© Contact to ContRact Ltd 2000 - 2018 | Legal

Delivery management

  • Do you want to eliminate project overruns?

  • Do you want your delivery to be more efficient?

  • Do you want to stop fire-fighting and operate in a controlled way?

A company's core competence is project delivery, and in a maturing market you won't be successful unless you reliably deliver what you sell. Meanwhile the industry is beset with project overruns which are costly and often lead to dissatisfied customers. As companies mature, they need to make the transition from reliance on key individuals to a uniform, smooth and well managed project delivery process.

ChangeBEAT's ExecKIT® Delivery Management Methodology provides a step-by-step process to project management that ensures you get the important things right. The methodology complies with the Project Management Institute (PMI) in structure and terminology and embodies the relevant elements of the PMI Body of Knowledge®.

Read our article Improving the Delivery of IT Solutions Projects which discusses PMI, PRINCE and generic methodologies in the context of IT and technology companies.

Initiating

  • Is the customer ever dissatisfied even though the project was a "success"?

  • Is there ever confusion over the project deliverables?

  • Do your projects sometimes cost more than originally planned?

The initiating stage of a project is when we ensure that a clear understanding of the scope and commercial content of the project is established before it starts. Without systematic project initiation there is a risk of mis-set expectations, unclear goals and objectives or even a project that does not fully address the business need. 

The time spent on project initiation is an investment in the future of the project, ensuring that everyone starts with a clear understanding what the project is and what it will achieve.

Project initiation and charter

  • Have you ever started a project without a contract and lived to regret it?

  • Do you sometimes "slide" into delivery mode without considering all the consequences?

  • Do you ever find your delivery team does not fully understand the customer's objectives and what was said in the sales cycle?

These problems can be avoided with a simple project initiation process that grants commercial authority to start work on certain conditions, and ensures a formal handover from sales to delivery. 

This ExecKIT® module helps you to implement a best practice project initiation process that gets a project off to the right start. 

Project scope planning

  • Are you sure you know exactly what your projects must deliver?

  • Does the customer clearly understand what he must do?

  • Are your projects sometimes hard to close down?

One of the main causes of project overruns and dissatisfied customers is the lack of a sufficiently clear project definition. Project scope planning is a vital tool that enables the project manager to clearly define a project and is a pre-requisite to the project planning process.

It is one thing to realise that every project should have a project definition, but it is another to ensure that your organisation produces the best possible project definitions all of the time. 

This ExecKIT® module helps you to implement best practice project scope planning. 

Planning

  • Do your projects ever overrun?

  • Do you sometimes exceed budget?

  • Does the unexpected ever happen?

Planning the organisation that delivers the projects, planning the projects themselves and planning risk management strategies are all vital elements of the management of a successful organisation.

Organisational planning

  • Can your organisation support a project culture?

  • Do people know their roles?

  • Do you have all the skills and competencies you need?

Organisations that deliver complex projects need a structure to support and control that delivery. Organisational planning occurs independently of any single project but affects the efficiency of all of them. It ensures that the fundamental requirements of structure, competency and role and process definition are established for the organisation and for the management of projects.

This ExecKIT® module helps you to implement a best practice organisational planning process that will make everyone's role and responsibilities clearer.

Risk identification

  • Do your projects ever go wrong?

  • Do you ever get nasty surprises?

  • Do your costs ever increase beyond your budget?

Even simple projects have risks. Risks are potential problems that could cause customer dissatisfaction, cost overruns or other adverse consequences, and all too often they materialise at the worst possible moment, causing stress to the delivery team and the customer relationship.

Identifying project risks and planning the appropriate steps to prevent the risk developing (or having a plan of action to minimise its impact) is the essence of project risk identification. Many companies talk about risk identification and planning, but do not execute effectively to manage them to extinction.

This ExecKIT® module helps you to implement a best practice risk identification process that will help the project deliver without nasty surprises.

Planning, scheduling and costing

  • Are your projects ever delivered late?

  • Do they sometimes cost more than you planned?

  • Do you want to plan your projects with confidence?

Everyone (well almost everyone!) knows that every project must have a plan, but how does the project manager create a plan that is appropriate, which overcomes the challenges of real life. And how, in a changing world, with incomplete information, can the plan be effectively costed?

