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David McKean IT Management Projects, programs and business change Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 2 IT Management: Projects, programs and business change © 2012 David McKean & bookboon.com ISBN 978-87-403-0173-1 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 3 IT Management: Projects, programs and business change Contents Contents About the author and IT Leaders 7 1 An introduction to IT projects, programmes & change 9 2 Project success guidelines 1 – Get off to a good start 11 2.1 Choose good projects (be careful what you ask for) 11 2.2 Choose the right time to start 12 2.3 Choose a good team 12 2.4 Be clear on what is being delivered 14 2.5 Create a high level architecture 15 3 Project success guidelines 2 - Managing project progress 17 3.1 Develop strong project management skills 17 3.2 Make them sweat the small stuff 19 3.3 Keep a high level overview for yourself 21 3.4 Tips for managing costs, contracts and suppliers 21 3.5 Set up good project governance 23 The next step for top-performing graduates Masters in Management in Management provides specific and tangible foundations for a successful career in business.s employment rate was 95% within 3 months of graduation*; the majority of graduates choosing to work in consulting or financial services. to the School’s network of more than 34,000 global alumni – a community that offers support and opportunities throughout your career. For more informatit ww.london.ed, email@example.com give us a call on+44 (0)20 7000 757.3 *Figures taken from London Business School’s Masters in Management 2010 employment report Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 4 Click on the ad to read more IT Management: Projects, programs and business change Contents 3.6 Communicate clearly to all parties 25 3.7 Keep measuring value (SPRINT) 26 3.8 The art of managing project portfolios 28 4 Project success guidelines 3 - Closing the project 32 4.1 Get ready early for the “go-live” 32 4.2 Make the change “irreversible” 33 5 Risk Management - 5 things to know 35 5.1 The basic calculation – Problems vs. Risks? 35 5.2 The Risk Register 35 5.3 Assumption based risk analysis 37 5.4 A smart way of visualizing risk profiles 40 5.5 Quality based costing and Monte Carlo 42 6 Change leadership 46 6.1 The special role that IT managers play in business change 46 6.2 Success guidelines for business change 46 6.3 The emotional side of (business) change (DREC) 48 6.4 The importance of a good team 51 Join EADS. A global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. Let your imagination take shape. EADS unites a leading aircraft manufacturer, thelearning and development opportunities, and all the support you need, helicopter supplier, a global leader in space pryou will tackle interesting challenges on state-of-the-art products. worldwide leader in global security solutions and systems to form Europe’s largest defence and aerospace group. MoWe take more than 5,000 interns every year across disciplines 140,000 people work at Airbus, Astrium, Cassidiaranging from engineering, IT, procurement and ﬁnance, to in 90 locations globally, to deliver some of thestrategy, customer support, marketing and sales. Positions are exciting projects. available in France, Germany, Spain and the UK. An EADS internshipoffers the chance to use your theoretical knowledge and apply it ﬁrst-hand to real situations and assignments apwitww.jobs.ead. You can also during your studies. Given a high level of responsibility, plenty of ﬁnd out morepage.urEADS Careers Facebook Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 5 Click on the ad to read more IT Management: Projects, programs and business change Contents 7 Outline of the top project frameworks 54 7.1 International standards 54 7.2 PRINCE2 55 7.3 Project Management Institute 55 7.4 Agile Development 56 8 In conclusion 62 8.1 Take time to reflect 62 8.2 Staying ahead 62 Excellent Economics and Business programmes at: “The perfect start of a successful, international career.” CLICK HERE to discover why both socially and academically the University of Groningen is one of the best places for a student to be www.rug.nl/feb/education Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 6 Click on the ad to read more IT Management: About the author and IT Leaders Projects, programs and business change About the author and IT Leaders David McKean is a former CIO, having worked for several multi-national companies around the world, including AT&T ventures in Asia, UPC Nederland in Holland and Cable &Wireless in the UK. He is now the managing director of IT Leaders Ltd, a leading provider of IT management training. He has worked alongside some of the top IT leaders in the business and shared experiences with countless IT managers and CIO’s from around the world. IT Leaders runs public and in-house courses, as well as providing distance learning and blended programmes. Public courses are run regularly in the UK and internationally, and are accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management. Delegates include IT managers from all companies world- wide of every size and industry. Our clients include Accenture, Allen & Overy, Alstom, Amey, Barclays, Boeing, BT, Capita, Debenhams, DHL, HP, HSBC, John Laing, Philips, Rothschild, Royal Bank of Canada and Siemens. The IT Leaders programme looks at 8 key IT leadership skills, including organizational politics for IT managers, leading IT teams, business and IT strategy, technology innovation, crisis leadership, business change leadership, senior level influencing and corporate leadership. The IT business management programme topics include IT to business alignment, business relationship management, communications skills for IT managers, operational excellence and managing IT teams. The IT commercial management programme is run jointly with Mayer Brown, a leading provider of legal services in IT sourcing market. Topics include IT sourcing frameworks, creating a sourcing strategy, key contractual considerations for IT managers, service level agreements, negotiation strategy, negotiation skills, vendor assessment and finance for IT managers. The blended and distance learning programmes are available world-wide and are based on the 10 management skills model developed by IT Leaders. Courses are live and interactive, using on-line seminars, e-learning and assignments backed by a comprehensive course guide and mentoring from the course leader. IT Leaders also runs a vibrant network of IT Managers, available to former delegates and all other IT managers for a small annual subscription. The network group is vendor independent and meets three times a year. There is also a LinkedIn IT Leaders network which is open to IT managers from all disciplines. The best way to join is to connect to the author David McKean and request an invitation to the network. I would like to express my particular thanks to the expertise of key contributors - Iain Begg for guidelines for successful project delivery (www.imb-consulting.co.uk), Keith Baxter of DeRisk on risk management (firstname.lastname@example.org) and VersionOne for their summary of agile methods (www.versionone.com). I would also like to thank Mark, Wes, John, Peter and Stephen for their case stories. