To welcome the new financial year, opportunities to make better decisions for meeting organisational goals through a pipeline of projects is well under way. Executives are directing organisations to kick start all new projects and pushing harder on existing projects; it’s all systems GO!

Hold on – what about closing out the previous financial year? Should you take a pause; a moment to stop and assess where you are organisationally in delivering projects? What happened to those lessons learned? Were they captured? If so, where did they get stored? Has action been recorded against these lessons to ensure similar mistakes can be avoided, or positive experiences repeated? Have you taken stock of your delivery capability? Is it proven practice for your organisation specifically?

Our experience suggests that, and without being industry-specific, that organisations are heavily focused on delivery – so much so that they forget to pause for reflection and look at opportunities to improve internally. Ultimately, this leads to perpetual repetition of mistakes across projects, where symptoms are as simple as overrun schedule, overspend in budget and reduced quality of work.

Whilst some good organisations (and/or project managers) will capture lessons learned at the end of each project, they will often sit on a shared folder that is restricted to the project members involved in the project. It’s a tick for completing another step in the process, however no value is derived.

We believe in true business agility and this can only be achieved if we truly understand the underlying causes and reasons for projects not going to plan. Once this is known, the business can find a way to not only mitigate it, but also to become better at adapting to changing conditions; internally and externally.

It is well known that the cost of correcting an issue is far greater than the cost of preventing it.

Start the new year right! To start the new year on the right foot it is time for a health check. A health check can give you a reflective snapshot of the status of the project delivery capability in your organisation and identify what’s working well and areas for improvement. An independent assessment across the organisation will give you an objective view of common issues which can end up saving the organisation in the long term.

A health check on the delivery capability of the organisation can be undertaken by assessing the overall processes, systems and project staff (this includes the senior executives that direct the project to the person impacted by the project). Undertaking a Health check is a great way for determining how your organisation is really doing in delivering to its organisational objectives.

Project organisation health check

An independent project organisation health check will review;

  • Portfolio Management; Is the organisation picking the right projects at the right time, are the projects sequenced right to deliver to strategy or are you trying to do too much at once?
  • Project processes; is there a methodology in place? Is it consistently utilised across the organisation? Is it aligned with the delivery agility the organisation needs to be competitive?
  • Project resources; are people across the organisation appropriately trained/experienced to fulfil the needs of their role? (From the Project Analyst to Steering Committee members to the Change Management teams) Do you have enough resources to meet the project demands?
  • Change Management: How well informed are people in the organisation about changes introduced by projects and the impact to them? Is the right information/training available at the right time? Is their change fatigue?
  • Inter-departmental connectedness; are the processes between departments ie. risk/finance married up to the project processes or are finance reports differing to project reports?

Reviewing these areas will help you understand the underlying causes for delivery issues in your organisation, but also present the opportunity to be armed with the right information to change/adapt as an organisation to be more cost effective, and efficient in delivery. In business terms this can mean a competitive edge if you can hone the right mix of cost effectiveness and time to market. 

With over 20 years of diverse experience in Project Management, our AMO consultants are well versed in knowing what works. So, if you’re ready for true change to achieve business agility… talk to us.