I was in a meeting with a prospective client a few months ago. The meeting didn't go well from a sales perspective.
The company that had called me in had decided that they wanted to deliver a different project, one that wouldn't require outside assistance. That's fine, these things happen.
I had to bite my tongue however, the result they were now heading for is not the one they wanted. They now had two projects on the table in front of them.
Project one (involving me) was aiming to reduce the amount of time a process took to complete, to standardise the delivery of the process and improve quality and speed together.
Project two was focussed on understanding the current process cycle times and changing the information held in their capacity planning system.
The client wants what the clients wants, but you have to ask yourself a question. "What result did they want in the first place?"
Do you ever get lost with your improvement projects? Do you start projects because you know the steps, or because you want the results?
Choosing the results and then figuring out the steps can be less comfortable, but a lot more rewarding.
Author of 'Business Process Re-Engineering', a practical plan to improve business performance.