MANAGEMENT SUPPORT SERVICES

PROJECT START-UP Ensure your project, programme or portfolio has the best chance of success by insisting that the essentials are in place before committing large amounts of resource and investment.

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  1. The Brief – the primary control document for defining what you want and state your objectives for the project. This gives you a standard against which to determine project success. We have the skills to ensure that the many inputs can be clearly stated for delivery teams to follow. 

  2. Feasibility and Viability Studies – essential tests of the brief to make sure that what you are trying to achieve is financially and technically possible. This stops you wasting time on poor schemes or bad ideas.

  3. Option appraisals – helping you define and select the best choice to deliver the project. The many options need to be assessed in terms of value and risk against the project objectives in your brief for best results.

  4. Business cases and investment appraisals – working with the finance team to ensure that the finances and funding for the project are in place. The aim is to include capital and revenue costs so that the metrics for assessing financial success are in place.

  5. Stakeholder management – people deliver projects and all projects, regardless of complexity, require the input of many people. A well-prepared stakeholder map ensures that no person, organisation or third party who needs to contribute is missed.

  6. Organisation and governance – the creation of decision making boards, terms of reference, authority levels and definition of management information.

  7. Systems and controls – the drafting and implementation of essential systems and control for effective delivery. This can include reporting, management of stages, exception plans, change control and process mapping to integrate with existing client arrangements.

  8. Benchmarking and Key Performance Indicators: putting in place the systems to set objectives and measure performance and progress towards their achievement.

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PROCUREMENT OF GOODS OR SERVICES Making the right commercial and purchasing decisions                                          

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An essential skill in the Senior Management Team is the ability to make the best strategic choices of where to invest or new directions to take. These choices rarely have sufficient information and are often shrouded with ambiguity and uncertainty.

Robust option appraisals are an essential tool for the senior team. They ensure that the starting point and end state(s) are clear, enabling the strategic thinkers to invest their valuable time identifying options and being creative. This can then be followed by systematic and rigorous analysis and evaluation of options. The result being that the chosen path is auditable, defendable and inspiring for others to follow.

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FRAMEWORK AND PARTNERING AGREEMENTS Establishing long-term beneficial supply chain relationships         

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Many organisations wish to establish long-term agreements with their supply chain. We have developed robust systems for tendering, assessing, marking and evaluation to make sure you get the best from the supply chain.

  1. Appointment of Project and Design Team, or other professional services – procuring a service rather than goods or products can worry some Clients. It requires an understanding of the role and the ability to make clear the deliverables that must be produced. Whether you wish to retain trusted advisors or engage with new teams providing unique skills, we can help you get the best team in place.

  2. Appointment of Contractors – often one of the largest commercial relationships most organisations can enter, it is critical to get this right. Success is crucial upon the definition of the employers' requirements or works information, selection and assessment of tenders, negotiation of price and contract award. Each stage is an opportunity to clearly define the risk and ensure the price is right.

  3. Procuring specialist equipment – working with your lead users and procurement teams to ensure that specialist items are fully defined and that the revenue impacts are fully understood. There is generally a need to consider design and installation issues, complex warranties and maintenance regimes that introduce cost and risk.

  4. Working with you – many organisations have internal procurement and purchasing teams, long term financial and legal advisors and technology specialists. These people know the business intimately and we seek to ensure that they are integrated into the project in a manner that allows them to contribute maximum value.

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ASSURANCE AND HEALTHCHECK For Clients whose governance requires independent assurance or for those that have some concerns that project, programme or portfolio performance is not what it should be

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  1. Assurance and fund monitoring – organisational or funding governance often demands an independent review to give comfort that an investment is progressing within tolerable limits.

  2. Audit and gateways – at key stages or gateways, to review deliverables against pre-defined measures to determine if progress to the next stage may be approved. This can be part of quality assurance or for independent parties.

  3. Healthcheck review – typically carried out if some concerns have been raised or confidence if certainty of delivery has reduced. The outcome of this report can determine if changes are required to the current team.

  4. Turnaround and recovery – the emergency intervention to instigate a plan to get a project, portfolio or programme back on track. This includes immediate actions to maintain critical path and essential changes for the long term improvement of performance.

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PROJECT MANAGEMENT OFFICE (PMO) OR CAPITAL DELIVERY TEAM Establishing a centralised team for delivering projects, programmes and portfolios of investment. These are enterprise-level teams that provide the resources and create the systems for efficient, effective and reliable delivery.

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  1. People: providing people of varying experience for short or long term support or a fully outsourced team to take full ownership of the PMO function. We are happy to work with you and your team to build your own capability if you wish to build an in-house team.

