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Watermelon Status

Have you ever received a watermelon status report?

The chances are high that you probably just read one and don't yet know it:

well-formatted with nice shades of green to indicate the status of the work, but when you dig in, the work is a dark shade of red and on the precipice of catastrophe.


This is a simplified version of what a recent large retail clothing client needed help with: work that was already delayed began failing everywhere at the very last mile and the client needed to develop new behaviors in its product development and execution function to improve delivery (without a 18 month transformation roadmap).


They needed help NOW.


Below is the descriptive health model we developed and asked the leaders of the largest, most strategic bodies of work to pay attention to (though it applies at any grain of work) while developing workshops and other modules to help with the concepts contained within each domain.


If the answer to ANY of these questions was unhealthy relative to the maturity and type of the work, the team needed to make a change (note: the typical "scope, schedule, cost" questions appear at the very END of the exercise - that is intentional).


15 questions may seem like a lot, but I can promise you that these are the bare minimum you need to answer:


🎁 Value

1. Is the end customer receiving the intended benefit? Any benefit?

2. How often is the end customer receiving benefits?

3. Are the benefits aligned to organizational goals?


🦋 Change

4. How engaged is the team working on the product?

5. Does the team have the skills required to produce the work?

6. Are the impacted function(s) willing to accept the change as a result of the work?

7. Are the impacted function(s) equipped to accept the change as a result of the work?

8. How supportive are the key stakeholders of the work?


⚠ Risk

9. How often do things break and what's the impact?

10. What's the potential of things breaking?

11. How frequently is the team learning about itself, its work, and the customer?


🏗 Work

12. Is the scope at an appropriate level of uncertainty for the type and maturity of work?

13. Is the frequency of change appropriate?

14. Does the projected timeline take into account all of the above questions?

15. Is the monetary investment in the work appropriate given the answer to all of the above questions?


What's your favorite question? What did we miss?


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