How does the Half Double Methodology work?

Focus on three core elements - Impact, Flow & Leadership

Half Double is a project management approach based on actual human behavior, unpredictability and complexity. It has been tested and validated through numerous projects in various industries and been applied to a wide range of project types – and it works.
Half Double wheel

It is all about placing an extreme focus on three core elements

Our challenge is essentially to conceptualise a project methodology through research and collection of best-practice approaches. A project management approach that is based on actual human behaviour, unpredictability and complexity rather than assumptions of rationality and predictability.

All elements must be adopted to fit your organization
Local translation

Half Double is not a one size fits all approach. That is why we invented Local Translation. Local Translation enables your organization to achieve the benefits of the Half Double elements in a way that suits you, to match with your systems, desired culture and organization.

Behavioural science in relation to Half Double

Keynote speech by Paul Gibbons, author, speaker, and change management consultant, on how elements from behavioral science goes well hand in hand with the Half Double mindset.

Stakeholder satisfaction is the ultimate success criterion

Projects are not delivery machines, but endeavors set in motion to leave a lasting footprint in the world. The deliverables are not the end goal, but merely milestones on the road toward impact realization. Half Double puts forward a change of emphasis: from perfectly specified deliverables in a fixed contract to impact.

From only focusing on the cost side of the business case to following up on and tracking revenue. The core idea is to take home the winnings continuously throughout the project thereby reducing the time to impact and boosting the overall effect, sense of achievement, and stakeholder satisfaction.

The impact element explained

No project exists for the projects own sake. All projects are initiated to create impact. Identifying and focusing on impact right from the start is the key. Impact changes the dialogue from being centered on technical deliverables to how to ensure stakeholder satisfaction throughout the projects lifecycle.

half double impact case

Impact Method 1

Use the impact case to drive behavioral change and business impact


To ensure stakeholder satisfaction and to manage the project with impact in mind.


A prioritised overview of the project's business and behavioural targets to create project value.


  1. Build an objective hierarchy with purpose, success criteria and main deliverables.
  2. Identify business impact using the objective hierarchy and by asking “what business effect is needed?”
  3. Identify the necessary behavioural changes to realise business impact by asking "what will leaders and employees do differently/better afterwards?"
  4. Design few but critical and leading impact key performing indicators (KPIs).
  5. Gain commitment with project sponsor and upper management.
  6. Use KPIs to adjust for early impact realisation.


The impact case and impact KPI Tracking

Impact Case and Impact Tracking Template,  HALF DOUBLE methodology
Impact Solution Design,  HALF DOUBLE methodology

Impact Method 2

Design your project to deliver impact as soon as possible with end-users close to the solution


To reduce time to impact and enhanced early value creation in project execution.


The impact solution design is an overall road map of the project’s value creation from start to finish. The impact solution design is based on an insightful core idea to drive value creation and early project output.

The impact solution design process is a human-centered, learning-focused, hypothesis-driven approach used to gain early impact, reduce uncertainty and prove the “worth” of the project.

To formulate the core idea and build the impact solution design, a 5-step process is proposed to front-load insight and drive user, subject matter expert and key stakeholder involvement. Involvement will build early support for the impact solution design.


  1. Identify key stakeholders to be involved in the impact solution design process.
  2. Use the process to formulate the core idea for early impact creation and build the impact solution design based on this idea.
  3. Use fast prototyping, early learning and customer insight to support the process.
  4. Remember that the impact solution design process is not a predefined series of orderly steps but a system of “spaces” that usually will be looped a few times.


The Impact Solution Design

Impact Solution Design Template,  HALF DOUBLE methodology
Pulse Check Illustration,  HALF DOUBLE methodology

Impact Method 3

Be in touch with the pulse of your key stakeholders on a monthly basis


To navigate the project with stakeholder satisfaction. Pulse checks create the insights and dialogue needed amongst key stakeholders to ensure continuous focus on impact, energising working conditions, collaboration and personal development on the project.


An electronic questionnaire consisting of six questions sent out on a monthly basis and answered by key stakeholders providing the basis for an ongoing feedback dialogue.


  1. Identify and group key stakeholders.
  2. Adapt questions to organisational culture and respondent groups.
  3. Design pulse check process in alignment with project heartbeat and the rhythm in key events.
  4. Gain buy-in and communicate the purpose, the tool and the process to key stakeholders – early on!
  5. Initiate the process.
  6. Continuously enforce the process and follow up on people’s engagement.


The pulse check

Pulse Check Process,  HALF DOUBLE methodology

High intensity and frequent interaction to ensure continuous project progress

Projects are not just random tasks but demanding efforts in need of focus and energy. The work to be done is often unique in character and requires creativity, collaboration, and rapid feedback loops. The people involved and their sense of progress benefit from uninterrupted reflection and action. With Half Double, we acknowledge the demanding nature of projects.

Flow functions like an engine, providing the power to drive and realize the desired impact. We prioritize the project’s speed and progression. Rather than scattering resources across the portfolio, the right people are carefully selected and heavily allocated to allow for and ensure focus, intensity, and frequent interaction.