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 7 IT Management: Projects, programs and business change About the author and IT Leaders This book is based on the experiences of our delegates and additional interviews with CIO’s of several leading organizations. If you have any comments or IT management guidance that you would like to be considered for future editions, please feel free to email me at email@example.com You can also purchase David McKean’s printed book IT Management: Managing People 1 on Amazon. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 8 IT Management: Projects, programs and business change An introduction to IT projects, programmes & change 1 An introduction to IT projects, programmes & change This book is the third of four in our IT management series. It covers the management of IT projects, programmes and business change leadership. Other books in the series cover IT management skills for managing people (book 1), IT strategy & innovation (book 2) and IT business, operational and commercial excellence (book 4). The outline of the books in the series is shown in table 1 below. Book 1 - Managing people Book 2 - IT strategy and technology innovation Managing yourself Business strategy Managing IT teams IT strategy Business relationship management Technology innovation Working with senior execs Communicating and governance of IT strategy Book 3 - Managing IT projects & leading change Book 4 - Business management & operational performance Project & programme management IT to business alignment Project portfolio management A model for IT governance Guidelines for project & programme excellence Models for operational excellence Risk management Crisis management & leadership The role of IT managers in leading business changeTechnology sourcing & negotiation Finance for IT managers Table 1 In putting together this series of books, I asked IT managers what they want to know to do their job better? This book presents guidelines and best practice from our own experience, feedback from course delegates and clients, guidelines from our on-line IT managers network and interviews with CIO’s and other senior technology leaders. To be clear from the outset, let us define what is meant by projects, programmes, portfolio management and change leadership and which areas we are planning to cover: Project management - A project tends to be linear and temporary, addressing the implementation of one new component and therefore. Because this book is aimed at more senior managers, it offers guidelines for those managers who might be looking after a team of project managers. We also look at project portfolio management, the art of managing progress on a series of projects run by several project managers Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 9 IT Management: Projects, programs and business change An introduction to IT projects, programmes & change Programme management - In contrast, programme management tends to be the implementation of a larger change, usually requiring the co-ordination of several related sub-projects to deliver a final result. Senior managers may well be running one programme and overseeing the delivery of smaller sub-projects into an integrated whole. We look at some of the important techniques for managing these larger scale programmes. The following diagram shows the relation between projects, programmes, portfolio management and business as usual (BAU). ▯ Business change leadership - This is the art of ensuring that a large project or programme is fully accepted and adopted by the organization. It is concerned with the people side of implementing a (usually major) business programme. It recognizes that such business programmes may substantially change the way that individual employees do their work and that this can cause significant anxiety and resistance. This book is intended to act as a guide for managers who are involved in any or all of the above activities. Since most IT managers have experience in running projects, this books presents insights experience and guidelines to make your projects, programmes and change initiatives more successful. Nonetheless, if this is a new area for you, chapter 7 gives some background on two of the best known project frameworks. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 10 IT Management: Projects, programs and business change Project success guidelines 1 - Get off to a good start 2 Project success guidelines 1 – Get off to a good start Our first set of guidelines focus on the selection of projects themselves and setting a strong foundation for successful project delivery. 2.1 Choose good projects (be careful what you ask for) Most business cases that go before the project review committee seem to be really great ideas at the time, only to lose their shine after only a few weeks. And yet, most of the reasons that projects go off the rails are entirely predictable at the beginning of the project. All the more reason to make sure that the project approval decisions are correct. If you are fortunate to be part of the project review process, you should be asking some very tough questions at the outset - and not in a few weeks time when things aren’t going so well. In summary, you should be asking questions in four key areas (see section 3.8 on project portfolio management for more detail), in particular: 1. Strategic priorities - if you think that your organization is going to review or change its strategic priorities and that this in turn will materially affect the need for this project, the best advice is to put it on hold 2. The business case - experience tells us that this is the area where most projects are wrongly assessed. Make sure you are really clear on the benefits, remembering that some benefits (e.g. direct cost savings) are more easily attainable and more valuable than others (e.g. revenue projections) 3. The ease of project delivery - the resources for the project should be properly sized, taking into account the experience of the project team and allowing for a project contingency (either an allowance in delaying the delivery date, or budget over-run). Additional care should be taken at project approval time, if adding such a contingency severely reduces the value of the project. This might be the case for a product launch that must be done in time for a critical date such as a major bank holiday. In addition, the project must meet the needs of the customers, and be supported by the business employees, users and stakeholders alike 4. Endurability - ask questions around how long the project will deliver value. In particular, ask if there are new technologies on the horizon that could deliver more value for a fraction of the cost Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 11 IT Management: Projects, programs