Greenfile Developments


returnIS Projects and Programme Management

A project is defined as a ‘temporary’ undertaking with a defined beginning and end undertaken to meet a specific goal or set of goals. In other words, "projects" are in contrast to "Business as Usual" (or Operations) which are repetitive, ongoing permanent activities to deliver products or services. A project is there to deliver a specific objective and has a beginning, a middle and an end, often with time, finance and resource constraints. Project Management is the activity to achieve the project objective, to an agreed quality, within these constraints

A programme is made up of a specific set of related projects identified by an organisation that together will deliver some defined objective, or set of objectives, for the organisation.

There is a close link between Programme Management and project management because the programme is made up of projects and is only successful if the projects within it succeed. The concept of a programme is that it should deliver more than the 'sum of its parts' – and this is an important factor in programme planning and scoping – a key objective is always to ensure that what is delivered is more beneficial when delivered as a whole, than as individual projects. Often the goals of a programme are at a strategic level so that the organisation can achieve benefits and improvements in its business operation. An example might be the implementation of an ERP system, which will include a number of constituent projects.

A portfolio is a set of non-interrelated projects (and sometimes programmes) which happen to be running concurrently, each with its own objective, timescale and budget. They have been grouped together to allow overall more effective management. An example of a portfolio might be all of the projects within a particular business unit – for example, within a sales function, the portfolio might comprise: implementation of a new CRM + a new commission scheme + a lead generation package.

triple constraintsOften portfolio and programme management are confused, and increasingly a new discipline is emerging called PPP – which covers project, programme and portfolio management.

The three constraints governing a project – time, cost and scope (to deliver to an agreed quality) are commonly represented in the ‘project management triangle’ which is also known as the Triple Constraint

Several well-recognised methodologies, coupled with a multitude of proprietary methodologies exist to provide frameworks for successfully delivering projects.  Probably the most well-known of these are Prince 2, MSP (Managing Successful Programmes) and PMBOK. All of these provide a framework, templates and an approach to help successfully deliver projects (or programmes) on time, to budget and meeting the agreed scope. project management processEach consists of 4-5 process groups and a control system, regardless of the specific terminology used. These process groups generally align to:

  1. Initiation
  2. Planning and Design
  3. Execution
  4. Monitoring and Controlling
  5. Closure

All of the recognised methodologies provide a sound framework, checklists and useful templates to help deliver successful projects with the expected benefits.  However, the challenges of meeting the triple constraint take experience – especially in the impact of managing scope….which often just seems to ‘creep’ and this is where Greenfile Developments can provide assistance.  Risks which seemed unlikely or a long way off, suddenly materialise and need managing. And just how do you explain the budget overspend for those unplanned additional printers which suddenly became critical ?

Our consultants have been engaged in project managing a wide variety of IS systems, from in-house developments, outsourced delivery through to implementation of off-the-shelf packages. Most importantly, they have been involved in managing those difficult projects – and learned the lessons to bring from those experiences to any client project.

stakeholder_groupsAn area often overlooked in project management is that of change and stakeholder management.  A new system implementation will not succeed without the buy-in of all the business users - it has been shown that IT-driven projects rarely succeed. Making changes is never easy and will not happen without strong supporters from the business behind you. At Greenfile Developments, we focus on strong stakeholder engagement – working with the project supporters to win the confidence and buy-in of those who are less interested – or even actively against the changes to come. We take stakeholder mapping and management seriously adopting the model below to ensure everyone is engaged when they need to be

Greenfile Developments offers a range of services to assist you with project and programme management – from full-time engagement to take a project through to successful delivery, to mentoring and training your own teams to learn from our experiences. We undertake project health checks and audits to give you assurance that your project is on the road to success – and if there are problems, we specialise in turnaround of ailing projects.