  2. Systems and controls: we have an extensive library of systems, controls, processes and templates that can get you quickly established as an effective PMO. These can be bespoke or tailored to your specific organisation with training for and transfer to your own team. The key thing here is to have an appropriate level of system that enables you to move at pace whilst retaining full control.

  3. Software: advice, options analysis, procurement and implementation of any form of software platform to assist your PMO. The best advice we can give is to always be clear what you want the system to do and to base it on known systems that you already have and trust. There is no need to start from scratch.

  4. Organisation and governance: the performance of projects, programmes and portfolios relies on effective decision-making. Effective decision-making relies entirely on high quality management information presented by able professionals. The right set up allows managers, Directors and Leaders to make the most effective contribution they can.

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CONTRACT MANAGEMENT The contract sets out the terms and conditions for signed parties to conduct their contractual activities. It is essential to follow these fairly and equitably without emotion or prejudice.

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  1. Contract negotiation and award – the most important action for any Client is to make sure that any commercial arrangements are captured in signed legal documents. We can work with your legal team to ensure that the contract properly captures your requirements and allocates risk to achieve the best price.

  2.  Contract administration – once the contract is in place, it is essential to make sure all parties deliver their obligations. Change will inevitably occur and this must be controlled, with pre-agreement of the impact to time, cost and quality.

  3.  Dispute resolution - it is an unfortunate part of commercial business that sometimes misunderstandings, reduced performance or poor relations occur. The key thing is to avoithem festering, which would increase the risk to the whole contract. We can work with you and your legal advisors to reach an acceptable outcome to allow normal progress to be resumed. Some of the best relationships are forged during difficult negotiations.

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MANAGING AND MODELLING COSTS Having reliable information to lead and manage your business or organisation

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  1. Budgeting - over many years of budgeting projects, programme and portfolios we have systematically recorded and captured the expenditure across the many possible costs to be charged. Having a structured approach to this allows us to rigorously check budgets to ensure that they are adequate from the outset.

  2. Cost control systems - we will work closely with your management accounting team to ensure that project, programme and portfolio cost systems are fully integrated with your management accounting systems.

  3. Cost modelling - we have a team of experts well used to manipulating large data sets and creating models to generate management information. This often takes the form of planned and preventative maintenance plans, whole-life analysis, life cyle replacement and the like.

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Call our experienced team 0117 302 0001

OUR MISSION

Our MISSION is to help you reach peak performance by providing management services that lead to lasting beneficial changes to:

  • The way that you are structured
  • The goods or services that you provide
  • The working methods that you use
  • The data that you rely on
  • The technology that supports you
  • The building or estates that you work in

ADDITIONAL SERVICES YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN

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GOT A QUESTION? WE HAVE THE ANSWERS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1
How do you get projects done on time?

Time is the one resource on a project that, once lost, you can never get back. Here are the 5 actions which we take to ensure that your project finishes on time:

  1. We make sure that everybody on the project is made conscious of the importance of doing things on time - so that they can provide the right resources for timely completion.
  2. We start with the programmme; initially with little detail and a lot of assumptions about what may go wrong! We allow time for the things which we cannot foresee now. As we learn more about the project, we put the new detail in the project and replace our assumptions with accurate forecasts of the time required for each activity.
  3. We consult widely so that every party gets to see what they need to provide to others - and crucially what information they will need (and from whom) so that they can do their job on time.
  4. We produce very clear information on the programme - which is computer aided - and we encourage people to “shout” if they do not understand it.
  5. We resist change to scope of the works strongly (particularly during construction), so that delays are avoided.

If we stick to these 5 actions, in our experience, the project can be completed on time.

2
How do you keep projects within budget?

It is vital that a project is completed within the budget. Here are the 7 actions which take to make sure that this happens:

  1. In the first few days of a project we establish what we the Client wants and the programme within which it is required - these are the two main drivers of cost.
  2. As the design develops, we discuss the content of the project with the designers and test their confidence in the adequacy of their design.
  3. We also discuss the state of the design with the Quantity Surveyor and ascertain their confidence in the adequacy of their costs.
  4. Before it goes to tender, we take the designers and quantity surveyors through a lengthy checklist designed to establish whether there are any gaps or exclusions - these are usually items on which there are options about who does the design.
  5. Assuming that we find gaps or exclusions, we ask the team to establish a cost for each of them.
  6. Having completed this exercise, the only thing that remains to be done is to add a contingency sum for things that are “unforeseen and unforeseeable”.
  7. As the project progresses, we maintain strong discipline on cost control.

If we stick to these 7 actions, in our experience, the project can be completed within budget.

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