and business change Project success guidelines 1 - Get off to a good start 2.2 Choose the right time to start IT’s role in a business project or programme is to deliver functionality for business users. And hence the business users must be ready for it. Whilst IT managers should be on the lookout for warning signs - key sponsors not turning up to project meetings or users not attending training sessions, for example. Speak to key users and sponsors to understand their attitude to the change. They should be seeing the change as highly positive, an opportunity rather than a burden or a threat. If there are any concerns in this regard, raise it at the Project Board and consider postponing the project until the time is right. Dieter’s story Background I was working for a telecommunications operator in Germany. It had been known to some time that this operating unit was having problems. It frequently appeared on the national news amid stories of poor network quality and very low customer satisfaction. A new management team was brought in to turn things round. What happened The management team was led by a very charismatic figure, an ex-special services officer. EveryWednesday afternoon, the management team of eight senior managers met to discuss progress.The meetings were tough, but the chief executive led things forward through a mix of determination and a raw sense of humour. One afternoon, however, the mood was very different. It transpired that a gunman had gone into one of our sales outlets and put his gun to the head of one of the employees. At first we assumed that this was a crazed drug addict. A sales outlet seemed an odd place to choose, though, as we didn’t have much cash on the premises. It turned out that this person was in fact one of our customers. He had become so incensed with the level of service we provided that he had been trying for six months to end his contract. The company was so incompetent that it was unable to carry out this simple task, continuing to send bills and threatening letters for a service that the customer hadn’t asked for and didn’t want. So frustrated and angry had he become, that the only way he could think of to get the undivided attention of our organisation was to hold us up at gunpoint. Lessons learnt I remember being very shocked at the time, but it did give us a very real sense of what we were doing to our customers. And in turn, it did galvanize us to achieve an extraordinary turn around in the following 18 months. Sometimes it takes an outside event to really make you see things as they really are. 2.3 Choose a good team Few project managers themselves get to choose the people who are going to work with them. Fortunately, it can be solved by good IT management. If you are in charge of a number of project managers, an important part of your job is to make sure that the team on each and every project has a balance of skills and experience. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 12 IT Management: Projects, programs and business change Project success guidelines 1 - Get off to a good start Book One in this IT Management series outlines the 9 key roles that a successful team should have, following the research of by Dr Meredith Belbin. Belbin assessments can look at the overall structure of project teams, identifying their strengths and weaknesses. Be on the look-out for “part-timers,” those people that have other responsibilities besides the project itself. For multi-functional projects, such as a company-wide ERP or business intelligence system, the project will need representation from a number of different departments. It is vital then, that the key project members are committed to the project - and that probably means working full time on it. Part timers can be disruptive, turning up as spectators to meetings and too easily able to feign ignorance about issues they should have been responsible for. On the other hand, not unreasonably, “full timers” might feel vulnerable at the end of a project, particularly if it is a long one. Organizations need to make sure that successful project members are not rewarded by losing their jobs. 1 More information on the Belbin roles and project team assessments can be found on their website, www. belbin.com Teach with the Best. Learn with the Best. Agilent offers a wide variety of affordable, industry-leading electronic test equipment as well as knowledge-rich, on-line resources —for professors and students. We have 100’s of comprehensive web-based teaching tools, lab experiments, application notes, brochures, DVDs/ See what Agilent can do for you. CDs, posters, and more. www.agilent.com/ﬁnd/EDUstudents www.agilent.com/ﬁnd/EDUeducators © Agilent Technologies, Inc. 2012 u.s. 1-800-829canada: 1-877-894-4414 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 13 Click on the ad to read more IT Management: Projects, programs and business change Project success guidelines 1 - Get off to a good start Mark’s story Background At a 6000 staff global enterprise based in London, a strategic business decision was made to relocate 50% of IT and business services roles to a new office in Ireland.The ultimate goal was to reduce the costs of the support services. Many of the IT roles to be relocated were highly experienced operational staff who were typically working in a highly customised environment. Key to the successful transition of support services was a knowledge transfer to new staff prior to redundancies taking place.The business cost savings were based on a handover of just 3 months. What happened? Once the business decision was public, it was determined, that the depth of knowledge for transfer would require a significant number of staff needed to be dedicated to this knowledge transfer.This meant that all current teams were down on headcount and hence services were impacted. Non-essential work was moved down the priority list (to free up staff for training and knowledge transfer) – to do this, governance and resource management was introduced through the transition period to minimise the impact to services. Most new work requests were pushed back, creating a backlog of existing maintenance, all of which would still require resourcing at a later date. It turned out that 3 months was not sufficient. A number of redundancies had to be deferred to extend the transition period.This was the result of the incumbent knowledge not simply being of a technical nature, but also based on many years of experience of the systems. Lessons • Always fully understand upfront the resource requirements to implement such business change. • Understand the impact on services and costs that such requirements will have. • Don’t underestimate the importance of staff experience. It is not simply a case of recruitment and training. • Involve trusted IT staff with the deep knowledge to contribute to these calculations. • Consider the longer term impact of additional pressures on staff, and the implications of low morale. • Ensure the resulting risks to services are signed off by the business. • Communications to the end users are essential, so that their expectations are managed. 