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, so this is the first in a series of posts that we revisit to remind about some core concepts.
In this article, we revisit benefits management, which is still one of the most mysterious disciplines in the world of transformation. Benefits appear like magic when the business case is being written. With earnest consideration and challenge, even more mysteriously, they seem to disappear as soon as the business is signed off and people get down to the real business of delivering stuff, probably never returning to the sticky subject of benefits and why the change was initiated in the first place.
We’ve pulled together some of what we have found to be guiding principles which may increase your chances of achieving your benefits delivery.
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.
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 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.
In general, lessons learned are rarely learned. Research and general knowledge about what causes programme and project failure has abounded for years, yet the same things keep happening, so what can we do to help.
As an example of this problem, for the last 20 years in the UK, the world of best practice (originated by the OGC) illustrates the issue. We wrote Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®), and it was written on the assumption that audiences already had experience of programme management, understood programme management and wanted to improve. The reality is that people read the book as part of a course and never look at it again.
The work of P3M3® has shown that although the knowledge has been absorbed temporarily for the examination, it is not sufficiently understood to enable deployment in the real world as the courses are attended by inexperienced individuals unable or unauthorised to deploy the knowledge they have in the real world. For more on this, click here
MSP® and P3M3® are [registered] trade marks of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.
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.
In late 2016 and early 2017 we were commissioned to write a lessons learned report on the Network Rail Thameslink programme to enable other organisations to learn from their experiences.
Once we started work it became clear that there had been extensive documentation of lessons throughout the lifecycle, the problem was that people weren’t listening.
The challenge therefore was find a way to communicate the lessons that this amazing programme had faced and how they overcame them and the lessons that others can learn from this experience in a format that could be consumed.
The scale of the assignment has led us to invoke a number of new techniques beyond this case study that enabled key individuals to share their passion, their pains and gain through the use of videos and workshops to ensure their story wont be lost.
Rather than a formal report, we have created a case study and supporting videos to communicate the message. This Thameslink case study provides an insight into workings off a major infrastructure programme, and how they in effect developed and approach that has become the second generation of programme management within Network Rail.
Thameslink review case study
In addition to this report, we also produced a paper on the challenges in general around lessons learned and knowledge sharing, based on our experiences on this assignment.
Fresh Look – 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.
In a world of information overload, it is very easy to lose sight of what matters, and that makes the vision even more important. In this post, we visit the old vision statement chestnut. Everyone loves talking about visions and leadership but when the opportunity comes to put them into practice within a programme environment, quite frankly most of them are about as much use as an umbrella in a wind tunnel.
In this article, we briefly reflect on a topic that is at the source of most programme failures due to not establishing a vision that people understand and genuinely commit to, is a core source of programme failure.