All of our client engagements involve projects management. Our main observation is that common sense must prevail, avoiding the situation where there is more projects management methodology than project.
“…Matt is a very capable project manager with first class people skills, capable of delivering complex projects with a high degree of sensitivity…” Ivor Lyons-Pumfrey (5 May, 2012)
If you would like to discuss projects management further, please make contact using the Online Form. Remember at PACE-Consulting.co.uk all services are offered at extremely competitive hourly and daily rates or as fixed priced packages to ensure you get the maximum return on your investment.
We believe the following are particularly important for good project management: –
- Start with a short brief – Gain authority from the budget holder to start work (email is fine)
- Create a Business Case(s) – The what and why, but only needed if a ‘Return on Investment’ is required
- Write the Project Initiation Document(s) – The how and by who, containing enough information to fully define each project
- Develop the plan – Created with specialist software, such as Microsoft Project, but only circulated in formats that recipients can read such as PDF (you’ll be amazed who claims they didn’t see their action because they couldn’t open the attachment).
- Maintain risk, issue and action Logs – Used to keep track of everything that occurs along the way
- Produce regular highlight reports – Important for keeping key stakeholders and sponsors informed of progress
- Always complete the Project – When you do, compare what was delivered against the original goals and objectives set
- Formally close the project – Capturing important lessons learned, because there is little point in making the same mistakes twice
Projects management methodologies, such as Prince 2 and Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) are definitely an effective way of controlling projects & programmes, they are proven after all. The challenge is the extent they rely on an ability to accurately estimate the resources and timescales required in the first place and for Business Improvement activities in particular that is not always easy. Maintaining the right balance is key.
These are our projects management lessons learned: –
- The internal cost of managing a project should equate to no more than 20% of the total project value (10% if outsourced).
- Not sure on how to plan a project, then identify ten key milestones, each delivered by ten tasks.
- Find out how stakeholders want to be kept informed and include a ‘communication’ task as each milestone is delivered.
- Create ‘pull’ from the business by agreeing budgetary savings ahead of the project starting.
- Change projects are a great place to learn new skills and so be clear on how everyone directly involved is going to be developed and how they will use those new skills after the project closes.
- Assign your best people to work on these types of projects and back-fill posts if needed. Understanding how to bring about lasting change is an immense skill to have in any organisation, reducing the need to bring in external consultants in the future.
- Technology on its own is unlikely to improve anything, getting people on board is the key.
- Listen and respond positively to all feedback, if someone has taken the trouble to comment it may provide an ideal opportunity to get them on board.
- Never be afraid to stop and start again. Yes there will be red faces, but if you start to discover major flaws in the original thinking, what’s worse – stopping or carrying on?
- Meet regularly as a project team even if not much has changed, it is amazing how varied different team members understanding of the most basic aspects of the project will be.
Remember at PACE-Consulting.co.uk all services are offered at extremely competitive hourly and daily rates or as fixed priced packages to ensure you get the maximum return on your investment. To discuss any of the services offered, including partnership working oppotunities, please make contact using the Online Form.