I expected good, but this is great.
Janet Pirus Phelps
Principle, Strategic CFO
Former, CFO Papa Murphy's Pizza
Great strategies often fail to align execution to deliver the strategy. A thoughtful review of what successful leaders do in a multi-faceted, matrixed business to drive successfully execution of the strategy. Reading Filling Execution Gaps, you will generate insights into what successful leaders do to create a shared vision, mobilize people and commitments while using data and metrics to sustain the performance and change behaviors.
John E. Panichella
President and CEO
Todd Williams identifies and problem solves the "Key Pillars" to manage a successful project. Two of those pillars often overlooked by organizations are the impact of Change Management and the role of Executive Sponsorship. Any project, no matter its significance, must properly identify and understand its "Change Effect" on the organization at large and ensure the proper concepts/processes to effectively manage the change which will occur as a result. Todd provides the right guidance on how to establish an effective Change Management Organization. Further, Executive Sponsorship and the clear lack of understanding of the role and its importance to the success of the project is clearly addressed in this book. Many projects fail from the beginning due to the implied idea that and Executive Sponsor will ensure the direction of the project and have the clout to get it done on time and within budget. This is a must read before the undertaking of your next organizational project, as it will help you avoid many pitfalls which drive delays or project failures.
John T. Lenga, Jr.
CEO, Head Business Group North America
Autoneum North America, Inc.
Todd captures the reality and essence of what it takes to deliver strategy. By sharing thought provoking stories and examples Todd provides helpful tools and approaches to navigate the difficult yet rewarding work of transforming strategy into results. A must read for anyone who works in the Strategy Space.
Vice President of Operations & Supply Chain
The Little Potato Company Ltd.
Todd Williams' new book, Filling Execution Gaps: What Executives and Project Managers Need to Know to Execute Strategy Successfully, is a deep dive into how to build a company culture that tilts the odds as far as possible in favor of successful execution of strategy. Williams' approach is based on the fundamental insight that successful implementation of a strategy means the successful execution of a series of projects.
Lessons from experience and from research in the field give solid guidance as to structure and process for successful project selection and execution. Real-life case studies generously scattered throughout to show how business projects go right and go wrong in the real world, and there are multiple references to books focused on specific aspects of corporate culture, leadership and project management for anyone who needs deeper resources on a specific topic. There is particularly useful advice for executives about the most effect roles they can play in project execution to optimize project success rates company-wide.
All in all, this book is an invaluable resource for project managers and executives alike who are working to improve their effectiveness.
CEO, Board Member
Todd Williams clearly understands that project managers do more than manage projects – they must manage communications and facilitate change in the organization. He plainly demonstrates that all changes must include a change management focus with an understanding of the impact on the human – why are we doing this? And what is in it for me? The author has packed a lot of observation and experience in to this book – heed his advice!
Vice President, Project Management Office (PMO)
Dignity Health Medical Foundation
Rancho Cordova, California
Each chapter of the book is a master-class in Strategy deployment! Todd ingeniously brings together the critical elements of the strategy execution puzzle, revealing with remarkable clarity the pathway to implementation success.
While many authors delve into the "elevated", more static aspects of business strategy like mission, vision and values, in this book, Todd focuses on critical aspects (every so often neglected) that warrant consistent achievement. The book is a practical guide for both executives and project managers.
Managing Partner, Pitcairn Partners
Former. VP Operational Excellence, Organizational Transformation, Emerson Automation Solutions
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Todd Williams has written a book which makes you think. It made me think about my acceptances of current governances and approaches to program management office in a whole new light. By applying lean concepts to achieve effective governance, Todd has changed the game. The notions of removing unnecessary governance, disbanding permanently staffed PMO, which we learn has many definitions, is poorly understood and mostly ineffective, with basic lean principles, will make you think too. This book offers valuable thought provoking advice and I have recommended it to all our steering committee executives and PM's.
Charles (Chuck) Elson
General Manager, Asset Management Solutions
A well defined strategy is worthless if it cannot be executed rapidly and efficiently. In Filling Execution Gaps, Todd Williams provides the guidance leaders need to successfully execute a strategy.
Chief Information Officer and Executive Advisor, MRE Consulting
Former, Chief Information Officer and Director Operational Support, Global Partners LP
Executing strategy through and with people is a critical skill and difference maker. All too often change management and leadership are overlooked; therefore, desired results are not achieved because the energy, commitment and engagement of the workforce are not maximized. Todd's work is an essential contribution with respect to helping executive leaders and project managers understand the magic that can occur when human capital is understood, harvested, cultivated and leveraged.
Chief Human Resources Officer
ManTech International Corporation
Todd gives us insight into the fundamental ingredients of what makes organizations tick.
Founder at Keyhubs and Neighborhood Forest, Adjunct Professor at MCTC
Innovation cannot be an organized plan of tasks and activities, but rather a means to embrace the uncertainty of future enabling factors. We need to align our culture and organization with executive leadership and modern process.
Mary Ann Coburn
VP, Enterprise ITPMO of the CIO
We have all been there. Kicking off well deserved projects with much fanfare only later to see them never achieving their full potential. There is a solution to this problem and Step One is to read this book!
