Category Archives: Knowledge Nugget

Fresh Look – Benefits 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, so this is the first in a series of posts that we revisit to remind about some core concepts.

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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.

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Filed under Benefits Management, Knowledge Nugget

Why is learning from failure so difficult?

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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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Filed under Change Management, Knowledge Nugget

Seven Deadly Sins: Programme Management

Let’s face it, we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t make mistakes, and we have seen many in our  time.

In the early stages of maturity, there are many common errors that people make when delivering programmes, so we thought we would jot a few down for you.

  1. Thinking like a project: if you fill a programme with project people, guess what happens, they behave like project people and it gets run like a project. Programme management professionals have a different skill set, don’t mistake qualifications for skills.
  2. Forgetting the vision: at the start it is all about the vision. Once it starts rolling and people get busy it is easy to forget why the programme exists, it loses direction, scope drifts and before you know it, all people are talking about is what the projects are doing and not what the programme is doing.
  3. Forgetting there is a lifecycle: programmes have a start and an end, if your programme doesn’t have an end then it is probably a portfolio. They go through very distinct stages of evolution. In the programmes that fail or lose direction, it is because these stages (tranches) are indistinct and the whole delivery becomes a blur.
  4. Not having a blueprint: this one is simple, if you don’t have a blueprint to describe the end game for the programme, you will not know where you are going. This is a fatal error for most programmes, not thinking enough about the outcomes which means there will be no benefits.
  5. Leaving change till later: programmes deliver change, whether it’s major infrastructure build or internal business transformation, failing to plan and cost the change from the outset will lead to failure in the future. Benefits come from change, so without change there will be no benefits.
  6. Looking in the wrong places for risks: programme risks are not pumped up project risks. The risks that kill programmes rarely come from projects, they are normally linked to strategic changes of direction, underestimation of the cost and impact of change to the environment they are impacting, business or social.
  7. Getting the governance wrong: you may not be in a position to affect this, but the people on a programme board should have very clear terms of reference and authority. Programme boards are full of important people with big egos not making the important decisions.

Now you can do a quick health check on your own programme and judge whether it is likely to succeed.

If you need any more help, our services may be able to help. Why not check out our brochure to see the services we offer, or visit our website at www.aspireeurope.com

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12 October, 2017 · 13:59

Why is learning from failure so difficult?

One of the great mysteries is why is it we keep making the same mistakes or doing blindingly stupid things. The P3M industry is just a reflection of 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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Filed under Articles, Knowledge Nugget, Learning

“What’s your problem?” A guide to the benefits of Investment Logic Mapping

This guide by Ed Brown (Aspire Assess Director) outlines why you should use Investment Logic Mapping (ILM) and the good value the use of ILM will bring to your investments. They’re a powerful and extremely cost-effective way to bring shape and structure to your investment before you head off into expensive blind alleys.

If you find the article useful – please let us know

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Filed under Articles, Aspire Assess, Business Project Management, Knowledge Nugget, Learning, News

MSP® Business Case in a Nutshell

Rod Sowden the Aspire Europe Managing Director (and lead author of the current versions of MSP® and P3M3®) talks about the Business Case chapter of the MSP manual.

Hope you enjoy!

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MSP® and P3M3® are [registered] trade marks of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Aspire Academy, Knowledge Nugget, Learning, Programme Management, Vodcast/Video

5 lessons for the unwary – Agile PM

Over the last year or two we have reviewed a number of programmes and projects that are using an “agile” approach. There are a number of common problems that have come to light that should be of interest to any organisation setting out on an agile endeavour for the first time.

Agile, Lean or project management are not cures for unproductive or incompetent teams, weak leadership or poor performance management. All methods have their place and can add value and improve performance, but none on their own are a panacea as they all depend on the capability of the people involved.

This article sets out some of the key lessons that we have taken from our reviews.aspire-logo

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Filed under Agile, Articles, Knowledge Nugget, Project Management