Deliver change excellently through project and programme management
Complex transformation is notoriously hard to get right. We’ve all seen the stats and stories about failure, with programmes out of control and delivery teams lost in the detail, making poor decisions, losing stakeholder confidence, and ultimately not achieving the promised business value. Do you have the right level of project and programme management in place to deliver change successfully?
So, how do you maximise the chances of success?
As we said in our blog, ‘Mobilising a change programme’ the first step is to invest up-front to set-up brilliantly. The next step is to get moving – great ideas mean nothing if they are not turned into action and driven with pace.
No one can guarantee you will hit every milestone, so don’t believe that sales pitch! Conditions change, assumptions prove invalid and consequently milestones will move. However, get the right capability and delivery mechanisms in place and you can remain in control, so when things do move, you understand the implications and you know how to react. It will still be hard work and there will be challenges along the way, but ultimately you will have much more chance of landing the outcomes you set-out to achieve.
Four steps to effective project and programme management
#1 Engage highly capable leadership and a strong delivery team
Don’t underestimate the capability required to lead a transformation, and don’t assume that you necessarily have this capability to hand, in-house. This is a specialised skillset to provide pace and confidence, driving the key outcomes with independence and full visibility, working with the business sponsor to keep all stakeholders on board.
Inject the right mix of talent into the delivery teams, pushing forward critical areas of delivery across business and IT change, removing blockers and managing effective teams. Make sure that you have all areas covered, and focus in on often problematic areas, such as data, establishing clear data governance, working across data management, insight and analytics, providing a robust data migration and cutover strategy if required.
#2 Focus on the business outcome and ensure all areas are pulling for the change
Establish solution ownership and ensure an ongoing match to the business strategy, maintaining design coherence across the delivery streams as the transformation progresses. Stand-up a dedicated business change team to foster excellent engagement across business stakeholders so that all areas are pulling for the change and readying themselves to realise the benefits.
#3 Join-up delivery across all methods and locations
In the same way as our airspace needs governance and control to avoid crashes and make sure the right planes land in the right places, a complex transformation also needs associated ‘air-traffic control’. You may have agile delivery teams, waterfall projects, teams working remotely and multiple delivery partners, all of which need to be joined-up to ensure alignment to the overall transformation. All contributing business value in the right order, with all dependencies and linkages to the overall solution understood.
#4 Drive decisive decisions via transparent reporting and governance
Establish one version of the truth, with robust programme controls around risk, issues, planning, progress, finance, resourcing and communications. Feed this into the right level of governance (light enough to remain efficient, but strong enough to hold delivery to account), so that the right decisions can be made at the right time.
Don’t become a delivery failure statistic. Take our advice and look forward to an excellent delivery experience.
Do you need Change expertise?
At Project One, we help and support many of our customers in driving transformational change. This usually involves seeding in a small team of change experts, for example a programme director, programme delivery managers (agile or waterfall), business change leads and a PMO. We work as one team with our customers, transferring knowledge whist driving delivery. This often involves helping our customers to manage other delivery partners, orchestrating the delivery to the required plan.
If you would like to discuss your project and programme management challenges, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Programme assurance, recovery or implementing change, our change experts work with you on your most complex business transformation.
Recognised as a leading management consultancy by the Financial Times, we deliver complex change and transformation programmes.