Six essential points for ensuring consistency in complex programmes
Clients are facing increasingly complex conundrums when managing projects and programmes. Be it working across multiple locations, or managing a number of projects at a single location. Ensuring consistency across all works – regardless of geography or time zone – is critical to meeting a basic project objective.
But how is this to be achieved? How do we get to “one version of the truth” and ensure all teams are not only working to the same objectives, but are making decisions based on the correct set of data? At Mace, we have undertaken delivery partner, programme management and project controls commissions across numerous projects, clients, sectors and industries and there are some key lessons we can share, regardless of your industry, whether you are in the private or public sector or size of your business:
- One size does not fit all: it is vital you understand what the business objectives are and tailor your solution around them, being mindful of cost and time factors when making your assessment;
- Disciplines do not change, but need to be adapted: “best practice” comes in many shapes and sizes. Understanding which is best suited to your company’s needs is the imperative of good project, programme and portfolio management;
- Building on lessons learnt: taking the lessons learnt from our retail clients who are very focused with efficiency savings as a benefit into our property and infrastructure clients brings a unique solution. Many clients can become very focused on the construction aspects of the project at the expense of value for money across their portfolio of works – being mindful of all aspects is vital to project success;
- Dealing with change: adapting and changing through the life cycle of any commission or project is crucial. Dealing with change should be part of any good solution and should not be avoided;
- Establish an assurance framework: understanding your business and project, and then building your delivery framework early around these needs is fundamental. Failure can often be attributed to not understanding those goals and not establishing the right framework; and,
- Driving performance improvement: if it’s set up properly then the data you obtain from the programme manager or delivery partner should be able to start to provide evidence and trends and benchmarks that enable you to incrementally improve your business. It is about having solutions and environments that can be adapted to each commission’s unique needs, but always aligning to industry “best practice” standards. It is vital that we understand where the delivery responsibility aspects lie and how we assure delivery certainty, as well as managing and driving the required benefits. We’ve asked some of our client experts to share their experience and lessons of using a delivery partner and managing PMO. Despite working across sectors, geographies and public and private, you’ll see some common themes we can all learn from.
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“There is only one cake,” I stated to the rather amused group in front of me. “And it’s only fair, if more than one person helped bake that cake, that they each get a slice of the cake.”
Many people think of an initiative in terms of “deliver the project” and then “realise the benefits”. I thought I would share an approach concerned with a business, or technical, “capability”, that focuses on use of the capability to realise the benefits.
APM’s Contracts and Procurement Specific Interest Group’s long-awaited APM Guide to Contracts and Procurement: For Project, Programme and Portfolio Managers has been published and is available from the APM bookshop online.