The Flow element explained

We want to create flow in the project. The whole project group should be busy at the same time – not just selected individuals in the project team. However, important project working hours are often lost in co-ordination, retrospective project reporting and shifts between multiple projects running simultaneously. We can do better. By focusing on the flow of the project, we are using simple methods to intensify project work, ensure the project progress every week and deliver results – faster.

Co-location design,  HALF DOUBLE methodology partners

Flow method 1

Allocate team +50% and ensure co-location. Reduce complexity in time and space to free up time to solve complex tasks


To enhance productivity and reduce lead time. High intensity will ensure weekly progression in the project.


Highly allocated core team resource with +50% of their time to work intensively on the project. Working on a maximum of two projects at the same time has proven the most efficient way of working with development.

Co-location will help the project to reduce issues with time and space to allow us to focus on solving complex problems. Co-location is about building the appropriate working conditions for high-intensity, accelerated learning loops that is anchored in the desired working culture.


  1. Identify core project members to be co-located.
  2. Establish commitment from management for +50% allocation and physical/virtual presence in the project.
  3. Identify workspace and prepare workspace design.
  4. Kick off and preserve the co-location set-up to support intensity.
  5. Initiate the fixed project heartbeat to support the rhythm in events and continuous resource allocation.


Co-location design

Co-location design,  HALF DOUBLE methodology partners
Impact Solution Design,  HALF DOUBLE methodology

Flow method 2

Increase insight and commitment using visual tools and plans to support progression


Make the project visual to enhance commitment, alignment and a common understanding. Visuals provide a quick overview of complexity, e.g. plans, and how each activity is connected with the overall idea.


Visuals can be used for e.g. fast prototyping, facilitation of group sessions and sprint planning.

The visual sprint plan is a detailed plan for the next month used for team work co-ordination, tracking progress and improvement ideas. The plan can also be virtual.


The visual sprint plan is used for detailed planning of the sprint (usually four weeks' duration). The plan is a short-term breakdown of the impact solution design (or overall milestone plan) leading to a tangible project output to create value.

  1. Gather the core team and share the project overview on the left side of the poster.
  2. Determine the sprint output to create value in the short term.
  3. Each team member breaks down activities for each day/week and shares it with the rest of the team to co-ordinate efforts.
  4. Define simple team performance indicators to follow up on progression e.g. # of activities completed per week.
  5. Brainstorm and evaluate possible project risks and define actions to mitigate.
  6. Brainstorm and identify sprint improvement ideas related to project output, process or people.
  7. Wrap-up: Conclude on actions and structure for weekly status meetings in the sprint.


Visual planning and project vitals

Visual planning and project vitals,  HALF DOUBLE methodology
Rhythm in key events, HALF DOUBLE methodology

Flow method 3

Define a fixed project heartbeat for stakeholder interaction to progress the project in sprints


A fixed project heartbeat and rhythm in key events create higher energy, higher efficiency, better quality and ultimately faster development speed.


The project designs and follows a specific pace that is built up of five key events: sprint planning, daily visual status, weekly solution feedback, planning the next week and review sprint solution.


Design the project heartbeat with five key events and gain commitment from key stakeholders to join the meetings:

  1. Sprint planning: Before a new sprint, the project plans the upcoming four weeks (2 hours). Use the overall impact solution design as the overall plan to break down in sprints.
  2. Daily visual status: On each day during the sprint, the team meets for a short status on progress and issues (15 minutes). The frequency of the status meetings has to be consistent with the intensity of the project.
  3. Weekly solution feedback: Once a week, the team receives feedback on the achieved output (30 minutes). A team of subject matter experts provide feedback to ensure high quality in the impact solution and provide input to the planning process.
  4. Plan next week: After the “weekly solution feedback” meeting, the project team plans the next week with daily tasks (45 minutes).
  5. Review sprint solution: At the end of each sprint (or midway), the project receives feedback on output from a review team consisting of key stakeholders such as the project owner and core users (90 minutes).


Rhythm in key events

Rhythm in key events, half double methodology

Leadership must embrace uncertainty and makes the project happen

Rather than merely viewing projects as carefully planned efforts set in motion to achieve a particular aim, we view projects as temporary organizations comprised of people. People with shifting agendas, motivational drivers and preferences. Individuals with unique needs who operate in a highly unpredictable world. The project — like any other organizational unit — therefore requires leadership that embraces uncertainty, while still ensuring alignment and progress.

Half Double proposes a shift from contract management to trust. From compliance to commitment. From viewing change as a cause of frustration to embracing it as an opportunity. And because we work in a world with easy access to infinite knowledge and highly trained employees, we need to shift from control to facilitation, involvement and ownership.

The Leadership element explained

We aspire to revolutionize the way projects should be lead. We need less bureaucracy, less formal steering committee meetings and less contractual focus. We need less compliance and more commitment. We need leaders who cope with turbulence, conflicts and people. Leaders, who focus on the human aspects, work closely together on a regular basis, handle issues and complexity in joint force and know the project in its core.

active ownership, half double methodology

Leadership method 1

Be an active, committed and engaged project owner to support the project and ensure stakeholder satisfaction


Research suggests one common denominator across all successful projects; An active and committed project owner who engages directly with the project on an ongoing basis.


