Martin P Wilson


Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Insight, IT

Facilitation and Mentoring for Success.

Timely Project Reviews Prevent Projects Becoming Expensive Problems


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.

Already Need a Project Health Check?

Read on or call Martin Wilson directly on +44 (0) 7831 410 801 to discuss Project Health Checks in more detail. Alternatively  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. a name and telephone number wth  suitable date and time for Martin to call back.

Why and When Does a Project Need a Health Check?

There are several points at which a project should be routinely reviewed and other times when an ad hoc, or even emergency, health check is appropriate.

Key Project Gateways

A project has a lifecycle with clear transitions between stages. For example both construction and IT projects will go through design, build and handover stages with other stages in between. Ideally there should be a review at the end of each stage as there will often be a change in the funding commitment at that point, especially between design and build. A review helps avoid throwing good money after bad.

Problems with Project Timetable, Budget or Quality and Scope?

If there are problems that are becoming persistent then there is a need for independent review of the project. The potential causes of such problems are many and an objective analysis by a “Critical Friend” should be helpful to the organisation and the project manager.

Project Sponsor is Unsighted, Uncomfortable or Worried

A project sponsor may concerns that all is not well or there may be underlying issues that are not being addressed. That is a good time to do a health check which will hopefully allay those fears or if they are well-founded bring them into the open where they can be addressed by the wider project team.

Change of Project Sponsorship or Management

When there is a change of leadership on a project the incoming manager or sponsor would be well advised to undertake a health check or project review to establish a new baseline from which to manage.

Quick Thoughts

Has Military Action Ever Dissuaded Tyrants?

Syria - flagIn his speech before the war in Iraq Tony Blair, the UK Prime Minister, argued that not intervening would send a message that tyrants would feel at liberty to act without consequence. By military action in Iraq, he argued, those who would perpetrate atrocities would think twice. There would not seem to be any evidence, before or since, that would back up that contention.

We now have David Cameron, the current Prime Minister, making essentially the same arguments – do politicians ever learn from history?


Government Spending is not Driver of Growth

Parliament Square London IC02001If more public spending is the only way to create growth then surely governments have become too large a part of the economy? Government is about spending and has little to do with creating wealth.

The best government can do is move wealth from individuals and business to those who serve government.


Capped Bonuses, There May be Trouble Ahead

Politicians do not seem to be good at imagining unintended consequences. The cap on bankers’ bonuses, however popular, may be counter-productive in reducing risk.

Dark Stormy Skys and Beauty Often CoexistIf a smaller proportion of a trader’s income is at risk if a trade goes wrong they may pursue high-risk opportunities to get that big win. If it works they guarantee the full bonus and could also use it to negotiate a higher salary (and bonus) for the following year. If it fails the downside is limited by the capped bonus to a smaller part of overall income. At the end of the day traders are competitive and gamblers at heart so will they be more likely to pursue the big win when their own risk is limited?

Copyright © 1995-2010 Solidus Ltd & M-dash.

All Rights Reserved.Copyright Explained.