2.4 Be clear on what is being delivered Projects need to be performed and delivered under certain constraints. Often, when a project is first conceived, it is required “betterfastercheaper!” Of course, not every project can be delivered immediately for no cost and meet all the quality criteria. These factors are mutually exclusive. The general view is that you can have two of the three, i.e.: 1. Quickly and to a good standard, but it will be expensive 2. Quickly and cheap, but it will not be very good quality 3. High quality and cheap, but it will take a long time This can be shown in the triangle below. A stakeholder will need to choose where on the triangle the project should fit. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 14 IT Management: Projects, programs and business change Project success guidelines 1 - Get off to a good start Figure 1 The time constraint refers to the amount of time available to complete a project. The cost constraint refers to the budgeted amount available for the project. The scope constraint refers to what must be done to produce the project’s end result. These three constraints are often competing constraints: increased scope typically means increased time and increased cost, a tight time constraint could mean increased costs and reduced scope, and a tight budget could mean increased time and reduced scope. The discipline of project management is about providing the tools and techniques that enable the project team (not just the project manager) to organize their work to meet these constraints. 2.5 Create a high level architecture Once the business case is approved, the information systems department needs to get down to its work. Before the project gets too far down the track, there should be a proper technical design. IT project members need to get together and agree what is required and in particular which systems and process changes are needed. From the requirements, the team should be able to put together a high level architecture that describes what the future technical configuration should look like. The aim of this is three-fold. • First of all, staying at the high level provides a useful mechanism for the architects to identify the best technical solution. Assuming that everyone stays at the high level (and this is a big assumption), it allows the group to think of alternative high level solutions. The benefit here, is that solutioning at the high level, before moving to the detail, means that the detail only needs to be done once Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 15 IT Management: Projects, programs and business change Project success guidelines 1 - Get off to a good start • Secondly, drawing up a high level architecture provides the project team with a view as to how much work is required • Finally, it acts as a description of the project “vision.” Although vision is normally associated with the business improvement that a project will deliver, a high level technical picture can also help the project team to visualize the end point. Michel’s story A utilities company was looking to migrate its customer order platform to incorporate additional new services. The technical architects had a very difficult job to do and the block diagrams were very complex. For each block at the high level, there was a detailed technical specification. Before all the technical specs were finished, the team enhanced the overview block diagram, making it understandable by the rest of the team.This meant that all architects had to agree on this diagram. This overview schematic shaped the architecture from a strategic point right at the outset. In turn, this meant that the detail only had to be done once.The diagram was‘coloured in’as one of the architects put it, and was suitable to be communicated to the business stakeholders and users.This turned out to be more important than was first imagined. First of all, it was important to the project team that they could understand what the technologists were trying to produce. Secondly, it helped them to understand that this was not a simple task and required their full attention. Need help with your dissertation? Get in-depth feedback & advice from experts in your topic area. Find out what you can do to improve the quality of your dissertation! Get Help Now Go to www.helpmyassignment.co.uk for more info Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 16 Click on the ad to read more IT Management: Projects, programs and business change Project success guidelines 2 - Managing project progress 3 Project success guidelines 2 - Managing project progress This book is concerned with managing projects at the higher level, so we focus on techniques for programme managers and project portfolio managers. 3.1 Develop strong project management skills If you are running a project team, the importance of having standards and methods around managing the different projects will be no surprise to you. It only takes a few days of trying to consolidate reports in different formats to realize the value of good, consistent reports that can be aggregated to give an overall view. This applies equally whether you are a programme manager bringing together the sub-projects together into an integrated picture, or a project portfolio manager required to manage diverse projects. Chapter 7 gives some guidelines of two leading project methodologies - PRINCE 2 and PMI’s project processes. The thoughts in this chapter assume you have a good project methodology in place and are constantly striving to get the most out of it. Firstly, project managers must be trained in the project method used by your organization. When we poll senior managers, the vast majority are using some project methodology in their organizations. Interestingly, almost all of these organizations have adapted a standard framework to suit. If you have modified PRINCE2 for example, and you recruit a qualified PRINCE2 project manager, you may still need to give them a grounding in your particular methods, the report formats, frequency, how you manage risks and so on. Secondly, recognize that fully qualified project managers are no guarantee of successful project delivery. Project management is analogous to driving a car. Just because you have a driving license, does not make you a good driver. It takes experience as well. Below, figure 2 shows our model of the key management skills for managing projects. These skills are represented in different forms in the different project methodologies and many of the key disciplines of project management require advanced people management and analytical skills. As the leader of a project team, you will have a permanent responsibility for identifying problems and developing the skills of your team. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 17 IT Management: Projects, programs and business change Project success guidelines 2 - Managing project progress ▯ Figure 2 There is so much for a project manager to learn about project management techniques, that it is difficult to know where to start. The following table has been put together by senior managers who have attended our leadership courses as a guide for what project managers should focus on. Guidelines for your project managers Make a good plan – A good plan that everyone understands and agrees with, is probably the most important advice. The plan must address the real priorities of what you are trying to achieve and have the necessary resources.There should be enough planning detail for it to be clear what is to be done, but not so much, that the planning needs to be re-cast every week. Don’t assume that more tasks is better. Anyone can use the copy function in Microsoft Project! Stay informed – keep all of your communication routes open and keep listening to the advice of others. In particular, your champions will give you frequent feedback from the field as to how things are going, current issues faced and potential problems in the future. Actively seek the advice of others and adjust your plans accordingly. Keep everyone updated of progress and milestones that have been achieved. Stay flexible –There is a helpful phrase used as a watchword in the military,“Indecision is the key to flexibility.”It means don’t rush to make decisions that don’t need to. A good example is procurement approvals.Your vendors will want you to buy early and in large quantity. Resist this pressure and buy only what you need when you need it. Staying flexible may mean changing targets or reviewing project deadlines. Keep to time - Don’t delay deadlines unless you have to. It sends out the wrong message and people will use it as an easy way out of project difficulties. I remember interviewing a promising project manager who said he always delivered his projects on time. In reality, it turned out that he kept all his project plans on his computer and restricted access to them. And, anytime things looked like they might slip, he just moved the end dates out. Simple! Focus on benefits - keep focused on what you are trying to achieve. Don’t get distracted trying to achieve too many things at once. It is like carrying suitcases. It is easy to carry one or two at once. As soon as you try to carry four or five at once, it becomes impossible. Keep checking that the results are the right ones.When results have been achieved, make sure that they are recognized with senior management and that the team is properly congratulated and rewarded. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 18 IT Management: Projects, programs and business change Project success guidelines 2 - Managing project progress Look after your team – all the time, and be on the look-out for how everyone is performing. Keep them all motivated, busy and working together. Set up regular opportunities to share information, and keep celebrating success.Where possible, be on the look-out for good people who may want to join the project. Good teams attract good people and good people make good teams. Don’t do everything yourself –To use a musical analogy, it is not possible for one person to play a symphony, however talented they are. Substantial projects need the combined efforts of many players. In any business project, many team members with different skills are needed to create the finished product.Your role, is that of the conductor, recognizing and empathizing with what everyone needs to do. Doing the work of your team members (even if you think you are good at it) is highly counter-productive. Handle conflicts early – As the metaphorical conductor, your job is to ensure that everything works in harmony. As the project progresses and the pressure increases, these problems are increasingly likely to appear. Be on a constant look- out for problems and catch them as early as possible. If there are personal disputes, speak to both parties individually before you bring them together.Telling people to‘pull their socks up’or‘just stop it’, is an ineffective management approach in today’s business world. It is important to identify whether a dispute has arisen out of personal differences or project differences. Seek to understand the basis of the real problem and take steps to resolve the root cause. Table 2 3.2 Make them sweat the small stuff Project managers are paid to sweat the small stuff. Their project plan needs to contain all the necessary tasks so there are no surprises along the way. Project managers should know where the critical path is and what the key dependencies are. Free online Magazines Click here to download SpeakMagazines.com Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 19 Click on the ad to read more IT Management: Project success guidelines 2 - Managing project progress Projects, programs and business change The most common way to present a list of tasks is the Gantt chart (as opposed to a network diagram or what used to be known as a PERT chart). The Gantt chart has the advantage of listing all the tasks. The duration of the task can be easily seen by the length of the task bar it represents on the Gantt chart. Gantt charts are not so good at showing dependencies as often the dependency lines merge and overlap. In this case, it helps to show the network format too. The disadvantage of the network format is that it is time consuming to create. It is certainly the recommended format, though, for high level project plans. Why projects fail - Don’t lose your RAG† A key principle of successful project management is KISS (Keep It Simple and Straight-forward). And in a simple world, using RAG (Red, Amber, Green) reporting, Amber or Red status means“I need help.” Sphere of Influence The project manager’s immediate sphere of influence includes those things that they themselves can fix. A project manager reporting their status to the Project Board, should only be using the Amber or Red status for issues that are outside this sphere of influence. Project managers should always have risks and issues to address, but that does not mean the project should be amber or red. Red vs. Amber Some managers don’t like projects that suddenly appear as red and think they should first go to amber. Don’t be fooled. If your project needs urgent help, the sooner you flag it the better. Crying Wolf Project managers should not use amber and red to panic the Project Board into allocating more resources. Amber and red status should only be for risks and issues outside the project manager’s sphere of influence that may affect a successful project outcome. Don’t get angry! In his book, How NASA builds teams, Charles Pellerin writes that one of the major failings of the Hubble telescope mission was the behaviour of NASA towards its contractors. As one contractor was quoted,“Eventually we were so tired of the beatings, we stopped reporting problems.”A sign of a good Project Board is where problems can be easily raised and discussed without them falling into an argument of blame and retribution. † ‘Don’t lose your RAG,’ Iain Begg, IMB Consulting. Full paper available at www.imb-consulting.co.uk †† How NASA builds teams, Charles Pellerin Table 2 When it comes to detail, work breakdown structures may also help. The work breakdown structure (WBS) is a tree structure that shows a subdivision of effort required to achieve an objective—for example a program, project, and contract. The WBS may be hardware-, product-, service-, or process-oriented . 