This ExecKIT® module helps you to implement best practice project planning, scheduling and costing. 

Executing

  • Do you execute your plan effectively?

  • Does your team know what they must do to deliver?

  • Does the team work efficiently and well?

The real business of any project is to deliver the goods by carrying out the tasks and producing the deliverables. During this execution phase, it is the project manager's job to ensure the team perform their tasks efficiently and well. He must manage the stakeholders, keep control, ensure the various activities remain in step and ensure the focus remains on meeting the business objectives.

Communications management

  • Are your stakeholders on your side, or are they sometimes your biggest problem?

  • Do you know what information they need?

  • Do you give it to them when they need it?

Different stakeholders need different information about a project and communications management is the discipline of keeping stakeholders properly informed. The project team, for example, need detailed information about the execution of tasks, which they need to do their own jobs. The CFO, however, may just want to know about budget performance. The timeliness and type of communication must be planned and acted upon throughout the project if everyone is to work together well.

This ExecKIT® module helps you to implement communications management to identify your stakeholders and keep them involved and informed.

Integration management

  • Do you ever lose sight of the big picture?

  • Can you always maintain an understanding of how a change can impact the whole project?

  • Are you sure the whole project always "hangs together"?

Integration management is the process of maintaining the view of the "big picture" of what the project's success will deliver whilst ensuring its elements continue to align as it is impacted by change. This process is perhaps the most challenging of all project management tasks, and the more complex the project and the more unpredictable the environment, the more challenging it is.

This ExecKIT® module helps you to implement best practice integration management across your project activities.

Controlling

  • Are you in control of the project, or is it controlling you?

  • Are you sure it will deliver what the customer needs?

  • Do you have access to all the information you need to stay on track?

A project under control is one that is on schedule, on budget and delivering the right things at the quality required to deliver the anticipated business benefit.

But very few projects run exactly to plan. Things change, delays happen, and activities take longer than anticipated. To maintain control, a project manager requires tools and techniques to monitor the status of the project, interpret the data received and act on any deviations from the plan.

Scope management

  • Do you ever start projects when detailed requirements are unclear?

  • Does new information make your plans out-of-date?

  • Do your customers ever change their minds?

In an ideal world, a project's scope is fully documented and understood before any agreements are made, but in most IT and technology projects this just doesn't happen.

Information is usually incomplete at the start of the project and commercial pressures often mean that a deal is signed before a detailed scope is defined. New information can be discovered as work gets underway. Changes may happen resulting from change in the environment, or the customer may just change his mind.

Whatever the reason, there will be pressure to change the initial scope, and these changes may be tacitly included in the scope (at least in the customer's mind) or presented as requests for change. In any case, scope changes must be managed proactively or the customer may not get what he expects.

ExecKIT® Scope management provides tools and techniques to help the project manager identify a change in scope, analyse and assess the changes required to the project to manage the change and gain resolution in a commercially agreeable way.

Risk management

  • Do you want to avoid project disasters?

  • Do you want to improve profitability and avoid overruns?

  • Do you want only happy customers who will refer new business to you?

Risk management is the broad set of activities that need to be performed throughout the delivery cycle in order to identify new risks and manage project risks to extinction.

If your organisation is not already expert at the management of risk, these techniques will enable you to achieve significant productivity improvements, and increases in customer satisfaction, leading to priceless follow-on and referral business. 

This ExecKIT® module helps you to implement best practice risk management throughout the delivery.

Cost management

  • Do you always have a clear understanding of your project's costs?

  • Do your projects ever go over budget?

  • Do your margins sometimes erode away?

You can count on management to keep a close eye on project costs and so the project manager must always have tight control of the money.

As the project progresses the actual time taken for tasks may vary from the original estimate. Knowing this impact and taking actions to control the forecast expenditure is critical to success. ExecKIT® Cost management provides you with tools and techniques to help the project manager in this highly visible area of project control.

Quality management

  • Do you always know your project will be successful?

  • Are you confident your customer will be delighted?

  • Do you ever wonder if what you deliver will meet the need?

The "quality" of a project is the degree to which the project satisfies the needs for which it was undertaken and will usually determine the customer's satisfaction and their readiness to place repeat business.

