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.
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
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?
- Project issues dominate the programme board
- Unidentified risks start to materialise a bit too quickly
- Benefits are rarely discussed
- The BCM lacks authority or purpose
- Many uncontrolled or unclear dependencies between projects and other initiatives start to manifest themselves
- Decision making is ad-hoc, reactionary or just slow
- Stakeholder resistance begins to increase and programme loses support. Programmes 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 to 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.
This is a really interesting article posted on the NAO blog that looks at the major lessons from programmes and projects in the last few years.
The depressing thing is that most of the causes of failure are really well known and documented and yet we still keep making them, which suggests that people leading programmes and projects are either:
- Too arrogant to think they wont make the same mistakes, and then promptly do
- Too lazy to actually go out and investigate other peoples experiences, most of it can be found on google so they don’t even need to get our of their chairs
- Too dim to be able to process and implement the advice they are being given.
Fresh Look: Is a series of articles take a look at common topics and try to come up with some new ideas and insight into problems that seem to repeat themselves across many organisations
Welcome to our article on the touchy subject of business cases, touchy because so many project and programmes fail to deliver to their aspirations, with Gartner estimating 75% of projects fail to achieve expectations. In the UK public sector alone, it is estimated that £1.35bn is spent just on writing business cases alone.
Thank you to Paul Mansell, Stefan Sanchez, Eileen Roden and Geof Leigh for their contributions We all hope you find the article interesting.
If we can help you in any way we hope you will get in touch, and we offer the APMG Better Business Cases qualification if you are looking for training
One of our team recently dialled in to this new webinar from APM delivered by Eileen Roden and Simon George.
The webinar shows you how the PMO function has been accounted for in the new framework and demonstrates how the framework:
- Enables you to identify strengths and development needs to support your career progression
- Provides you with clearly defined competences with outcome focused performance indicators
- Can be used by PMOs and PMO professionals (source APM)
They had this to say after attending it – It was interesting to learn about the roles and responsibility within a PMO – I would very much like to work in a PMO, than be the project manager!
I wonder if everyone who attended has had that thought?
This article outlines the key concepts of programme management, the principal roles and themes that make programmes distinctive from portfolios and projects. Click here to read.