2 A WBS can be developed by starting with the end objective and successively subdividing it into manageable components in terms of size, duration, and responsibility (e.g., systems, subsystems, components, tasks, subtasks, and work packages), which include all steps necessary to achieve the objective. 2 For more information on Work Breakdown Structures, see the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK), published by the PMI Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 20 IT Management: Projects, programs and business change Project success guidelines 2 - Managing project progress The work breakdown structure provides a common framework for the natural development of the overall planning and control of a project or program and is the basis for dividing work into definable increments from which the statement of work can be developed and technical, schedule, cost, and labour hour reporting can be established. 3.3 Keep a high level overview for yourself Rule number one - project reports must be useful and to the point. If you are running a team of project managers, you will be delighted that they are taking care of the detail. Even though the project managers deal with a lot of information, don’t let them put the “monkey on your back ” by involving you in their detail. To avoid micromanaging, it is all the more important that they provide the right information to assess progress. Have a standard format for project status reports. If you find yourself reading a lot of irrelevant (i.e. not interesting) information, then revise the format. Keep in mind that one size may not fit all. More complex projects require different reporting structures. Stephen’s story (part 1) - implementing a mobile phone network Where a detailed project plan is important for smaller projects, a high level view is essential for larger programmes. Some years ago, I worked for a major telecommunications company that was building a mobile network in France, there were about 50 major projects within the overall programme. Each project plan had hundreds of project tasks. It was even more important then, to see how the overall programme was developing without getting sucked into the detail. We created a high level view using a network diagram format printed on A1 with about 200 key milestones. It was easy to visualize how the programme would pan out - a bit like looking at a time lapse type view of the future. Each milestone probably represented about £2m of capital spend on average. It proved a vital tool to see how progress was being made and how the major projects within the overall programme were interacting. When it comes to reviewing project reports, take a look at the risk register that is presented. Good project managers should be able to identify and report just the top 5 to 8 risks from the full risk register. Conversely, a project that is not being managed well can often be spotted by the fact that the project manager either reports all the risks, suggesting that they have no understanding of the relative importance of each one, or none at all. 3.4 Tips for managing costs, contracts and suppliers Project managers need to keep a tight rein on budgets. This usually means keeping a tight rein on suppliers, be they contractors or technology specialists, systems integrators, equipment suppliers or developers. 3 Who’s got the monkey, Onckon and Wass, Harvard Business Review reprint 99609 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 21 IT Management: Projects, programs and business change Project success guidelines 2 - Managing project progress One of the key lessons from our research and delegate feedback is to get the timing of purchasing right. It is better to approve purchases for delivery slightly ahead of when they are needed, and avoid buying in large quantities until absolutely necessary. Set up project costs codes for each project and manage supplier approvals carefully. Strike a good balance between putting the right checks in place to keep costs under control and slowing down project progress. Give yourself as much time as possible when signing up vendor services to agree contract terms. Include clauses that protect you from vendor problems with implementation and subsequent support. If a vendor senses that time is not on your side, they may use it to their advantage, persuading you to take on services before the contracts are fully signed. Whilst there may be times when this is the only course of action, the recommendation is to start work on contracts at the earliest opportunity, make sure there is a team dedicated to the task, and keep competitive tension in the deal as long as possible. You’re full of energy and ideas . And that’s © UBS 2010. All rights reserved. just what we are looking for. Looking for a career where your ideas could really make a diﬀerence? ▯UBS’s Graduate Programme and internships are a chance for you to experience for yourself what it’s like to be part of a global team that rewards your input and believes in succeeding together. Wherever you are in your academic career, make your future a part of ours by visiting www.ubs.com/graduates. www.ubs.com/graduates Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 22 Click on the ad to read more IT Management: Projects, programs and business change Project success guidelines 2 - Managing project progress Wes’s story - telephony & contact centre system Background The organisation that I work for has 3 sites with call centres at two of them handling almost 1 million calls per annum. Both had different telephone systems that were old and expensive to support. My department was tasked with identifying what benefits might be available from a replacement phone and contact system, building a business case, selecting a supplier and then managing the subsequent implementation. What happened The project was kicked off and all project team staff signed up to a project charter that had commitments around project governance and communication.This worked extremely well as all staff knew what was expected of them. We also utilised a web based project management and collaboration system for the first time.This enabled the project team, including external staff, to monitor the progress of all tasks as well as collaborate and share information. This created a more productive, well informed project team. It also enabled me as project manager to have up to date information on all project tasks at all times which needless to say aided decision making and resulted in less ‘surprises’. The project sponsorship was strong, supportive and trusting, expecting that any issues would be reported as and when they occurred.This, together with close project management, enabled the project