The InterAction Collection

"Lead Projects More Effectively in a VUCA Environment with Solution Focus"

Feb 3, 2021

Douglas Yuan, Annette Gray

Introduced by Rod Sherwin

Lead Projects More Effectively in a VUCA Environment with Solution Focus – Douglas Yuan

Summary: Project Management is a problem-focused approach that can be enhanced by a solution-focused perspective

Project Management developed in the engineering and construction industries to build things and was then adopted by the software development industry as it grew. Project Management has a vast body of knowledge underlying its practice, based on making sure bad things don’t happen, such as a building collapse, a plane crash or a massive financial meltdown. This outlook creates a focus on “what’s not wanted” and understanding why something happened (to prevent it from happening again). This focus contrasts with our solution-focused approach of, “What’s wanted?” and “How to make more of that happen?”

Douglas Yuan takes his understanding of SF and creates insightful adjustments to traditional Project Management process areas. For example, he asks “Suppose we have to adjust our scope, schedule and cost, what should we be doing differently to be successful?”

Those experienced in Project Management will recognise that every project requires an adjustment to these dimensions over time; setting the project up to handle these changes successfully from the start would make a big difference. Douglas goes on to apply this type of thinking to other areas of Project Management such as stakeholder engagement, requirements management, risk management and procurement.

Douglas shares one of the key solution focus approaches to the challenges in the VUCA environment and how he came to these conclusions.

He also provides examples of how the principles of Solution Focus apply to leading projects that will result in a higher level of effectiveness.

What shines through in this video is Douglas' delight at applying SF to the very traditional Project Management world and seeing how wonderful a difference it can make.

Douglas Yuan
Douglas Yuan
InterAction Contributor

Douglas has more than two decades of project management experience in leading large-scale projects in manufacturing factories start-ups, expansions, constructions, relocations and M&A integration. He believes that communication and using Solution Focus principles are the essential skills to lead projects effectively.

Annette Gray
Annette Gray
SFiO Reviewed Practitioner
InterAction Contributor
Chapter Head
SFiO Contributor

Annette is a Solution Focus coach, facilitator and speaker (based in Sydney Australia) on SF Coaching and Mentoring. She has trained over 7,000 managers and leaders to be more “coach like” and use a Solution Focused approach to how they have conversations that helps them achieve change fast. Annette has her own consulting business (Annette Gray Consulting) and has worked across many industries including: Construction, Education, Government, Banking and Finance. She is also a Mentor for Can Too ocean swim programs

Rod Sherwin
Rod Sherwin
InterAction Contributor, SFiO Contributor

Rod Sherwin is a solutioneer, executive coach, team catalyst, facilitator and professional speaker who uses solution-focused approaches as a direct route to create Business Agility and respectful lasting change for individuals, teams and organisations.