Good quality can never be taken for granted, and it is the role of the project manager to plan and review tasks to ensure that a good quality project is delivered. ExecKIT® Quality management provides tools and techniques to plan, implement and review the quality of a project and its deliverables to ensure your project delivers what the customer needs.

This module helps you to implement best practice quality management.

Vendor management

  • Do you use third parties to help you deliver?

  • Do they always work to your satisfaction?

  • Are you getting the level of service you need?

Working with third parties to deliver a project is not always easy. Misunderstandings can arise from many sources: different terminology or project management methodologies, poor communication, or conflicts of interest can all lead to an ineffective team, inefficiency and a poor end result.

ExecKIT® Vendor management helps you to implement best practice to integrate seamlessly vendors into the project control processes. The module provides tools and processes to assist the project manager to eradicate third party issues and control the project within the boundaries of win-win commercial agreements.

Project monitoring, control and reporting

  • Do you ever have projects that get out of control?

  • Do you ever give (or get) a nasty surprise?

  • Do you want to be confident your finger is on the delivery pulse?

Project management is a difficult and demanding job. Within every IT project lurks the potential for disaster. At best this can mean cost overruns, annoyed customers, and low morale. At worst it can and does lead to disastrous losses, litigious customers and broken careers.

No project will stay on track without careful monitoring of progress and firm control being exercised over the pressures for change. It is also vital to ensure the key stakeholders of the project are kept in touch with what is going on without increasing the project management overhead too much. 

Everyone accepts the need for project monitoring, control and reporting, but surprisingly few organisations are consistent in the way they manage this crucial aspect of the delivery organisation. 

This ExecKIT® module helps you to implement best practice project monitoring, control and reporting. 

Closing

  • How do you know a project is complete?

  • How can you be sure the customer agrees?

  • How can you best ensure you win the repeat business you deserve?

Everyone knows that winning new business from an existing customer takes much less effort than winning a new customer, but you will only win that business if the customer is happy with your performance.

The closing phase of the project ensures that a customer is satisfied with what you have delivered, that valuable information is captured for the future projects and that continuous improvement of your processes is initiated.

Project closure

  • Do your customers ever refuse to agree that a project is complete?

  • Are final payments ever delayed?

  • Do you want to ensure you learn the lessons of every project and profit from them?

After all the hard work required to find an opportunity, win the sale, design a winning solution and deliver, it is a such a waste if, for the sake of a few hours' effort, the customer is left with the feeling that perhaps you didn't finish the job.

You also need to finish the project cleanly for internal reasons, to ensure that lessons have been learned, revenue can be recognised, people are formally freed up for redeployment, appraisals are performed, and administration is complete.

By considering the needs of each project stakeholder, you can significantly improve the perceived quality of your projects, learn invaluable lessons for the future, and increase future business. 

This ExecKIT® module helps you to implement an effective project closure process. 

Post project review

  • Do you want to be sure you really know what your customers really think?

  • Do you want to make sure you act to keep them happy?

  • Do you want to show them that you care?

Loyal customers are the life blood of any company. Repeat orders usually come with little sales effort and (often) with less pressure on margins. But if we want to keep our customers, we need to listen to what they have to say and address their concerns. There are, of course, many different ways of listening to a customer, but the best way of getting high quality customer feedback is to sit in front of them and ask. 

By implementing a formal "Post Project Review" process, we ensure that this happens, enabling topics to be explored in detail and more complex questions to be raised. We can then initiate the process to act on the feedback as part of the strategic quality management process.

This ExecKIT® module helps you to implement best practice customer project reviews, improving customer satisfaction and quality. 

Putting the Wizards and Princes to Work
A well defined and managed delivery process is vital
Time spent in the initiating phase is an investment
Avoid starting the project on the wrong foot
A project definition is a pre-requisite for successful project planning
The planning phase determines the success of a project
Organisational planning affects the efficiency of projects
Know and manage the project risks!
Plan your projects! 
Execution is the substance, but it must be coordinated
Ensure you communicate appropriately with your stakeholders
Don't let ill health go unnoticed
Project scope needs to be managed
Adopt a best practice approach to risk
Use the best tools and techniques to control cost
Quality must be proactively managed
Work effectively with your vendors
Implement best practice project monitoring control and reporting 
Effective closing leads to repeat business and improved ways of working
Effective project completion is a business necessity.
Listen to your customers