to be delivered on time, on budget and within a tight timescale. Lessons learnt Whilst the project was a success, we learnt a number of lessons both good and bad from this project. It was certainly a positive to set up a project charter as everyone knew what was expected of them and made them more productive project team members.The use of a web based project management system worked extremely well for the staff in my organisation. However, it was not available to the delivery partner prior to placing the order and it was less efficient at managing their tasks.This was also one of the first projects where we introduced a robust benefits realization tracking process. So far, I’m pleased to say, they are currently on track. High quality suppliers can often help enormously with expertise, insights and guidance on what is working and what isn’t. Resist the temptation to confine them to the basement. Like any high quality professional, they will work much better with a good working environment. Provide them with access to office facilities where they need it, but at the same time, don’t feel obliged to set aside free office space if they are not working full time on the project. 3.5 Set up good project governance Project governance does not have to be difficult. In IT organizations, project governance usually works at three levels. First, there is the project review meeting. This is the (typically weekly) review of project progress with the main project members and stakeholders. Depending on the size of the project (and particularly with programmes), there may be sub-meetings that feed their findings into the project review meeting. Secondly, there is the IT project review meeting. This is normally run by the IT director or head of IT projects. This meeting checks that the IT project teams are fulfilling their obligations in the delivery of project. The chairman can then take the findings from this meeting into the higher level project governance board. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 23 IT Management: Projects, programs and business change Project success guidelines 2 - Managing project progress The project governance board is where all company projects are reviewed. These meetings review the progress of capital investment decisions. They are therefore extremely important and yet, a surprising number of organizations do not have formal governance at this level. If your organization is one of these, you may wish to consider working with your senior management to set it up. The importance of this (organization-wide) high level project review is discussed in book four in this series in the section on governance. Project review meetings are important for many reasons - obviously they read out the progress of the project and highlight issues that may need management decisions. But they also showcase the ability of the project teams and in particular, the project manager. Since the meetings are important, the project team leader should spend time with their project managers ahead of time to prepare them and make sure they keep to the point. Avoiding Project Sponsorship becoming a spectator sport - our top 3 tips † Projects don’t fail in the end, they fail in the beginning. Project governance is the most common reason projects fail. The following three tips will help you to set your project up for success (for more on project sponsorship, go to www. imb-consulting.co.uk) 1. Goal setting If you were to ask the Project Manager and Project Sponsor,“What are the goals of this project?”nine times out of ten, you will get a different answer.The reason could be a lack of communication, different assumptions or the fact that time has moved on, and the priorities have changed.Together, the project sponsor and project manager should put together a Mission Statement that encapsulates the project’s goals and success criteria. Review this periodically as the project progresses. 2. Give airtime to the project manager The responsibility of the project sponsor includes articulating the high level scope (i.e. goals and success factors), approving the proposed solution, securing financial and human resources, making prioritization decisions and exerting their power to facilitate the resolution of issues and risks. An experienced and hard-nosed project manager would be expected to provide delivery focused plans, identify issues and potential solutions, mitigate risks and prioritize to meet deadlines.Without the two speaking regularly to each other, the Project Sponsor and Project Manager are likely to make assumptions which may constitute significant risk to the successful delivery of the project. 3. Getting the governance right A project will consist of (in descending order of importance) - the business sponsor, the project steering group or project board, stakeholders, affected parties and interested parties. It is important to identify which category project members fall into to get the best results for your project. Some stakeholders are incentivised to see a project succeed and will move heaven and earth to make it so. But not all stakeholders can commit to attend steering committee meetings, so a small (highly motivated) subset should be elected as the decision makers to form the Project Board. † ‘Avoiding Project Sponsorship becoming a spectator sport’ Iain Begg, IMB Consulting. Full paper available at www.imb-consulting.co.uk Table 4 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 24 IT Management: Projects, programs and business change Project success guidelines 2 - Managing project progress Project review meetings should be less about project progress and more about making key decisions. If something has gone wrong, the project team leader should work with the project manager prior to the meeting to discuss the strategy. Similarly, if a particularly difficult stakeholder is expected at the meeting, the project manager should meet them ahead of time (with their team leader if necessary), so that any disagreement doesn’t hold the meeting hostage. Project managers should choose their attendees carefully so meetings don’t become too big and unmanageable. 3.6 Communicate clearly to all parties Good communication between management and employees is vital in all successful change programmes. Communication needs to be open, working across different levels of seniority and regardless of position, offering an openness in discussing programme issues. There needs to be a free flow of information, ensuring that team members have access to what they need to know in order to achieve their objectives. There should be regular formal communication as well as the smart use of informal channels. John’s story - the need for buy-in Background Every project manager talks about the need for communication and buy-in. Of course this means different things to different people. A client of ours told me a story of a large project that they were working on. It required a massive upgrade of the technology platform to enable the launch of a range of new services. What happened It was so urgent that the former technology officer had awarded the project management contract to a company that had recently worked on a successful product launch. But the project was starting to stall. It soon became clear that the project management company was unqualified to deal with such a complex technical launch.The project was estimated to take nine months, and three months into the project, the completion date was still nine months away. An old saying came to mind when I was being told this story.