Project Recovery

October 17th, 2008   •   no comments   

When projects start to get out of control it is normal practice to involve outside assistance to discover why the situation exists and to recommend ways of putting this right. Being detached from the problem, the consultant is positioned to ask probing and sometimes obvious questions without appearing to be apportioning blame.

Templar Consulting have devised a structured approach to project problem solving, which is an extension our Project Assessment Methodology. (PrAM). This approach takes the form of a series of meetings and interviews together with the collection and analysis of the various project documentation.

From this assessment, it is then possible to draw conclusions and present the findings in whatever format is required e.g. report, presentation etc. This will also recommend ways in which the project can be brought back under control.

 

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Project Audit

October 17th, 2008   •   no comments   

Just as Quality Management Systems (QMS) are periodically audited, so must project management processes. Where organisations are using a methodology such as PRINCE2, we will check on how this is being applied and whether it is proportionate. One common failing is that the project methodology can consume a large proportion of the project resources for a disproportionate level of return. Alternatively, where there is a lack of adherence to project methodology, this leads to problems in control and communications. We can help get this right.

To achieve this we will carry out a structured audit similar to a Quality Audit that many will be familiar with. At the end of the audit, a report will be produced detailing the findings together with recommendations for improvements. This inexpensive service will ensure that the investment in the methodology and therefore the anticipated benefits of this are being realised.

Where organisations have their own methodology, we can provide a bespoke auditing service designed specifically for that organisation. We would firstly create the necessary auditing forms and templates which can then either be applied by Templar Consulting or by the internal auditors within 

 

 

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Project Assurance

October 17th, 2008   •   no comments   

Project Assurance services are designed to measure the extent to which a specific project or programme is performing against an agreed set of criteria. They focuses not simply on whether the project is on track in terms of time, quality and budget but also identify areas for improvement. Often, the role is undertaken on behalf of the project sponsor.

We have developed the Project Assurance Methodology (PrAM©) that provides the framework for our analysis and enables us to easily identify quick wins as well as other areas that require longer-term improvements. The best time to introduce this is at the start of the project but it can be introduced at some later point. Where a project is already underway, we recommend starting with a project assessment, which then acts as a baseline for future measurements.

The outputs from the service detail how the specific project or programme is performing against agreed criteria. They also contain recommendations on how to bring about controlled improvements. These will be presented in a positive way since it is designed to be helpful rather than critical. The scope of the assessment would be agreed with the client but would typically include:

  • an assessment of whether the project’s objectives and scope are clearly understood and communicated and whether they are still relevant
  • reviewing of the business case to determine whether it is still valid and relevant
  • an assessment of the resource requirements against resource plan and identify any discrepancies
  • reporting on the dynamics within the project team and identification of any resource issues
  • reviewing of the project plans to determine whether they are at the right level of detail, are up to date and are relevant to the project’s objectives
  • reviewing and reporting on financial controls and highlight issues
  • examining and reporting on project controls to determine whether they are being carried out effectively e.g. regular reporting
  • examining the project logs to ensure they are being kept up to date
  • report on whether the project methodology is being adhered to and make recommendations
  • highlighting areas of strength an weakness
  • proposing actions aimed at bringing about measurable improvements
  • carrying out a follow-up exercise at a later date to measure the improvement

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Project Startup and Definition

October 17th, 2008   •   no comments   

You wouldn’t expect to hit a target if you couldn’t see it. Similarly, you can’t expect to meet project objectives if you don’t have a clear definition of what these are. At the start of the project it is common for different people to have different ideas. The process of Project Definition is all about distilling the many views, opinions and perspectives into a common consensus that describes key information about the project. These are:

  • the project’s objectives and scope
  • timescales, budget and functional requirements
  • the expected benefits and the business case
  • the demarcation of duties between all parties – including third part suppliers and the users!
  • risks, constraints, external influences and contingencies for dealing with them
  • assumptions made
  • key success factors
  • the approach to be adopted
  • deliverables or products that must be produced
  • project interdependencies
  • communications policy
  • criteria for project completion and acceptance

Unless the above has been documented, communicated and agreed by all relevant parties, the project risks being out of control from the very start. The following will almost certainly arise (not might):

  • disputes concerning who does what – especially in the areas of delivery and testing
  • disputes over whether the delivered system is what the client expected – and who pays to put it right
  • key decision makers not finding the time to attend key meetings and delegating their responsibilities to more junior personnel – then overturning that decision some time later
  • refusal to accept and to sign off key documents and deliverables
  • disputes over whether a particular payment is due and how much that should be for

These can and must be avoided as they will cause conflict, add to the cost, reduce quality and take longer than necessary. Our services are designed to take a team through the necessary steps including facilitated workshops leading to Project Definition in the form of a Project Charter, Project Definition Document or Project Initiation Document etc

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Project Assistance Overview

October 14th, 2008   •   no comments   

Our Project Assistance range of services are designed to ensure that a particular project get off the best possible start and remains on track throughout its lifecycle. The services can be used at any point in a project lifecycle but should be used from the outset to gain maximum benefit.

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