40 Selecting Professional Advisors and Contractors

The 7 Stages for Selecting Professional Advisers and Contractors

One of the most important tasks on any project is to select Professional Advisers and Contractors.  Making the right choices has a direct effect on the success (or otherwise) of the project. Making these crucial appointments is the foundation of creating a good project team.  This should be the initial focus of the Project Manager,…

41 Quality Assurance for PM

Quality Assurance for Project Management

What is QA? All those planned and systematic actions necessary to provide adequate confidence that a product or service will satisfy given requirements for quality. What is a documented quality system? The organisation structure, responsibilities, procedures and resources for implementing quality management – ISO 9001. QA Systems comprise: A policy manual Procedures manual Project quality…

42 Learn the lessons

How to make sure you learn the lessons from your programmes and projects

We work with many clients who quite correctly establish logs for capturing the lessons learnt from their programmes and projects.  These lessons are captured throughout the life of the project, at key gateways and during post-delivery evaluations.  The key thing is to then determine the root cause of the lesson to be learnt and to…

43 Good Project Management Report

What makes a good project management report?

All projects have risks (things that might happen) and issues (things that are happening) to deal with. This inherent uncertainty means that PMs must use their technical knowledge (the science) and their judgement (the art). Good PMs formally report to a project board on a regular basis and they must present the status, next steps…

44 Understanding Business Data

Understanding Business Data

It has never been easier to capture and generate business data.  You will find it in your HR systems, financial accounts and every operational department of your business.   It is therefore surprising that whilst data is so easily accessible, most businesses and public-sector organisations make two crucial mistakes with their data.  They fail to use…

45 Importance of Values

The importance of values; doing the right thing

Whether you work on a temporary project, in an entrepreneur’s start-up or part of a large business or organisation, it is worth taking the time out to make sure that you have established the values by which you will do business. This means those things that you and your team say and do, consistently, even when…

46 Houston, we have a problem

Houston, we have a problem

Most organisations use projects to implement change and that makes sense to most people. They are the vehicles that enable you to gather resources and activity to make things happen. Unfortunately, projects do not always go to plan and sometimes they get worse to the point that not only are they late or over budget,…

47 Behavioural Muscle Memory

Behavioural Muscle Memory

I ran a masterclass last week for the RICS about strategic project management. One of the key messages was making sure you spend as much effort on your social and behavioural skills as you do on your technical knowledge. The reason for this is that people deliver projects and you cannot simply have a schedule and plan…


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







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.

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.

Where do you start on a project?

We like to prepare a project brief in conjunction with our Clients. 

This means that you have the benefit of expressing what you want, while bringing our experience of other projects into play.  We can help you to avoid errors or omissions from the outset. 

Here are the four main actions we take to ensure that your project starts in the right way: 

  1. In our opinion, a brief is not something which should be done by the Client in isolation.  We have informal sessions with you to ensure that the brief is heading in the right direction. 
  2. Where necessary we can bring in other people with the right experience to help with the brief.  This may be the Architect, Engineers or a Contractor. 
  3. We attempt to find the essence of a project so that you can identify what you are trying to achieve rather than how you are going to do it.  This allows you to take account of changes to ways of working and advances in technology. 
  4. We then bring the brief together by ensuring that the Client and the Design Team discuss the detail to check that it is sound in all respects. 

If we stick to these 4 actions, in our experience, the project can start in the right way.