Five quick thoughts from a successful project and programme manager as a result of the Solidus paper on Project Health Checks.
So there is more of a need for independent Project Health Checks than most Project Sponsors will believe; until it is too late. Most do not face up to the problem until they have to increase the budget and extend the timetable or reduce scope.
Many projects go through difficult times. An occasional health check or project review can prevent such projects turning nasty and requiring a full blown rescue plan. A small investment in a health check conducted by a Solidus “Critical Friend” will often save money over the life of a project.
It is an exercise that Solidus is well placed to inform as it has extensive experience of projects of all sizes and complexity. Even on large projects a health check is usually less than a week’s work with informal recommendations being made at the end of the first day. The Solidus approach majors on deliverability of the project rather than simple compliance with a project recording and reporting methodology; Solidus will however comment on the use of standards.
Martin is opportunity seeking, an innovator and highly flexible; switching industries, application areas and technologies with ease. Many troubleshooting roles needed Martin to adapt to all three. He adopts a mentoring and supportive, approach with high expectations that creates an environment that fosters successful delivery.
Martin Wilson was brought in by one of the junior departments in a sensitive government programme. As a junior partner the department could not be seen to be disruptive but it had serious concerns about the programme scope. Martin explored the issues on an individual basis with the other parties and especially with the programme director. It showed that all were aware of problems with the programme direction, “the elephant in the room”, but felt powerless to deal with it. In just six weeks of sensitive negotiations Martin was able to generate consensus and get the programme redesigned and heading in a more appropriate direction.
Sometimes a programme or project needs fresh thinking to get it running smoothly; it may be that a health check has exposed issues.
Solidus has considerable experience with putting projects and programmes back on track. Usually it is a case of a project team using Solidus to facilitate an exploration of the challenges. Often the team are too close to the issues, Solidus helps them step back to “see the wood for the trees”. The client can then often resolve matters themselves. In extremis Solidus can take over project leadership until it is running smoothly.