One of the key criteria for a Breakthrough Project is that it delivers bottom-line benefit. I have often found this challenging to achieve within the time constraint of ten to twelve weeks. Often we can make real progress on a project but bottom-line benefit is harder. That means the project must deliver real value to the client.
In my example of moving the data centre, there was real benefit. In the prototyping example about the data being available online, the benefit was not proceeding with a multi-million dollar project that would fail. I think the Working Data Store example is a clear breakthrough although I do not know the length of the first phase. Production prototyping or some similar approach is a good source of breakthroughs.
Harvey says in his book, Riding the Tiger, a development project of a new application needs three versions before it really is finished. First is for concept testing, second is for design testing and the third for bullet proof production. Each one should deliver bottom-line value.
Even if the criterion is a challenging one, use your creativity to discover the breakthrough project that delivers bottom-line value with you breakthrough project. No excuses allowed.
Revision – Changed name of Harvey’s book to Riding the Tiger and added a link.