Vice President & CFO
Columbia Cascade Company
When I read the chapters on Governance and PMOs, I realized that Todd put into words what I have experienced. At a former company we had a major disconnect between IT and our Sales Force which lead to losses in client relationships and revenue. This level of exposure got the attention of corporate executives and we created a steering committee that governed the approval, prioritization and standard services IT offered. In time this eliminated the gaps between Sales and IT and restored relationships with our clients along with creating revenue growth. The steering committee was disbanded later at the request of the executives because with the appropriate standards and processes in place we no longer had a need for high touch executive oversight and input. The committee served as an excellent way to obtain the necessary input and alignment from executives allowing IT to deliver services that added value and managed expectations with both internal and external clients.
Applying the concepts in this book will help form a true partnership between IT and Business units and establish IT services as strategic value enablers.
Vice President Information Technology
A quote from Chapter 3 in this book as a company is searching for a Project Manager reads. "We are looking for an anal-retentive, tenacious, asshole and we thought of you."
These traits are often overlooked in the politically correct world we live in where people are too busy looking for consensus builders who never get anything done or at least done on time. I always told my bosses that "I am not good enough to get results and have everybody like me. It is something I will continue to strive for but until I master it I will continue to put business results above being liked, let me know if this is a problem". They never did. If you can't tolerate having people not like you, do not become a Project Manager.
Successful project management requires cross-functional team work. If you are trying to do this in a strongly functional company, good luck. Todd Williams points out the pitfalls of far too many projects and provides insightful and practical advice for navigating around and sometimes, unfortunately, through them.
CR3 Partners, LLC
Todd’s book does an excellent job of defining the challenge of executive sponsorship of a project – the need for a sponsor to show accountability for the result combined with the need to establish shared accountability for project components. The executive sponsor must often perform multiple leadership roles, and this requires development and training to be successful.
Chief Executive, Society for Information Management
Enterprise Architect, Portland General Electric
This book is another home run for Todd Williams! I love the author’s writing style. He grasps the key concepts, then shares them in descriptive terms – “stepping up” “leading in” “unpacking” “showing up.” The quotes at the start of each chapter are inspiring. The questions at the end of the chapters are reflective. The content in-between holds the reader’s attention.
I greatly appreciate and value the use of real-world examples, extensive interviews, current companies, and research data. Anytime someone relates to my other favorite authors – Jim Collins and Tom Peters – count me in!
The author’s years of experience in project management shows he truly understands how things work in all sizes and types of companies – large, small, complex. I especially liked the “project stack” of the 4 levels of leadership on a project, and the roles/responsibilities of each. The author has some smart ideas for executive involvement that I can use.
The author’s thoughts on process caused me to ponder. I am an avid believer in ISO, where processes are documented, trained, and followed. It was interesting to get a different perspective about processes around projects, people and purpose. Thanks for sharing.
This book is a must-read for executives, middle management, project managers, and project teams!
Former COO, Cadence Management Corp.
PMI Nominating Committee, Leadership Advisor, and former Region 1 Mentor
Todd Williams provides a unique window into the role that effective leadership plays with projects. His insights on the game changing impact that leadership makes in terms project execution, help differentiate chapter 10 and 11 from other project leadership works.
Sr. Mgr. Talent & Organizational Development
GNP Company Careers
St. Cloud, Minnesota
Filling Execution Gaps: What Executives and Project Managers Need to Know to Execute Strategy Successfully is a great balance of methods and personal experience that delivers a practical approach to successful execution of projects. A must-read for any project Executive Sponsor!
Global Business Services Associate Partner
Suggesting the CEO as the executive sponsor for enterprise projects effecting change can be a game-changer for many organizations. This also necessitates CEOs engaged with such initiatives for the duration, which requires a mind-shift about the CEO role.
Chief Strategy Officer
Todd Williams has touched both macro and in detail micro level insights on execution in an organisation to align corporate goals and projects and retain sustainability. In today's VUCA and ambidextrous leadership times, congruence in tasks, structure, skills and behaviours is key to execution as a competitive edge.
Sanjay Razdan, MBA, AMP HBS, BE Electronics
Board Member, CyNation
Founding Partner, CapableCore
London, United Kingdom
In his latest book reviewing project execution gaps, Todd has been able to dissect the leadership components of not only projects but all organizations with the skill of a surgeon with a scalpel. It is not often you can see the insight in this type of analysis, many times an evaluator will apply standard worn out approaches to project issues. Todd has captured the nuances of leadership in projects and organizations at every level, not just the "executive" level as many seem to see it residing. Excellent insight and delivery!
Todd Williams knows a lot about getting failing projects back on track, and he has written an entire book about it. He also knows that it's always far better to avoid having projects get into trouble in the first place. His Filling Execution Gaps provides a thorough roadmap for initiating projects well and ensuring their progress toward successful completion. The focus of the book on organizational factors makes it a good reference for leaders at all levels, particularly at the upper levels where actions and decisions have such a significant impact--for better or for worse--on project outcomes.
Program Director, Project Management Curriculum
UC Berkeley Extension
Author of Number Project Management Books
San Carlos, California
If Emergence of the 'Me' Enterprise is a reflection of how organizations are learning to survive and thrive in this era of a clash of cultures between Baby Boomers and Millennials, then Todd Williams and Filling Execution Gaps shows how they're doing it. If you wish to learn how leading organizations manage to find structure amidst chaos, reading this book would be a good place to start.
G. Ross Kelly
Consultant and Former Executive HP
Co-Author: Emergence of the 'Me' Enterprise