Thursday, October 5, 2023

The Military Asks "What's A Waist?": A lesson for Strategy Execution and Digital Transformation

I read an article in the Wall Street Journal about how the Military tries to identify out-of-shape recruits. One of the factors for judging is waist size. The problem? The different branches of the Military define "a waist" differently.  

According to the article, the only guidance from the Department of Defense is "to come up with standards consistent with established scientific principles of physical training."  Thus, the different branches have developed different definitions of a person't waist. Which means that someone could be overweight in one service, but not in another:

1. The Army says it's a soldier's belly button.  

2. The Navy says it's at the iliac crest. 

3. The Air  & Space Force says it's between the lowest rib and the hip bone. 

4. Finally, the Marines use a formula that involves the sternum.

This provides a lesson for businesses wanting to execute projects, especially digital transformation,  If requirements and needs are not precisely defined, it will cause confusion during implementation, resulting in projects failing behind, running up costs, and not delivering the required business value.

© 2023 Praveen Puri