Category Archives: Programme Management

Thameslink – the incredible journey

Late 2016, we were commissioned to write a Lessons Learned report on the Network Rail Thameslink programme to enable other organisations to learn from their experiences.

When we commenced work, it became clear that there had been extensive documentation of lessons throughout the lifecycle, but the problem was people weren’t listening.

The challenge therefore was to 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 enable key individuals to share their passion, pains and gains through the use of videos and workshops to ensure their story would not be lost.

Rather than a formal report, we have created a case study together with 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 an approach that has become the second generation of programme management within Network Rail.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Programme Management, Uncategorized

Fresh Look: Vision Statements

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.

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. mountain top

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Aspire Academy, Change Management, Knowledge Nugget, Magnificent Seven, Programme Management

Democracy is killing our infrastructure

I had always thought of the Victorian era as our golden age. I was disappointed to find out that most of the investment was by entrepreneurs rather than our government, and most of them ended up broke as a result of the altruism.  Therefore, the only people making money out of infrastructure appeared to be the builders.

The golden age of UK infrastructure investment was the 50’s and 60’s – an era pre-dawn of Thatcherism.  That was when big decisions and actions were taken on  motorways, power stations, schools  and infrastructure. It is the period we remember for the demise of railways and not much else, so history has been very unkind to that generation.

It was also an era of nationalised industries and high levels of government controlled investment. Apparently, the countries that have the highest levels of infrastructure investment tend to be a little light on the democracy side of things, hence the conclusion that democracy is killing our infrastructure.

By chance, I have come across this excellent youtube video which looks at mega project failure and provides an interesting insight by Michael Hobbs into a major tunnel project in Seattle.

 

I hope you enjoy it

Leave a comment

Filed under Programme Management

Seven Deadly Sins: Programme Management [video]

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.

In this video Rod Sowden (Aspire Europe MD) focuses on the most common errors that cause the biggest problems in the early stages of maturity, and how to avoid them.

Enjoy

aspire-logo

Leave a comment

17 April, 2018 · 16:38

Fresh Look: Programmes without Blueprints

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.

Is your programme exhibiting any of these characteristics:

  1. Project issues dominate the programme board
  2. Unidentified risks start to materialise a bit too quickly
  3. Benefits are rarely discussed
  4. The BCM lacks authority or purpose
  5. Many uncontrolled or unclear dependencies between projects and other initiatives start to manifest themselves
  6. Decision making is ad-hoc, reactionary or just slow
  7. Stakeholder resistance begins to increase and programme loses supportProgrammes either lack momentum or feel like a roller coaster

If that is the case, your programme probably does not have a blueprint, and is probably out of control.

In this article, we liken a programme a yacht and explain how it is not what you see on the surface that is providing the control, it is what happens below the waterline that is important. If your programme is exhibiting any of these characteristics then the article is for you.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Programme Management, Uncategorized

Project Challenge Discount – MSP Survival Guides

The TSO are offering large discounts on the MSP® Survival Guides during Project Challenge

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

Leave a comment

Filed under MSP®, Project Challenge, Project Management

MSP Survival Guide for Business Change Managers

This is one of the MSP Survival Guide series and the first of the publications intended to enhance the MSP® body of knowledge by focusing on the roles, tasks and techniques of each of the roles.MSP Survival Guide for BCM's

The author is Rod Sowden (MSP Lead Author) and he was supported by a number of the Aspire Europe team.

The book addresses the areas which were too complex for the main MSP® manual within the size constraints of the book.

It is designed as the companion guide for the individuals who are appointed in this complex role of BCM, a role that is increasingly being referred to as the SBO (Senior Business Owner).

The book includes a range of specific advice, tools and worked examples together with case studies that help everyone in this role to perform effectively.

If you are interested in ordering  one, click on this link – MSP® Survival Guide for Business Change Managers

You may also wish to look at our other publications

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Business Project Management, Change Management, MSP®