Active project ownership creates strategic impact and ensures organizational commitment. However, the key here is the word active. It is not enough for the project owner to just commission a task. He or she must be actively involved in the realization of the desired impact of the project.

A project owner must be able to build consensus around the project’s impact targets within the organization, ensure relevant resources, and lead the way toward achieving the target.


  1. Own the impact - Pave the way for impact creation
    Create a mutual vision with clear impact objectives. Make it happen by participating in the Impact Solution Design workshops. Accelerate behavioral change in the organisation and ensure that the project is able to operate smoothly.
  2. Ensure resource commitment - +50% allocation of high caliber people
    The project owner needs to ensure proper resources at the right time throughout the project. This is done by allocating high caliber resources for the project with top and mid-level management.
  3. Show up and engage - At least 2 hours every week
    Through his or her presence, the project owner demonstrates the importance of the project and through direct contact he or she conveys leadership and decisions. The two dedicated hours might be invested as one hour in regular meetings included in the project rhythm (such as a biweekly project owner meeting and a biweekly review meeting) and one hour for informal touchpoints. To make availability for active ownership and decision making a maximum of three projects for each project owner is recommended. We encourage the mantra: Own it, or leave it!


Active project ownership approach

active ownership approach, half double methodology
Collaborative project leadership, half double methodology

Leadership method 2

Be a collaborative project leader (not manager) with a "people first" approach to drive the project forward


Projects consist of people and are created by people. Project are dynamic in nature and are constantly changing. The project leadership needs to account for this to ensure stakeholder satisfaction.


Projects consist of people and are created by people. Project are dynamic in nature and are constantly changing. The project leadership needs to account for this to ensure stakeholder satisfaction.


  1. Lead the impact - Be hard on impact and flexible on deliverables
    Define the impact case with team members, management and key stakeholders through the Impact Solution Design process. Ensure that everyone on the team understands and accepts the impact objectives and how each deliverable tap into them. If a deliverable is delayed, don’t ask: “What went wrong?” but “How will this affect the impact case?” and “What can we learn from this going forward?”
  2. Facilitate interactions - Energize team and key stakeholders with great facilitation and domain insight
    It is impossible to play every instrument yourself. The trick is to involve the relevant people and make the objectives visual. Let the team members influence the process as long as it supports the project’s impact case. Use visual methods to ensure that everyone is “playing from the same score”.
  3. Put people first - Create purpose, autonomy and mastery for the team and key stakeholders
    Create purpose and meaning for each individual. Every team member should know that they are included because the project needs their specific skills and that they are essential for the overall objectives. Tell them: “We can make a difference because of the specific skills you bring to the project.”


Collaborative leadership approach

collaborative leadership approach, half double methodology
Adaptive mindset approach, half double methodology

Leadership method 3

Apply a reflective and adaptive mindset - say yes to the mess


One of the most important leadership skills is the leader's adaptive competency. The ability to react swiftly and intelligently to whatever changes he or she might face. Having a personal drive and at the same time an ability to keep an eye on what happens when you act. In order to act swiftly and focused you also need to know who you are. You need to be conscious of what you do, why you do it and be able to read and learn from the consequences of your actions. At the same time you have to be able to read other people and their reactions. Enabling you to adjust your approach tap into their underlying motivational drivers and to make them follow you.


The reflective and adaptive mindset points out three states of mind that the active project owner and the collaborative project leader should subscribe to. Three focus areas to embrace in order to leverage your leadership.


  1. Say yes to the mess - Embrace the changing environment
    As a leader you must change your perception of uncertainty from being a threat to being a possibility. Projects are learning journeys and new insight changes the project all the time. You need to seize and exploit this for the benefit of the project.
  2. Embrace key stakeholders - Understand and act on key stakeholder behaviour
    Develop a mindset where you see any contact or disturbance as an opportunity to lead. When you’re approached, ask: “How can I help you?”. Make sure that everybody has the same comprehension of the situation. Further the case by deciding what should be done and by whom. Finally, ask: “Is there anything else I can do for your?”
  3. Know yourself - Be reflective in action
    Great leaders are able to adapt to the situation in real-time. You should reflect upon the dynamic as it happens to enable this skill. But also to apply it after action. Consider what went well and why as well as what went less well and could be changed next time. Knowing yourself and your own leadership model will help you to enhance this important skill.


Reflective and adaptive mindset

Reflective and adaptive mindset, half double methodology
half double Portfolio, How does it work in practice?

How does it work in practice? Half Double Projects and portfolios

The Half Double methodology is not just a theory that lives in books and articles. It is very much a practical approach that has been shaped and validated through numerous of projects, that have varied both in type and industry. Here, you will find information on how to get started with your own Half Double journey and make a positive impact.

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Empowering you to create more impact in your projects Half Double Certification and training

Half Double training and certification focuses on simplicity. You’ll learn new tools and practices to bring back to your organisation enabling you to create more impact in less time in your projects.

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