“We never have enough time to do things properly but often find the time to do things twice.”And so it was in this case. Soon the project management contract had been re-awarded to a major international systems integrator and we started again from scratch. The systems integrator put in their elite programme management team and technology experts.Within a matter of days, it was evident that things were starting to move forward, even though the project was effectively still three months behind schedule. It was now March, and the original date for product launch was September.To be honest, most people in the company were expecting completion towards the end of the year. The new project team worked closely with the key business sponsors and in July, just five months later, the projected launch date was predicted to be somewhere towards the end of September.The new CIO was speaking to the head of customer operations discussing what he thought was good news. The head of customer operations said that while she was impressed with the progress that the IT department had made on the project, she was getting some resistance from the sales force.That morning, she had received a petition with 100 signatories, asking for the launch date to be delayed. The CIO was furious. He could not understand why the sales force whose only obligation was to attend a four-hour training course would not be ready when his team had spent 16 hours a day in the last six months trying to get things finished. Lessons learnt The lesson learnt was basically that even though the programme managers, the IT department and the key business sponsors were all fully aware of the stellar progress of the project, no one had bothered to tell the sales people that things were back on track.Their minds were still expecting a launch date towards the end of the year. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 25 IT Management: Projects, programs and business change Project success guidelines 2 - Managing project progress As the case study above describes, communication is not just talking to those people who will be turning up anyhow to the status meetings. It is about telling everyone who will be affected and making sure they are prepared well in advance for the change. Stakeholders exist throughout the organization. Apart from the project team itself, they include: 1. Key business specialists 2. Senior management and sponsors 3. All the managers whose departments are affected by the change (including IT departments such as IT operations) 4. All users who will have to adopt the new systems A plan should be in place for how the project will communicate to each of these stakeholder groups in turn. Remember that the same method of communication will not work for the different groups. If you are providing training programmes, monitor the course quality and put critical tests in place to verify that the training has been completed and is fully understood. 3.7 Keep measuring value (SPRINT) One of the dangers of project management is that delivering the project plan successfully does not always translate into a successful project. Market conditions may change for example between a project starting and a project completing. It is worthwhile to keep monitoring the value your project delivers and to this end it is helpful to have a checklist to help - the one we recommend is called SPRINT which stands for Situation, Problem (or opportunity), Risks, Impact, Needs and Timing . The SPRINT tool suggests that you make a simple one-line statement on each of the 6 items and regularly review them. 1. Situation - this is the business driver that caused your project to be set up in the first place. The Situation is similar to the business context and describes the market opportunity in the case of a business project. 2. Problem (or opportunity) - What is the problem that the business is facing, or what opportunities is it looking to exploit? Create a statement that summarizes the specific problem that the project is seeking to address. 3. Risks - What are the risks of not doing the project and what are the downsides of doing the project and what are the significant things that may go wrong. This is not intended as a detailed risk assessment at this time? 4. Impact - What is the benefit that is expected from the project? It is important to keep reviewing this. 5. Need - What are the key features that are needed by the project to ensure that the value is delivered and are they being delivered? Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 26 IT Management: Projects, programs and business change Project success guidelines 2 - Managing project progress 6. Timing - How quickly does the project need to be completed based on assessments of the market competition? It is clear therefore that if competitive offerings are launched that impact on the value of the project, the project may need to be delivered faster. Similarly, if the market demand fades, it might be worth putting a project on hold We have come across many companies with ambitious projects and change programmes. Some of them are successful and others less so. One of the biggest problems with the less successful organizations is that they confuse unrealistic targets with ambition. All companies strive to stay ahead of their competition. But any change programme has to be realistic and in our opinion one of the best ways to achieve this is to deliver value in stages. In our project management courses, we talk about the importance of stepping stones. These are almost like points of safety along the route of the project plan. It saves the project manager having to deliver everything at once, analogous to making one enormous leap from one river bank to the other. The stepping stone approach means that you break the project down into sequential phases. The project can then be appraised at various points along the path and change course if required. One of the options might be to change the project deliverables and one might be to delay the project. The most common reasons for project delay is a scarcity of resources particularly on the end user side. But there may be other reasons such as changing economic conditions or re-prioritisation of projects. Potential ENGINEERS, UNIVERSITY forexploration GRADUATES & SALES PROFESSIONALS Junior and experienced F/M Total will hire 10,000 people in 2013. Why not you? process, electrical or other types of engineering, R&D, sales & marketing or support professions such as information technology?
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