Workshop: Thinking systematically about benefits

Andrew Gray, BMT Hi-Q Sigma (and APM Systems Thinking SIG), Principal Consultant and David Liversidge, BMT Hi-Q Sigma, Principal Consultant

Introduction

In their introduction, David and Andrew outlined how introducing change to a world which is itself constantly changing, introduces increased complexity.

This necessitates looking beyond traditional P3M to complementary disciplines; to see whole patterns, relationships and underlying structures within the systems into which we are delivering change. This would then allow change management to be applicable not only in simple environments, but also truly complex ones.

Core workshop

Thinking both systemically [i.e. in terms of the cause and effect and interrelationships within the system driving benefits] and systematically [in terms of following a structured, step by step approach to tackling benefit] are explained as the cornerstones of systems thinking.

During the workshop attendees were invited to list their main challenges relating to benefits management and then theme them thinking about the root causes of these challenges. David and Andrew then went on to outline how these themes could be overcome by using systems thinking and agile approaches.

The collected themes were:

  • Involving stakeholders
  • Culture and behaviour
  • Data led culture
  • Governance

Andrew Gray, BMT Hi-Q Sigma, Principal Consultant and APM Systems Thinking SIG 

Andrew is an experienced project and programme manager with a blend of practical and theoretical knowledge of the management of engineering activities across the product development cycle. From an engineering background in the aerospace sector spanning 20 years he has led teams in multi-discipline, multi-site and multi-cultural environments. Andrew now works for BMT Hi-Q Sigma where he advises clients in all aspects of complex change management – predominantly in the defence sector, but currently he is advising a client on aspects of the future decommissioning of nuclear power stations. Andrew is a UK and European Chartered Engineer, and a member of the APM, the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the International Council for Systems Engineering (INCOSE).

Andrew is a past committee member of the APM Programme Management SIG, where he co-authored the recent update to the “Introduction to Programme Management” guide, but he is now the secretary to the APM Systems Thinking SIG. This new SIG has grown out of a joint working group between APM and INCOSE UK formed in 2013 and which is soon to publish via the APM a range of guidance addressing the integration of P3M and Systems Engineering disciplines. Past conference publications in this area include a paper at the Annual Systems Engineering Conference in 2015, and a related co-authored paper will soon be presented at the INCOSE International Symposium 2017 in Adelaide.

David Liversidge, BMT Hi-Q Sigma, Principal Consultant and APM Programme Management SIG

With over 25 years of ‘hands on’ delivery experience in the Defence and Energy sectors, David is an experienced programme manager and systems engineer with a proven track record in successfully delivering complex projects and programmes both technical and business change. David is a chartered professional engineer and a full member of the Association for Project Management (MAPM). His experience of Systems Engineering and Programme management has shown him how these two disciplines combine to produce a powerful basis for tackling the delivery of complex, technically driven change programmes at all stages in the life cycle.

David first got involved in Benefits Management in 2000 as part of the MOD’s Smart Acquisition change programme where he helped develop a benefits tracking process and tool for the newly formed Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO). David has put Benefits Realisation Management at the heart of a number of programmes he has been responsible for, including the Land Environment Tactical Communications and Information Systems programme, the System of Systems Approach (SOSA) programme, Maritime Combat Systems Convergence programme and the EDF Carbon Deposition programme.

David lives in Bath with his wife and two boys. David is a keen runner and walker.

Write up by Ravi Joshi
Benefits Management SIG committee member

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