Supplementary Project Services
We recognise that from time to time organisations may need to supplement their project teams with specialised expertise to address particular areas of the delivery life cycle. With this in mind we have developed a number of complementary services to bolster your existing project team. Below are a number of services we currently provide but we would be happy to discuss any other requirements you may have. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at +44 (0) 7771 784 246 or use our feedback form here..
The initiation stage of the project sets the foundation for the remainder of the project. This stage is intended to ensure that quality planing, the project plan, the business case, all known risks, the project controls and the project file are agreed and the project initiation document is complete. The output from this stage is an agreed Project Initiation Document (PID).
We offer a service that pulls all of these aspects together into a single coherent document (the PID) so that all stakeholders have a reference to how the project is structured, individual's responsibilities, the management controls in place and the agreed deliverables.
Project Stage Reviews
Most projects will be planned around a number of stages or phases. Usually only projects of a short duration or those that are not complex in nature will consist of one or two stages. Typically a project will consist of five or more stages. Several recently introduced methodologies aim to deliver business benefit by delivering rapid multiple releases iteratively creating many stage boundaries.
Regardless of the chosen development method it is important that as the project progresses each stage boundary is reviewed to ensure that the stage exit criteria have been met and that all the criteria for entry to the next stage are satisfied.
We provide a service to bolster your team at these critical milestones in your project. We can manage the stage boundaries on your behalf or we can provide experienced resource to supplement your team to help plan and implement the stage boundary reviews.
Project Sponsors need to be confident that project is being managed well, that the necessary management controls are in place and that the designated processes are being adhered to.
The project assurance service is a part-time role, typically 2 or 3 days a month dependent on the complexity of the project. The service provides assurance to the project executive that identified project risks and issues are being managed correctly, the project schedule is being adhered to and the project finances are being recorded correctly.
Project Plan / Schedule Review
The project plan (schedule) is the project manager's everyday tool for measuring and reporting progress made. One of the criteria that must be met prior to commencing a new stage is that a sufficiently detailed project plan has been developed for day-to-day control of assigned tasks and a baseline is established to measure actual progress against planned progress.
This service reviews the logic of the plan to ensure no orphan tasks exist, that resources are assigned to each task, that resources are levelled, the duration of tasks are not excessive and there are not an excessive number of tasks without predecessors.
Typically this would be a 2 to 3 day assignment dependent on the quality of the plan made available for review.
An often neglected and overlooked aspect of project management often until it's too late. This service ensures that risks to the project are correctly recorded, their impact and likelihood of occurring is assessed and a mitigation for each risk is recorded.
As a parallel activity risks that have matured into issues and issues that have been raised seperately are also managed as part of this service.
Typically this service is provided remotely by telephone and email for recording purposes with an on-site presence for project reviews and project board reviews.
Independent workshop facilitation can be extremely valuable and beneficial during the requirements gathering stage of the project. The independent facilitator is often seen as a fair arbiter as they do not have any vested interest to protect. A further benefit is that it leaves project members, in particular the project manager and business analyst free to concentrate on the content of the workshop without having to worry about stimulating debate or keeping participants on topic.
Independent facilitation can also be very useful later in the project life cycle, for example to moderate Fagan document reviews, design reviews or cross dependency workshops.
There can be conflict with the need to deliver on time on budget projects and the desire to offer staff opportunities to grow their expertise. These tensions can result in less experienced project leaders being passed over for the more challenging project management roles, hindering career progression and possibly leading to staff dissatisfaction.
Mentoring is an excellent way to support people in the role by passing on support, guidance and advice. This approach helps junior or inexperienced members of staff to grow into the role without running the risk of failing due to their inexperience.
Typically mentoring would be provided on a full time basis at the start of a project and as the project progresses and confidence and experience grow, the mentoring would tail off to one day a week towards the end of the project.
Projects can and sometimes do get out of control. There are many reasons why projects find themselves in poor health, lack of controls, poor business requirements, scope creep, poor change management to name just a few - the list is almost endless. We have expertise that can help you regain control of your project and recover it back to health.
We look at all aspects of the project and determine where improvements need to be applied to the project controls. We determine what action needs to be taken to recover the project over what period of time. We determine the estimated cost of the recovery action and how the additional cost may affect the original business case.
If the benefits portrayed in the business case are no longer realisable, we can also help you close the project in an orderly manner and protect any assets that have been produced. We can also facilitate "a lessons learnt" workshop and a follow-up document to ensure any mistakes that were made are captured and future projects can learn from them.
Managed Service Definition
A managed service can be an excellent way for an organisation to extend its capabilities without having to directly invest in new infrastructure, platforms, skills and training. The managed service model enables organisations to mitigate risk and realise increased benefits. However it is imperative that expectations on both sides are fully understood, agreed and documented to avoid future disappointment.
Our service helps to mitigate the risk of disappointment by working with your chosen managed service partner to develop appropriate models to ensure on time, on budget project delivery of your new managed service, defined responsibilities and accountability, agreed service levels, management reporting and service excellence.
Readiness for Service Reviews
All projects have a start, a middle and an end. But it is the transition of the solution at the end of the project into business as usual that can cause organisations unnecessary pain. Our service helps plan the transition to ensure it happens smoothly and without drama. For example we will determine
that support channels and problem escalation paths are defined and documented, service level agreements are in place, service availability is monitored and reported, responsibilities and contractual boundaries are defined and documented.
The scope of the service we provide is very comprehensive and helps organisations avoid the pitfalls inherent with the introduction of new systems. It also helps your service management team concentrate on the day-to-day running of existing systems without the distraction of having to be in the detail of planning the transition to the new system.
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