Category Archives: Aspire Academy

MSP Survival Guide for SROs – Programme Business Case

MSP Survival Guide for Senior Responsible Owners has been written specifically for you (the SRO), full of helpful advice to make your hectic life easier

There are many reasons why programmes fail, but failure to grasp the scale of the change being delivered and weak leadership of the programme teams are often contributing factors.

As you are unlikely to have time to read the MSP guide or to go on courses, we have covered the main things that you will need to know in a format that can be easily referenced.

In this series of extracts we are publishing a summary of the key points from each of the chapter of the MSP Survival Guide for SROs. If you would like to buy a copy, please follow this link and quote the discount code of SG15 for a 10% discount.

Here is our advice for SROs on the Programme Business Case

Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of phenomenally unlikely payoffs.’ Scott Adams

The absolute worst sin you can commit is deliberately underestimating the cost and timescale to get your pet initiative accepted hoping once its underway it wont get stopped even though the cost increases. There are likely to be few if any winners but there will be lots of losers such as those who don’t get the benefits.

You should keep the business case close to hand (or at least the summary if it is one of the 100-page types). The business case is your contract with your Executive and investment decision makers, and you are accountable for delivering on that contract, so use it as your decision-making compass.

For the full extract, read on

MSP Survival Guide for SROs tasters – Programme Business Case

 

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Fresh Look: Investment Logic Mapping

Investment Logic Mapping (ILM) was all the rage a few years ago but it has been lost in time. It originated in Australia and provided an approach to developing the justification for a business investment.

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ILM is a brilliant way to understand the problem, think about the outcomes and clarify where the costs and benefits sit. They should be made compulsory in all Programme Briefs!

This guide by Ed Brown outlines why you should use Investment Logic Mapping to see what value the use of ILM will bring to your investments.

It is a powerful and extremely cost-effective way to bring shape and structure to your investment before you head off into expensive blind alleys.

We hope you find this useful.

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MSP Survival Guide for SROs – Programme Organisation

MSP Survival Guide for Senior Responsible Owners has been written specifically for you (the SRO), full of helpful advice to make your hectic life easier

There are many reasons why programmes fail, but failure to grasp the scale of the change being delivered and weak leadership of the programme teams are often contributing factors.

As you are unlikely to have time to read the MSP guide or to go on courses, we have covered the main things that you will need to know in a format that can be easily referenced.

In this series of extracts we are publishing a summary of the key points from each of the chapter of the MSP Survival Guide for SROs. If you would like to buy a copy, please follow this link and quote the discount code of SG15 for a 10% discount.

Here is our advice for SROs on the Programme organisation

“Organisations need to practice qualitative corporate governance rather than quantitative governance thereby ensuring it is properly run.”  “You cannot legislate good behaviour.” – Mervyn King, Bank of England

Your programme will need an organisational structure, many programmes fail because they get this wrong from the outset.  There are two sides to a programme: A) the bit that creates capability, which is where much of the money is spent on projects, and B) the bit that delivers the transformation, where the benefits come from changing the way the environment operates.

It is all too common to find programmes unbalanced and dominated by project thinking to build capability, you need to ensure that the programme is business focused or the benefits will never appear.

For the full extract, read on

MSP Survival Guide for SROs tasters – Programme Organisation

 

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SRO Survival Guides extract – Vision and Blueprint

MSP Survival Guide for Senior Responsible Owners has been written specifically for the SRO, full of helpful advice to make your hectic life easier

There are many reasons why programmes fail, but failure to grasp the scale of the change being delivered and weak leadership of the programme teams are often contributing factors.

As they are unlikely to have time to read the MSP guide or to go on courses, we have covered the main things that you will need to know in a format that can be easily referenced.

In this series of extracts we are publishing a summary of the key points from each of the chapter of the MSP Survival Guide for SROs. If you would like to buy a copy, please follow this link and quote the discount code of SG15 for a 10% discount.

