Due Diligence – the Key to successful Change?

Aside

Due Diligence – the Key to successful Change?

Someone asked me, “If you’re given the role of Programme Director,  what are the first things you do?”

Frequently, projects and programmes are over specified (too ambitious), over promised, under funded and late starting, with poor plans and negligible provision for contingency, realistic risk avoidance and / or issue management plans – people plan for success invariably failing to anticipate failure – if you don;t assume there are going to be problems, why would you include contingency time, resource and budget to manage them?

Reports of progress are over stated and issues and risks concealed or undhappyPMerstated.

The delivery team are sceptical and soon become concerned that failure will be blamed on them, but, these are the people most likely to know what’s going well and what isn’t, and what is required to address / resolve the challenges.  Happy people deliver good quality and productivity, frightened people don’t turn up!

In complex portfolios or programmes, the slippage of one key activity in one project, activity or task could stop or delay the entire enterprise being a significant dependency across the plans sitting at the intersection of multiple critical paths – the little things matter.

Care needs to be taken in reviewing motives – if a project features multiple suppliers or service providers, none of them wants to be the cause of or the victim of delay, but they will all be looking for opportunities to extend the scope of their obligations and increase their revenue – extensions.  However, extensions in one area often result in scope creep in others and costs rise.

It is essential to start every assignment / new role with a comprehensive Due Diligence exercise which can take anything from a few days to weeks, depending on the scale, circumstances and the state of the portfolio, programme and / or project.

Delivering big changes on time, budget and to expected scope of requirements, is not easy, and although businesses and service providers (marketing companies in particular) may trumpet success, a comparison of the final outcome and the original scope can be very revealing.

AGILE is very popular with both internal and external suppliers; it provides the capacity for lower start up costs; and the attendant need for senior management approvals, early deliveries and continuous improvement, additions to functionality, etc.. However, it also enables projects to run and run, never ending, and work to be charged to the project repeatedly, when there are repeated failures to deliver, and costs to run rampant below the senior management radar.

Should you require any further information, please get in touch.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Cheers John

John L. Evans FCMI, FIC, FBCS CITP, MCIPS.
+44 7957 190 186
+44 203 051 3370

© John L. Evans 2017

 

UK; 51st State of the Union?

There is much being said about Donald Trump separating his Presidential, business & private affairs but little comment on, what appears to be, his new business; expanding US interests and establishing a dynasty.

He could run two terms, under current legislation, legislation which could, of course, be changed.

He has sons and heirs.

He has both Houses of the Legislature & the Judiciary behind him.

He requires few backers and claimed for a long time to be self-funding, a claim he conveniently swept aside after three months of making it a key feature of his campaign.

Seemingly he is prepared to operate with or without democratic approval using Executive Orders.

These aspirations have not been seen in a peaceful ‘coup’ for years – perhaps ever.

If Trump’s new business was expansion into quasi monarchy, would that be a good or a bad thing; today the USA, tomorrow……..

By blurring the lines between his businesses, including the new family firm #POTUS is he laying a course in history which could run inexorably nto the future; the House of Trump?

I didn’t see Theresa May as a pussy cat but could not believe my eyes when I saw her holding daddy’s hand!!

She might not have gotten off the plane with a piece of paper, but where was her dignity?’.

She says she doesn’t agree with his imigration  ban but defends his right to do it.

Of course Brexit is going to be, as Trump said, whilst holding her hand, a “wonderful thing”, and the UK’s divorce from the EU, a “blessing to the world”. He also said, “I think it will go down as a fantastic thing for the United Kingdom”.  Little wonder he gets on so well with Pinocchio.

As Aircraft Carrier One, the UK, drifts further west, into the Atlantic, and away from the care and protection of Europe, and Trump appoints Pinocchio Farage as his Ambassador and Comercial Governor General, of the UK, to oversee the operation of the USA/UK trade deal, and the UK’s transition from 28th Member of the EU, to 51st State of the Union.. …
You couldn’t make it up!