approach differs from traditional activity-oriented project work because the teams do not lose time and energy talking about how to do the work, but instead the teams learn quickly what approaches work.

How it works

Quick Win Projects must be:

Using the Quick Win methodology shifts the focus from activities to the short-term results that must be achieved to meet a larger business challenge. The results do not change, but with creativity and ingenuity, the activities required to achieve the results change!

The process has three key phases:

  1. Setting up the project
    Business managers working together for one to two days identify the 20% of business challenges that must deliver 80% of the results needed in the next four to six months. From these results, they select those Quick Win projects that will have the greatest impact.
  2. Project launch
    In a high-energy, two-day working session based on key practices from the GE Work-Out approach, managers present the compelling business challenge and teams define aggressive business results to be achieved in 30 to 90 days. Then the team, along with management, resolves all open issues in real time before beginning to execute the plan. Everyone is on board; everyone is motivated; and everyone experiences the challenges and successes. It is not “business as usual.”
  3. Executing and sustaining the plans
    Teams hit the ground running with positive results beginning to occur immediately. The teams quickly resolve any open issues, challenges, and team dynamic issues that surface, through an execution model that leaves no room for the normal power plays, politics, and risk avoidance. The link between the team, project leader, and senior manager is direct. When issues are raised, the team or manager makes decisions in hours, versus days or months.
"Quick Win Projects" are not just about results but also about shifting staff capabilities and the way people work. These projects create a new way of working that generates ongoing results leading to:

Results Achieved

Pharmaceutical Company

Example of results achieved within two to four months and maintained over time:

Computer Company

Example of results achieved within three to four months and maintained over time:

Utility Company

Example results achieved by project teams within two to three months and maintained over time:

Case Studies

For further information about Quick Win Projects or to talk to someone about implementing this process in your organization, please contact us.