“If we don’t know where we are going, how will we know when we have arrived let alone how we are going to get there?”  – Yendor Nedwos

You need to grab the vision for the programme. The vision is the guiding star that should inspire those working on the programme on what may be a long and  challenging journey. People expect the leader to have a vision for a better future that they can follow, if you don’t believe in the vision, you will find it very difficult to be an effective and successful SRO

 Creating a blueprint challenges people to think through the consequences of the vision, which may identify issues and decisions that people would rather not have to make. Those decisions will fall to you to make, or you will need to present them to the sponsoring group or other senior people for them to make decisions. Without a blueprint it is not possible to effectively estimate benefits or what capability you will need delivered by the projects

Follow this link for a fuller extract – MSP Survival Guide for SROs tasters – Programme Vision and Blueprint

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How much of your training budget is wasted?

Strange but true

  1. In 2011 the UK National Audit Office (NAO) reported that a lack of programme and project management skills was one of the major concerns for senior managers. In 2017 there is an estimate that the UK public sector is 4,000 short of the number needed to deliver Brexit.
  2. Our skills and capability assessments have also highlighted some other alarming statistics, one of which is that 23% of people involved in transformation programmes and projects have no formal qualifications.
  3. Over 250,000 people worldwide are qualified in PRINCE2® and over 50,000 in Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®), but when we undertake maturity assessments and assurance reviews, we find organisations do not actually use the fundamental concepts or processes. So basically people are gaining qualifications on subject areas they do not use.

If you are interested in finding out more about why organisations fail to extract better value from the training market, why not read our article – delivering better value from training

In the meantime, here are the things that the Aspire Academy award winning team can help you with.

If you want targeted development to improve organisational and individual performance in both the processes and leadership of change, we can help with the  following:

  1. Competency Framework – that can be adapted for your organisation to help target your training and is aligned to the APM Body of Knowledge.
  2. Competency and Capability Assessment – the process and survey that can profile the current organisation to target your training more effectively.
  3. Short Courses – a range of  ‘off the shelf’, customisable topic and role related courses specifically targeted at improving performance. A number have associated vocational qualifications from C4CM.
  4. eLearning Courses – we have all the main APM Group and AXELOS Limited qualification courses and a range of topic specific courses that focus on application of the concepts, e.g. planning.
  5. Accredited Qualifications – we can offer the full range of APM, APM Group, AXELOS Limited and C4CM qualifications in face-to-face events. Result statistics from the APMG exam institute show our average pass rate across all our products and qualification levels is a 97% success rate over the past year!
  6. Align Framework – A portfolio, programme and project framework which provides a self-help knowledge base and just-in-time guidance for teams. For more information on the Align Framework, click here.
  7. Community of Practice – will enable personal development and networking and organisational learning and improvement.
MSP® and PRINCE2® are [registered] trade marks of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

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Fresh look: Lessons Learned

Fresh Look – Is a series of articles taking a look at common topics to try to come up with some new ideas and insight into problems that seem to repeat themselves across many organisations.

One of the great mysteries is why do we keep making the same mistakes or doing blindingly stupid things. The P3M industry is just a reflection of a wider society, as programmes and projects fail repeatedly for the same reasons, yet each time it seems to come as a complete surprise.

TSO asked Aspire Europe to write the guest article for their website, so we decided to focus on this topic and share our insights. We hope you find the article useful.

If just one word from this article triggers a thought or an idea that improves your performance at any time in the future, then it will have been worthwhile.

 

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Fresh Look: Dependency Management

We thought it would be a good idea to revisit some of the guiding principles that underpin the world of portfolio, programme and project management. In a world of information overload it is very easy to lose sight of what matters.

Dependency Management really is one of the Dark Arts. It  about the interfaces between initiatives. At a programme level it is what planning is all about, tracking how the inputs and the outputs of projects fits together. At the portfolio level it is even more complex as it is matching together inputs and outputs from programmes and projects.

In MSP® 2011 we introduced the concepts of Intra, Inter and External dependencies so here is the paper that defined the original concept and explains how they operate in a programme management environment.

MSP® is a [registered] trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

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